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The Falconer

The Student News Site of Fauquier High School

The Falconer

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The Student News Site of Fauquier High School

The Falconer

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“Risk of Rain 2 – Seekers of the Storm:” New Content, At What Cost?

Risk of Rain 2 is a refreshing take on a genre full of half-baked ideas. The Seekers of the Storm DLC promises new content, but should buyers beware?
Hopoo Games, Gearbox Software
“Risk of Rain 2” is a refreshing take on a genre full of half-baked ideas. The “Seekers of the Storm” DLC promises new content, but should buyers beware?

“Risk of Rain” is a beloved rogue-like game franchise that sets a high bar in a genre oversaturated by mediocrity. Rogue-likes are a genre of video games that focus on “runs” where the player will attempt to finish the game in one try, with defeat resetting them to the beginning. The genre can be unpopular, since the upgrades players receive are random and the methods enemies use to scale with their power, usually increasing the amount of health or damage they can deal, feels artificial. Coupled together, the rouge-like genre often leaves players frustrated and unsatisfied.

I had been burned by the genre many times, hoping that another game would avoid the mistakes of the last, only for it to fall deeper into the same pitfalls and drag my mood with it. This colored my first impression of “Risk of Rain 2” with skepticism.

However, to my surprise, the creators of “Risk of Rain,” Hopoo Games (Who-poo), were able to construct a rogue-like game that rewards players’ skill and familiarity with mechanics rather than their luck. Hopoo also included a unique “time = difficulty” mechanic, increasing the challenges as a “run” goes on. This forces players to weigh moving to the next level or finding more equipment as they fight through simple but gorgeous vistas of the alien planet searching for a way home. Not to mention the phenomenal soundtrack of electronic and progressive rock made by Chris Christodoulou that serenades the struggle. For $25, when not on sale, base “Risk of Rain 2” is an excellent purchase that I’d gladly embarrassingly fail to beat again and again. Though fans may want to wait before purchasing this game.

On Nov. 8, 2023, it was announced that “Risk of Rain 2” would receive a new content expansion (aka downloadable content or DLC) called “Seekers of the Storm,” promising new levels, playable characters, and expanded lore with the introduction of a new antagonist, the False Son. Much of the community rejoiced over the promise of new content, but many remain in doubt. Why?

The developer.

“Seekers of the Storm” though, is solely developed by Gearbox since they purchased the rights to the “Risk of Rain” franchise in 2022 and Hopoo has moved on to other projects.

The absence of Hopoo on the development team has members of the “Risk of Rain” fanbase worried as Gearbox Software does not have a stellar reputation, with many of their games receiving mixed reception and having a history of questionable business practices. The most infamous of which is the “Aliens Colonial Marines” debacle where the heads at Gearbox mismanaged development of the game so laughably bad, that it costed their publisher, Sega, $1.2 million in false advertising lawsuits. Furthermore, Gearbox announced a “Risk of Rain” mobile game with gacha elements (elements that incentivize paying for the chance to unlock new characters/items, essentially gambling). This has many fans questioning Gearbox’s commitment to upholding the quality of the franchise rather than pursuing a quick cash grab.

If buying “Risk of Rain 2”, also purchase its first DLC, “Survivors of the Void”. It’s only $15 and adds much more content to an already amazing game, not to mention they are often bundled together at a discount. If “Seekers of the Storm” turns out good, it will most likely be bundled as well. If not, don’t purchase it, DLCs are usually listed separately on Steam and other online storefronts. Afterall, consumers vote with their wallet.

With “Risk of Rain,” Hopoo Games breathed fresh air into a stagnant genre, creating a loyal community with its mechanical depth and excellent understanding of what makes games fun. While many are wary about Gearbox’s intentions, I’m optimistic because they have no other choice than to succeed. If Gearbox fails, they will obliterate the franchise’s customer base. Their reputation and the shoes they have to fill marks an uphill battle for the company and an era of uncertainty for the fanbase.

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About the Contributor
Rahath Miah
Rahath Miah, Staff
The name’s Rahath Miah. I am a senior at FHS and this is my first year as a staff member for the newspaper. I try to stay busy at all times. Whether it be writing, drawing, yard work, home renovation, or messing with computers and software, I’ll do it all!
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  • AnonymousMar 2, 2024 at 8:08 am

    W game

    Reply
  • J

    J TillyFeb 20, 2024 at 11:21 am

    AWESOME SAUCE RAHATH!

    Reply