Rogue Singularity is a fast, precision based platformer, but be cautioned, it is very unforgiving. The objective of the game is quite simple. All you need to do is move from one end of the level to the other end. Once you reach that goal, you will fly away to the next level. Of course, it isn’t just a simple walk; you have to jump around on platforms to make it to your destination as well. That still sounds like it would be fairly easy to do though, so why not add crumbling platforms, enemies throwing things at you, various forms of spike traps, flame traps, bottomless pits and all sorts of other nasty surprises waiting for you including a mechanical shark. That’s nothing you are thinking to yourself, sure you will die the first time but next time you play you will know where all the traps and tricks are and it will be a joke! You would be incorrect in that line of thinking! Rogue Singularity is procedurally generated, that means every time you play, the levels are pretty much completely different. I’m not talking just minor little tweaks here and there; I am talking about a whole new level style change!
Status: Early Access
Developer: Considerable Content
Publisher: Considerable Content
Release date: TBA
So as defined above, Rogue Singularity is a fast, precision based platformer that is procedurally generated. It has one more thing that I should mention as well. There is no save feature! When you run out of lives, you go right back to Level 1-1 to a brand new set of levels. Luckily, all the coins and collectables you found carry over to the next run so it isn’t a complete restart. Speaking of collectables, there are four basic categories of items for you to collect as you work your way through the game. Each level has one of four bonus items that are found off to the side of the clear path to the ending of the level. You can find a Battery (which is basically the lives in the game), a robotic part (cosmetic upgrade), a cluster of coins and Robo-medals. While you can easily avoid taking the perilous path to collect these items and just power your way through the level, I find it much more fun to seek them out. Of course this means I end up burning away all my lives before I make it to the end of the game, but hey, at least my Robot is starting to look real stylish.
As mentioned, the game generates a brand new level for you to play each time you restart, so it’s one of those rare few games I really don’t mind replaying. So far I have only managed to make it to World 4, but that was mostly because I felt compelled to get that battery to replace that life I lost, then lost multiple lives trying to get it… bit ironic really when I look back. Each World in the game contains a set of levels that share a unique theme so that you can easily tell you are progressing through the game. The challenges also ramp up considerably as new fiendish traps are added. Of course with it being your first time encountering these traps, odds are they will kill you a few times before you work out exactly how they work. That’s part of the charm of the game.
Luckily, there is a way to help protect yourself from your own failures. There are a variety of power-ups available for you to use to attempt to survive each level. You can select which power up you want to use at the start of each level. You can even go back to the start and change it if you are so inclined. I personally find the Panic Button to be a life saver, if you misjudge your jump, or think you are about to be killed, you can slam the panic button down and be magically, and safely placed back to the start of the level without losing a life. If you prefer, there are also powerups that do such things as give you an extra life, a shield, a grappling hook, reduce your fall rate, etc. just to name a few. Also to aid you in your jumping, you have the ability to double jump (thanks to your rocket boots) as well as wall climb. With the ability to change up your power ups and the levels randomly generating, you will have a whole lot of replay ability happening in this game.
Well the levels keep redesigning themselves, and I can change my power up, but that robot is starting to get boring to look at. Oh my gosh! Would you look at that…the robot is customizable! If you find and collect the robot parts scattered through the various worlds, you will be able to use them to customize your looks. If you are having terrible luck taking on the added challenge of collecting all the bits and pieces, you can also spend your not-so-hard collected coins on robot parts as well. These customizations can be as little as changing your paint colours, and even then you still have four separate paintable areas to customize which leaves you quite a bit of room to tailor your look whether you’re feeling blue or in the pink. You can also change various body parts as well. Your left arm, right arm, legs, torso and head can all be customized. You can mix and match parts or use one of the pre-made themes that become available once you unlock all the parts for it. These parts will drastically change your appearance. Right now I am using a Purple, Pink, Gold and Chrome, Ram’s headed robot with a Dalek-style body, one sharp pointy arm and a pincher on the other side waking around on gear themed legs. I look positively frightful, but I worked hard to find those parts, so I am going to darn well use them.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, “I wish that my friend and I could genuinely compare our speed runs to each other. With us both having different levels, the only reason why they beat it faster than me is that it gave them an easy level and me a hard one. They are totally not better than me!” Well luckily (or unluckily if they still beat you), there is a way for you to find out. You can both share the same seed. That way the level generated will be the same for both of you. You can compete with no excuses to spoil the fun, to see which of you is truly the superior gamer. Alternatively, there are also the speed-run ghosts, weekly challenges and online leaderboards you can check yourself against to see how you measure up alongside the rest of the players.
Graphically, this game looks fantastic. Each level is set to a beautiful backdrop, and each of the level components have enough details that they are never a chore to look at… except maybe the logs… the logs could use a bit of a graphical tweak, but that could just be the fact my computer is starting to get a little old. The voice acting, sound track and sound effects suits the game quite well and so far have not become tiresome. The controls in this game are spot-on precise. Never were my failures caused by control wonkiness. I found the game far easier to control using the good old keyboard and mouse, but the gamepad worked as well.
The only real issue I encountered was caused by a patch; the game had been working flawlessly before that point. That’s part of the fun and frustration of Early Access games though; the game isn’t finished yet and therefore hasn’t had its final layer polish added either. By the next patch, my issue will likely be resolved. Considering the fact the developer responded to my request within a matter of hours, you can really tell the developer is actively listening to its customers and trying to do a good job rather than just rushing it out the door to turn a quick profit. To further that point, upon reading the forums, I discovered they had even fixed an issue someone else had within the same day as it being reported.
Another thing about the game still being in Early Access I believe I should mention is that some small features of the game don’t appear to be fully available yet. Even with that being the case, Rogue Singularity already feels pretty much worth the full purchase price. The main game is already there and you are able with luck, skill and a little perseverance, to reach the ending. Intriguingly, there are still large locked doors in the hub world as well as promises made by the developer that new big features are coming. I actually debated waiting for those new features before submitting this review, but I figured with it being in Early Access, odds are as soon as the next big feature comes out they will announce the next one so I figured now was as good a time to write as any.
So should you get Rogue Singularity? If you are looking for a fast paced, challenging and fun platformer that can be rather unforgiving at times, then you should definitely check Rogue Singularity out. If you like your games to be nearly infinitely replayable and customizable, then again you should check out Rogue Singularity. If you need a game that lets you save scum the challenge, risk and luck away until you blindly blunder your way through each of the stages and beat the boss on your 127th reload… then perhaps this isn’t the game for you. All in all, Rogue Singularity surprised me with how much I enjoyed it considering the fact I generally shy away from games that make me restart from the very beginning each time I play it. Even as a just launched Early Access title, which I admittedly sometimes also shy away from too due to getting burned in the past, it isn’t much of a risk to buy now. Rogue Singularity already feels more finished, polished and well made than many fully launched titles I have played in the past even from AAA developers. 90/100