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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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‘Risk of Rain Returns’ to the scene

Hopoo Games releases another installment of their rogue-lite series
Fair use from Hopoo Games

On Nov. 8, exactly 10 years after the original rogue-lite was released, “Risk of Rain Returns” was released by Hopoo Games. “Risk of Rain Returns” is a remaster of the original “Risk of Rain” that aims to give the experience of the original while being improved, as the development team has grown better and more efficient over the years. The game succeeds in many ways, and it still evokes the same curiosity in me as the original did years ago.

The game is almost identical to the original game. However, there is a ton of new content and old content that was improved. For example, in the original game when one wants to move on from a stage, they have to go back through and end the life of every little creature before they can. That can take around five minutes for someone to scavenge around looking for the final lemurian or wisp. That no longer exists in the remaster, and I greatly appreciate it. Not only are old features changed, but there is plenty of new content that can amuse any old players. With three new characters and plenty of alternative abilities for characters from the original, there is a lot of variety for play. 

The biggest piece of new content, though, has to be the “Providence Trials.” These trials are a bunch of added content that, while framed as challenges, actually wears many more hats. One of the main functions of some of these trials is teaching the player how to use certain character abilities, from the parachute of the Pilot to the toxic bubbles from Acrid. That doesn’t mean they can’t be there for difficulty or just for fun. For example, the trial “Get Off My Lawn” is there to challenge the player to manage resources while optimizing speed.

In the “Risk of Rain” games, there are almost no cutscenes and there are very few moments to learn the story of the game while one is playing. However, that doesn’t mean the story isn’t well thought out and takes the back seat. In 453 lore logs, that range from short letters between characters and delivery documents, a story akin to old Greek Tragedies is weaved. From a simple delivery of a stuffed animal all the way to the mutual destruction of two brothers at odds with each other, they take great care to build the world and atmosphere.

I’ve found music in video games tends to be overlooked and not seen as important as other things in the game. However, the composer, Chris Christodoulou, has made the soundtrack of all three installments of the series so profound that it is almost impossible not to talk about it. The main goal of the soundtrack was to remaster the original sound, and it sounded amazing. The grittiness from the original soundtrack still exists, such as in “Double F***ing Rainbow,” where you can just feel the bitcrush coursing through your body. The soundtrack definitely has its moments, where the style changes to more Christodoulou’s current style. For example, in the song “Coalescence Returns,” there is a style change that has the vocals of Maria Papageorgiou and active sampling of a weather forecast. All of that on top of a ukulele solo, which the community has been waiting for 10 years, leads to a captivating song that leaves the listener satisfied.

In conclusion, the remaster is definitely really good for what it set out to do. It solved a ton of issues from the original release while adding new content that fits the tone of the game. If you are looking for a game to decompress to, I would say “Risk of Rain Returns” is a perfect fit. The series has kept me and many other people going over the past decade and “Risk of Rain Returns” most certainly fits in with the rest of the games.

“Risk of Rain Returns”: ★★★★★

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About the Contributor
Serena Bovee, Copy Editor
Greetings all, my name is Serena and this will be my third year working on this publication. I am one of the condemned copy editors working on the Echo this year. In my free time, I partake in listening to some of my revered music. From the works of the late Dimitri Shostakovich all the way to the new and looming artist Chris Christodoulou. When I’m not doing that I am probably sifting through the petrichor while promenading through Saint Louis Park.

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