Based upon one of the three members of 2000 AD’s holy trinity of anti-heroes, Rogue Trooper Redux is a welcome re-release of a sadly often overlooked adaptation. Following (with some pragmatic edits) the story of the last genetically modified infantryman, Rogue, hunting down the general who betrayed his species, the tale works the best of modern and classic stories into itself.
More pressingly though, while it is clear that TickTock Games was loyal to the comics, their focus was always placed on developing a brilliantly innovative game. While it certainly leans towards run ‘n gun mechanics, there are always more options for stealth assassinations or setting up ambushes through use of the environment, enemy weaknesses and a few unique quirks of your equipment. Because several pieces of your equipment are sentient, this means you can set up your helmet to distract a patrolling squad, leave your rifle as a mobile gun turret, and have your backpack hack a backdoor into their base. All while you sneak about quietly picking them off one by one.
While the levels themselves are obviously scripted to have you follow a single general path, Rogue Trooper hides this surprisingly well. The various environments maintain a better illusion of open terrain than many modern games, and they rarely make the mistakes commonly found in limiting the player to narrow corridors. This means that there’s a surprisingly high level of replay value in previous stages when it comes to trying fun new ways to murder Space Nazis.
Unfortunately, Rogue Trooper’s inescapable sin is down to being noticeably long in the tooth. While it was certainly ahead of its time, ten years and two console generations will make any release look long in the tooth. Many of the core aspects it helped to push forward have unfortunately been better refined and reworked in games since. So, elements such as a few lengthy turret segments or even the cinematography of certain cutscenes will still mark it as a dated release.
Even without this, however, Rogue Trooper does have the unfortunate habit of sticking to more repetitive run and gun segments. While other games might break up the core gameplay with unique mechanics or one-off minigames, it offers little to liven them up outside of its (admittedly quite large) standard bag of tricks.
Ultimately, how much enjoyment you will get out of this game will stem from how forgiving you are of its age. If you can still pick up PlayStation 2 era third-person shooters and still feel the thrill of blasting through small armies with moments of nuanced tactics, then Rogue Trooper is definitely a game for you.
ROGUE TROOPER REDUX / DEVELOPER: TICKTOCK GAMES / PUBLISHER: REBELLION / PLATFORMS: PS 4, XBOX ONE, PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW