Rogue Trooper Review for PC

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Who knew a blue soldier could star in such a great videogame?
Who knew a blue soldier could star in such a great videogame?

Who knew a blue soldier could star in such a great videogame?

It's amazing when you sit down with a game that you had the lowest of expectations for, only to find an incredibly well put together experience. It certainly doesn't happen that often, but Rogue Trooper from Eidos and Rebellion is one of the most impressive third-person shooters in recent memory. Based on the comic of the same name, Rogue Trooper is far from the average run and gun shooter, with players able to tackle levels in a variety of ways, using stealth or more gung-ho tactics.

Set on Nu Earth, a land torn apart by war as the Norts and Southers battle for control, you play as one of the Southers' Genetic Infantrymen (G.I.s). These laboratory-created, blue super soldiers give the Southers an upper hand in the war, but a G.I. General betrays the squad during a mission in the Quartz Zone. The entire G.I. battalion is wiped out - all except one. As the 'Rogue Trooper' you set off to bring the traitor to justice.

If you're worried about not being able to follow the story because it's based on a comic, you needn't be. The story is told without any prior knowledge being necessary, and while the narrative is strong, it's not the focus of the game. Rogue Trooper is the star, along with his buddies. You see, while the bodies of his comrades were killed, their minds lived on inside bio-chips. Rather bizarrely these chips can be placed inside equipment, so Gunnar is placed on the gun, Helm on your helmet and Bagman on your rucksack. This effectively gives you a four-man team in one soldier, and lets you do a little more than your lone-soldier status would suggest.

Each of your bio-chip buddies can be used in various ways, with Gunnar coming in handy as a deployable gun-turret and a stabilised sniper rifle, Helm is a dab hand at hacking computer terminals (despite simply being a helmet), and Bagman uses scrap (gathered from fallen enemies) to make new ammo, weapons and upgrades. This isn't all of it though, as you'll also get a handy holograph ability, some really cool mines and plenty of weapons. The opening levels introduce various new abilities, but by the time you're half way through the campaign, battle tactics are literally bursting from Bagman's rucksack.

'With all the tools you have at your disposal it's worth taking a moment to assess the situation at hand.'

Each level and set-piece really can be tackled in a number of ways, and it probably won't be until you've finished the game for the first time that you realise how you could have done things differently. With all the tools you have at your disposal it's worth taking a moment to assess the situation at hand. While you could charge in guns blazing and grenades flying all over the place, you could also send the holographic you out to the side to catch the eye of the enemies, while you sneak round the left, and stealth kill a number of them from behind. Or you could use another combination of tools to play the section in an entirely different way.

The game literally begs you to play through it again. Although the final confrontation goes overboard slightly in terms of being outnumbered, it really makes you think about what you're doing. It's pretty easy to focus on a couple of tactics for most of the game (at least on the standard difficulty setting), but to bring down the traitor in the big finale you absolutely must play like there's more than one of you on the team. Whether it's the handy mine drop as you're running or the deployable gun turret, by the end of the game you'll want to go back through (on the new Massacre difficulty level no less) and show the Norts who's boss.

While it's cliché to say it, the AI seen in Rogue Trooper really is the best I've seen in some time. Whether it's better than the AI in Halo 2 or F.E.A.R. is open to debate, but it works great. Enemies don't fall for the same stupid traps that they do in most shooters and they'll actively take cover and work as a team to take you down from your concealed position. Even on the lowest difficulty setting they put up a decent fight, and there's a nice variety of troop types that each have their own attacks.

Rogue Trooper impresses visually

Rogue Trooper impresses visually

Having expected very little from the game, it's amazing how many small touches Rebellion have included that raise the quality that bit higher: the animations each time you change your weapon or add a silencer to your gun are brilliant; the nicely explosive gas cylinders that enemies carry on their backs are perfect sniping targets; and throwing grenades while remaining in cover comes in handy on many occasions. The list could go on and on. If appearances are ever likely to deceive you, it'll be with Rogue Trooper. It's a far more intelligent and well designed game than many people will give it credit for.

For a multiplatform title Rogue Trooper impresses technically too. Environments are surprisingly large and levels are diverse, while retaining the feeling of being part of the same Nu Earth location. While PC and Xbox owners will have seen similar large environments before, the PlayStation 2 version really stands out as something rather more unique. It suffers from a bit of slowdown now and again, but only when bodies are rag dolling all over the place and explosions are filling the screen, so it's nothing to be concerned about. Add in 60Hz and widescreen support and you have a great package.

Your experience is bolstered by a strong musical score throughout, and some solid voice work. Some lines come off as a little cheesy, but the frequent comments from your buddies are all excellent, and weapon effects fit nicely with the strong arsenal that doesn't feature a weak link.

