ROGUE TROOPER (viewpoint)

click to full view

PUBLISHER: Eidos Interactive DEVELOPER: Rebellion GENRE: Action AVAILABILITY: Retail box ESRB RATING: Teen
REQUIRED: 1.4GHz CPU, 256MB RAM, 3GB hard drive space RECOMMENDED: 2GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 128MB videocard MULTIPLAYER: 2-4 players

review of Rogue Trooper (Eidos’ thirdperson action shooter) is among the most charitable. But even he admits, “Whether you use the basic pistol, the machine gun, shotgun, mortar or beam rifle…clusters of enemies just fall like ninepins…. The sense of tension and achievement is lost in a blizzard of fallen [enemies].”
But in the comments section following his review, some1 (yes, someone named “some1”)
replies, “I’ve been reading a few of the reviews on Metacritic…and the one thing they do all
agree on is that there is loads of replay value because you can use the abilities to tackle situations in a lot of different and interesting ways.” Leaving aside the point that this is patently
untrue—most reviews decry Rogue Trooper’s lack of replay value—let’s give this a shot:
I’ll run through the game’s Nu Paree level a few times, trying out different approaches.
I chose that level because it’s actually cool in a Blade-Runner-on-an-engine-that-canbe- easily-ported-to-multiple-platformsespecially- the-PS2 kind of way. Let’s see how it turns out.

The fi rst time through, I just run-and-gun it—pretty standard stuff. On my second trip,
I limit myself to grenades. Rogue Trooper has four grenade types: standard frag grenades,
sticky bombs that conveniently veer toward their targets, area-effect incendiary grenades,
and scrambler grenades. You can call up a display that shows you the exact arc of your toss,
making it easy to chuck a grenade just where you want it. Nu Paree is still pretty easy, even
though I have no way to kill snipers.

I try the stealth approach for my third run. This is dead simple if you hang back and snipe with
the silencer; it helps that patrol cycles don’t get disrupted too much when enemy soldiers see a
colleague mysteriously collapse. Hand-to-hand kills are too tedious to set up, and the salvage
bonus isn’t worth it.

Bored out of my skull by the fourth trip, I decide I’ll use only the mortar. Whenever it runs out of ammo, I just make more—which is what you can do with the salvage parts lifted off of dead bodies. Rogue Trooper’s economy booms; ammunition, grenades, and healing are plentiful and dirt cheap. All goes well, so on my fi fth time through, I decide to do it without making any medkits. By this point, I’m so familiar with the level that it’s easy to avoid taking damage. In fact, I can probably probably play it with my eyes closed by now.

For my sixth runthrough, I decide to use only the beam weapon. About halfway into the level,
I just give up. What am I trying to prove? Very little changes based on whatever weapons I use
or whatever limits I put on myself. The game features plenty of fl exibility for how you kill the
bad guys, but it offers no compelling reason for you to employ any elaborate methods. One way
is as good as any other, and they’re all equally available, given that you can buy whatever you
want with salvage items. It’s hardly a substitute for replay value.

If you take a game that’s composed entirely of canned set pieces—say, Rogue Trooper— and play it over and over and over, you’re going to make yourself hate it. I liked it only mildly enough the fi rst time. So it just goes to show that in a game this thin, familiarity breeds contempt.


IGN 8/10

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *