Rogue Trooper dropped onto PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC back in 2006. It brought cover-based shooting to consoles, predating Gears of War which is recalled for using this most famously. As part of the 2000 AD comic book strip from Dave Gibbons and Gerry Finley-Day of the same name is Rogue Trooper. This was a thinking man’s shooter. And in 2017, Rebellion with TickTock Games has resurfaced the game in a remastered package known as Rogue Trooper Redux that breathes new life into a game two console generations old.
The opening sequence is reminiscent of scenes you’d see in World War II and Vietnam documentaries. Amid an endless war, a poison-filled planet called Nu-Earth sees the end of a species right before our protagonist’s eyes, Rogue. Heroically, we see Rogue’s friends die honorable deaths: Helm, Gunnar, and Bagman. Before they expire, Rogue is able to rip their biochips out of their heads and keep them alive through his helmet, weapon, and backpack. And across thirteen missions, they will aid Rogue throughout his journey for survival and revenge. While updated, the cover system feels finicky, but it’s over-the-shoulder aiming helps compensate in that regard.
Rogue Trooper Redux is a linear third-person shooter in open spaces with near endless firefights with variety keeping things fresh. While the game is very action-oriented, stealth is a recommended option. But enemies seem to detect you from a mile away, before you get the chance to do much with it. You get a lot of weapons throughout your time, but it is hard to shuffle through weapons in the thick of things. The health system remains innovative, with the ability to regenerate up to half your health, but require to use med packs to restore to full health. You must scour fallen enemies for gear and currency. If you find salvage piles, you can use this for crafting in addition to your ammo.
Having played the Switch version, the performance is great, with a smooth framerate and visuals that don’t look from the PlayStation 2 / Xbox era. The enhancements do a great job of covering up the rough edges. The dialogue and voiceover isn’t great, but it has its heart in the right place. Control-wise, I feel like the Switch doesn’t feel the best designed for this. Having only played it in handheld mode, the controls felt muddy despite altering settings.
Rogue Trooper Redux sees the resurrection of online for the game by offering an online co-op available for 2-4 players. Returning players can hike up the difficulty, but new players can play on the new easy mode to get a handle on the game before ratcheting it up.
Rogue Trooper Redux is a nice throwback to an era that’s long since passed, but despite its updates, is still held back by the limitations of the original design. Though, I can’t discredit the mechanics and systems throughout the campaign, and the updates done to bring it to the modern era. It does not look like a PS2 game by any means. If you haven’t played it before, it is worth seeing the innovations and mechanics that this carved a path for others to follow. Now, I would rather have seen a sequel, but I think the sales of this are likely to justify whether that cliffhanger ending is worth following up on.
A pre-release Nintendo Switch eShop code was provided by the publisher for review purposes