There's plenty of action, but you'll have to think a bit too

There's plenty of action, but you'll have to think a bit too

There's plenty of longevity to be gained from replaying through the main campaign, but multiplayer support over LAN or the internet is also available in all three versions, and for a change there's also an option to play against bots. Split-screen multiplayer is also an option in the console versions of the game. The action takes place over a number of large maps and the tactical gameplay translates well to the multiplayer arena, but given the game's less than spectacular early sales, finding opponents online isn't easy.

I don't think I've ever been as surprised as I was with Rogue Trooper. Whether it was down to my general lack of love for comic book inspired video games or the strangeness of the blue lead character, I don't know, but I'm so glad I gave the game a chance. The team at Rebellion have crafted a tactical combat game that hits the target so often, slight wavering now and again can easily be overlooked. It would be easy to dismiss Rogue Trooper as the game where you play as a blue man with a talking gun, helmet and rucksack, but that blue man is one of the greatest video game action heroes.

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Mark

I wasnt expecting this game to be much good either for some reason, probably because was a fan of comic character and just didnt think would hit same heights, but gotta say I thought was a fantastic game, I'm really glad I picked it up in a bargain shop for a couple quid, one of the best games Ive played, really puts you there on nu earth, I just played it on normal difficulty setting but that was good enough for me gave me time to take in the great 2000AD landscapes & visuals although the action even at that level kept me more than occupied, some brilliant levels on trains in sky hoppers etc is just a superb sci-fi shooter Id recommend to everyone, incidentally i thought tom's critique was more than adequate only Id give this game a 9.5/10
Posted 00:53 on 29 September 2008
Get this game!'s Avatar
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Get this game!

You can download this game free from Gametap, Along with Thief 3 and some other good games.
Posted 18:53 on 22 August 2008
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RoBoSlop

Can't what for part 2 & 3 & ?........................
Posted 23:12 on 09 April 2008
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munna

haven't play this game, is it good enough
Posted 16:13 on 17 May 2006
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TomO

Yeah, it's a shame the game hasn't done well at retail. It seems Eidos hardly bothered advertising the game and when the main guy is a blue super soldier, i think some advertising was certainly in order.

You are totally right about the difficulty setting. The game is far better when played through on the Masacre setting. I think lots of people will look at it and see just another third-person shooter, and in a way that is correct, but it does have new ideas and it does all the standard stuff really well. A next-gen sequel would be great, but I'm not holding my breath.
Posted 14:03 on 17 May 2006
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Dipso@ Withheld

I'm no writer so I'm certainly in no position to comment on the literary merits of a game review..nor could I give a **** as long as its informative. Cheers for what I deem a very accurate summary of a game I'm enjoying a lot at the moment. Its a shame the sales are going so badly as I'd like to see a next gen sequel being developed by this team. Its a little too short and a lot of the features really dont shine until you play through it on massacre difficulty but I can't remember the last time I completed a game and wanted to play through it all over again from a different approach, it really is that much fun. Rebellion have done a fantastic job IMHO!
WARNING: Play this on the difficult setting as the normal is very easy.
Posted 13:56 on 17 May 2006
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withheld@ Withheld

Sorry, it was a tad reactionary. I think what I was getting at was that I didn't enjoy reading it. It ticks all the boxes you'd want a competent online review to tick - plenty of explanation, analysis and description - but there's not much flair, or humour, or entertainment value. You can obviously write, but there's hardly any personality coming through. It gives off a feeling of being built from a series of grammatically correct blocks of words.
I guess you're writing to the site's house style, so apologies if you took it personally. But it drives me to despair to see the Gamespot/IGN review style spread so widely across the web. It's informative, and a lot of people would argue that's all you need, but I find myself ploughing through the things as fast as possible to extract the information.
I'm sure the reason these sites like to list plus points and minus points at the start of the review is so people don't need to actually read it. If you can distill a review down to a few bullet points - if you ask your reviewers to do just that - it bleaches the character right out of a piece of writing.
But hey, I read it, and it informed me, so job done I suppose.
Posted 14:26 on 07 May 2006
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TomO

Perhaps you'd care to elaborate on your criticism?
Posted 16:28 on 02 May 2006
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Hmm@ Withheld

I disagree, cornflakes packs are great, whereas the quality and content of this review is amateur. Read through your work!
Posted 16:24 on 02 May 2006
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camstang@ Withheld

what with this cornflakes packet, I use to eat it every morning til now.
Posted 02:25 on 02 May 2006
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Chudlie hawkes@ Withheld

Good game but way way to short
Posted 07:44 on 29 April 2006
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AckBo@ Withheld

Hmm... think i'm going to have to start buying cornflakes again if that's the case.
Posted 14:43 on 26 April 2006
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Withheld

Good god. It's like reading the back of a cornflakes packet.
Posted 14:26 on 26 April 2006

Game Stats

System Requirements
Rogue Trooper
8
Out of 10
Rogue Trooper
  • Hugely satisfying gameplay
  • Great leading character
  • Impressive AI
  • Campaign isn't that long
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 21/04/2006
Platforms: PC , Wii , PS2 , Xbox
Developer: Rebellion
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 6,806 61
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