Rogue Company Review
With so many different games available on the market, sometimes it can get overwhelming to choose what to play. However, that decision is made somewhat easier by the fact that some games are free-to-play (F2P).
When it comes to F2P games, oftentimes it’s hit or miss; it could end up being a sleeper hit, as evidenced by Apex Legends, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Warzone, among others, or it could fall flat. That said, how does Rogue Company stand among the current pillars of F2P games?
Let’s find out.
1 - Visuals
Playing Rogue Company on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the main thing that stood out was how vibrant the maps and characters were. Regarding the map selection, each of the maps visually felt different. For example, playing on a map in an Italian villa gives off a more relaxed vibe as opposed to playing in a Brazilian favela, which feels more compact and suffocating.
Each character has its own style and color palette, though the palette is usually mixed with more muted colors. It is not uncommon for an entire squad of players to be a shade of white, brown, or grey with hints of louder colors on knee pads, jacket accents, and so on.
That said, what Rogue Company offers – at least visually – works with the game. Nothing stands out in a bad way and the character and level designs fit very well in the game. The weapons are done fairly well too, as each pistol, submachine gun, light machine gun, assault rifle, etc. look different from one another and gives a sense of uniqueness to each loadout.
Overall, Rogue Company’s visuals get three stars.
2 - Audio
Rogue Company’s audio is similar to every other hero shooter on the market: each of the Rogues has its own specific lines of dialogue, depending on what option is chosen on the interaction wheel. The Rogues also sound different enough so that players won’t feel like they are playing the same character, except with a different skin.
Furthermore, the sound effects are done pretty well. Each of the different weapons sounds like they pack a punch and the effects for each of the character’s abilities sound decent too. With footsteps being an integral part of the game, players’ movements are properly conveyed: running and sprinting will cause characters to make a lot of noise, while crouching makes them quieter.
Where the game really stands out – at least regarding audio – is its soundtrack. It is a pleasant surprise to hear Run The Jewels in almost every aspect of the game, from the menu where “Thursday in the Danger Room” can be heard to “Legend Has It” while selecting a character.
Rogue Company’s audio mixing gets three-and-a-half stars.
3 - Story/Progression
As a strictly multiplayer game, Rogue Company does not have a story per se. Instead of having a traditional story, each of the characters have their own backstory, akin to Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. Even then, the Rogue’s backstory is oftentimes a two-sentence paragraph about who they are and what they do.
(Side note: each Rogue has a “bio” tab available on the character select screen. However it is not accessible as of writing. )
Moreover, the more a player uses a Rogue, the more they naturally progress with the character, unlocking new emotes, sprays and other cosmetic items. Should a player reach max level, they can use “Reputation” – currency earned from matches or daily contracts – to purchase new Rogues. A player can also use “Rogue Bucks,” the game’s version of premium currency, to purchase the aforementioned items though most things can be unlocked by simply playing the game.
With a new Rogue introduced seemingly every season, players have more incentive to keep coming back to the game.
Rogue Company’s story and progression gets two-and-a-half stars.
4 - Gameplay
Rogue Company’s gameplay is fairly straightforward: depending on the game mode, players must either plant the bomb, take out enemy combatants or a mixture of both. A similar set of game modes is seen in other third-person and first-person shooters, though this time, it’s capped to eight total players.
While this might seem off-putting at first, especially for players used to playing against six or more players, the smaller team-based games do lend themselves to more intimate and quicker matches. Additionally, having smaller teams allows players to be more deliberate with their actions and communication, as one wrong move could spell disaster for the squad.
What’s more, having the players buy and equip weapons, perks, armor, etc. at the start of each round – similar to Valorant – as opposed to before the match is an interesting mechanic. Each character has their own specific set of weapons, grenades, perks, etc. that they can outfit to become more effective. Choosing a specific character class, as having a proper mix of “defenders,” “breachers,” “intels,” “duelists,” “snipers,” and “supporters” is key to victory.
Because the amount of money a player has is dependent on how many downs, kills and bomb plants they have, it gives the player more of an incentive to perform well. As a result, players will have to be very mindful of what weapons, equipment and perks they purchase, as selecting the wrong combination could make for a very quick game.
Rogue Company’s gameplay gets three-and-a-half stars.
5 - Context
In a time when inclusivity and diversity are being brought to the forefront, perhaps one of Rogue Company’s strongest aspects is how diverse the character list is. Of the 18 Rogues currently available, eight of them are women, with a handful of them being people of color. As a whole, about half of the Rogues are people of color.
Not only that, but prior to the game’s release, developer Hi-Rez Studios announced that it would be partnering with esports organization 100 Thieves for in-game outfits and weapon skins. Also, popular streamer “Dr. Disrespect” designed a map and has various cosmetic pieces available in the game as well.
As a whole, Rogue Company appears to be doing well, especially as a free-to-play title; in December 2020, Hi-Rez announced the game had reached 15 million players in just three months after its release, though no other data is available regarding the number of daily players. At one point, Stewart Chisam – CEO of Hi-Rez – announced that more people played Rogue Company in a 24-hour span than any Hi-Rez game before.
Rogue Company’s context gets four stars.
By all accounts, Rogue Company has everything some players want – good graphics, solid tunes, familiar gameplay mechanics, and a diverse selection of characters – and nothing that they don’t. The lack of fleshed-out character backstories makes the game feel bland at times, as apart from their individual quips and quotes, there doesn’t feel to be any uniqueness between the characters.
In all, Rogue Company is not the best game, but it is not the worst either. In a way, it strikes a very fine balance by just being a solid game. Does it hold a candle to current free-to-game pillars currently available on the market? In some ways, like ease of playability, it does. But in other ways like customization and personality? No.
As far as anyone is concerned though, Rogue Company is an adequate alternative for gamers looking for a game to play with friends. Sometimes, that’s all anyone can really ask for.