Not So Bad Company
I love Hi-Rez Studios. They make quality games. Sure, they’re not all terribly original ideas – but what is, anymore? No, what sets Hi-Rez Studios apart from copycat developers is that they improve upon their respective genres. There’s a reason Smite continues to find smashing success, why Paladins was such a hit, and why Rogue Company has flown to such a thrilling debut. You see, Hi-Rez and, in this case, Rogue Company designs its content to be truly free to play and delivers an experience that matches your typical retail competition.
So what is Rogue Company? It’s an eight player squad based third person shooter designed around a few objective based modes. Currently, you can face off against your opponents in 4 v 4 matches in Strikeout (deathmatch), Extraction, and Demolition. The last two modes are similar in nature – you set an objective to explode and either defend or disarm it to claim victory (or eliminate the other team fully before an objective is set). In Extraction, it’s a free-for-all to the objective; in Demolition, teams take turns arming/disarming the objective in a Counter Strike style setup.
Like each Hi-Rez game before, Rogue Company features a large selection of characters that continues to evolve. Depending upon whether you purchase the full game or decide to unlock the characters as you earn in-game currency, you’ll either have the entire roster available to you or a smaller selection at the start. Either way, as you complete challenges and continue to level up, you’ll earn enough credits to unlock whichever characters you want. The best part? The game has an extraordinary level of balance; I’ve seen each character outperform expectations and have been able to overcome any situation. There seems to be brief periods of weapon imbalances, but they’ve consistently been fixed through continuous updates.
At the time of this writing, ranked Demolition mode launched, and character masteries (similar to Smite) are also available to grind. This adds to the already extended list of things to accomplish in Rogue Company, adding incredible value to an already free/cheap experience. Even if you’re paying full price, you’ll have legitimate days of gameplay logged before completing everything. The platinum trophy, for me, took approximately two full days (that’s how much time I logged during my initial review period for the platinum) to obtain. It may be a tad easier now to unlock with more people playing, but the process is still lengthy – but the game is good enough to make the time fly by.
My biggest complaints for Rogue Company stem from larger content updates. When largue updates drop, there seems to be a one-to-two week period of immense lag strikes and disconnections that often left either team undermanned. Unfortunately, you’re at an immense disadvantage should you lose a team member, and it’s a nearly impossible shot at victory if two members drop. Hi-Rez has implemented a penalty system for intentionally dropping, but it doesn’t seem to be steep enough to actually dissuade people from quitting a match. With that said, playing at a disadvantage does have some entertainment value – until you’re getting pounded by the other team.
In all, Rogue Company is an above average squad based competitive shooter from Hi-Rez studios, and it certainly has enough content to keep you busy and having fun for days. Balancing seems to be on point, and large content drops are always incoming. If you can weather the update connection issues, Rogue Company has the potential to become a premiere squad based shooter. It will be interesting to see future Hi-Rez eSports competitions and how this one shapes up for such an occasion. As a free-to-download game that really requires no money (unless you choose to spend), there isn’t much that can compete with Rogue Company.