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Rogue Trooper Redux

Rogue Trooper Redux

A remastered PS2 game that brings the original into 2017, but still shows its age.

  • Text: Sam Bishop

Back in 2006 Rebellion released a Rogue Trooper video game based on the 2000 AD comic series of the same name, which saw you step into the shoes of a blue genetically-engineered supersoldier called Rogue. This year TickTock Games is helping to bring this PS2 version into the modern era via Rogue Trooper Redux, which comes with all the stuff you'd expect such a remaster to come with.

As you might have guessed the visuals are a big part of this. Everything has been polished to bring it up to date, from the character models to the textures and pretty much all the high-definition detail a PS4 game needs. It's easy these days to look at games running on the PS4 (where we played the game) and take it for granted how far graphics have come, but when you put the 2006 and 2017 versions side by side the difference is clear. There are not-so-impressive elements that can be seen through these updated visuals, though, whether that be the odd teeth that sit uncomfortably in the mouths of characters or the various clipping issues. Basically, the overall presentation does feel its age, despite the newly polished facade.

The game revolves around a war in a futuristic world between two factions - the Norts and the Southers - with the latter deploying a race of Genetic Infantry against the former which can survive the atmosphere that kills humans. You play as Rogue, one of these blue GI soldiers, and after learning that one of your own has betrayed your kind and is working with the Norts, you go... well, rogue, to track them down and deal some swift vengeance.

Like most video games, vengeance comes in the form of bullets and destruction, and we infiltrate the enemy ranks, murdering a ton of Norts as we do so. Early on in the game, however, before it all kicks off, we witness the death of some of our close allies, but all is not lost, as the biochips in their brains can still be recovered. By placing these chips in our gun, helmet, and backpack (the corresponding deceased being called Gunnar, Helm, and Bagman... yes really), we can then interact with our fallen comrades, although this mostly consists of them talking at us and making quips.

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While this offers some friendly conversation, it's more important to have these chips installed because they offer tactical advantages. Helm can hack doors, for instance, while Gunnar can act as a turret and watch your back. Bagman is arguably the most important, though, as he patches you up with medkits and also helps you craft and manage your inventory, as all good friends should.

Most of the time in the game you'll be following your HUD to the next objective while clearing out Norts along the way, whether that be the usual grunts or giant mechs that'll pose much more of a threat. Either way, killing is the name of the game, and you've got a huge arsenal to do so with, including an assault rifle (complete with aim-assist from Gunnar), a shotgun, a rocket launcher, grenades, and more. All of this is earned by purchasing upgrades off of Bagman, so it pays to loot fallen enemies and obtain the salvage needed to fund these purchases. There are hidden piles of salvage in each level too, so exploration will be rewarded, especially since this is also used to pay for ammunition.

The shooting in itself isn't too satisfying though. There isn't that much punch to the weapons and you can often find yourself unloading clips into enemies without much feeling that you're actually hitting them with bullets. The sniper rifle is much more satisfying with its (often) one-hit kills, as are grenades, but even then grenades are hard to aim unless you hold R1 while stationary, and the sniper has extremely limited ammunition.

What's worse is that manoeuvring around these levels is often clunky too. The rolling/dodging animation, for instance, has a short stop at the end of it, making it a jagged process to roll where you need to be, but without a sprint button we often found ourselves using this anyway because we wanted to just get to where we needed to be a bit quicker.

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