Guest Author - James Shea
An adaptation of the comic of the same name, "Rogue Trooper" takes the futuristic setting and characters of the comic world and transfers them into a playable form.
Rogue Trooper takes place in the future on "Nu-Earth", a planet contested by two factions: The fascist Norts and the confederate Southers. Due to years of war, the surface of Nu World is poisonous to regular humans; thus, the Southers created the GIs, or Genetic Infantry, who were immune to the planet's toxins. GIs are all implanted with Bio-Chips that will sustain them should they fall in combat. The Bio-Chip can then be transferred to a piece of equipment for another GI. In Rogue Trooper, the main character is Rogue, a GI, and his team consists of three other soldiers, all of whom fall in combat and are put into one of Rogue's pieces of equipment. These characters pretty much define the gameplay.
Gunnar is the trooper put into Rogue's rifle. The rifle is the main (and pretty much only) weapon in the game, but it can be fitted with many attachments. These include a sniper scope, a silencer, and under-barrel weapons like shotguns and grenade launchers. Gunnar can also be deployed remotely as a sentry gun (leaving Rogue with only his pistol). Finally, Gunnar will auto-target enemies and can give an accuracy bonus to Rogue's shots. Bagman is the trooper in Rogue's backpack. The backpack contains robotic arms that will reload Rogue's weapons or give him necessary medical attention (via a syringe full of medical juice), both of which Bagman will do automatically if Rogue needs it. Bagman can also dispense mini-mines, either as controlled demolition or as a proximity mine. Rogue can collect salvage from dead enemy troopers or from scrap piles, which Bagman can convert into ammo and supplies. Bagman can also upgrade Rogue's gear and research new gear, such as grenades of various types. Helm is the trooper in Rogue's helmet. He serves as more of a technical unit; placing Rogue's helmet on a console allows Helm to hack into it. He can also create holographic decoys and make a loud noise to lure sentries over.
Gameplay is mostly run-and-gun.. Besides the rifle and its attachments, weapons in the game include mounted machine guns and rocket launchers, grenades of various types, and a pistol. The Norts are the game's enemies and have many different incarnations, though most share the weakness that they rely on their large oxygen tanks to keep them alive. Hitting them in the tank will make them explode, which can damage other nearby enemies as well. Rogue can take cover behind certain walls and shoot out from behind it. Stealth is also an option in some areas, and it tends to be helpful but not necessary. The game handles pretty well in general.
Voice acting is acceptable, but kind of weak. Gunnar, Bagman, and Helm all talk to Rogue, but the chatter tends to be fairly low-key and not really superbly written. The sound in general wasn't really notable.
As a whole, this is a good shooting game. The setting was neat (and is explored more in encyclopedia entries that are unlocked as you play the game) but the story is pretty much nonexistent (though to be fair it follows the plot of the comic almost exactly). It's a good game, with a lot of neat features, and it's simple enough at that.