Rogue Company Review
(full review further down)
Rogue Company is this generation's SOCOM for the modern era. With fun, interactive maps, and energetic and funny characters, there isn't a whole lot wrong with this free-to-play experience. After a dozen hours though, you'll wish there were more game modes and better weapon selection among characters. Hopefully this changes as the developers are always busy adding new content with each update.
The Ultimate Founder's Pack download content doesn't have quite the lasting appeal. There isn't enough content to justify the asking price, but if you're only interested in the new characters, the cheaper Founder's Packs are definitely a well-priced option for that.
+ Characters, interactive maps, gameplay.
+/- Weapons, game modes.
- Not enough of anything overall, limited game modes.
When I first started up Rogue Company by the developers at First Watch Games and Hi-Rez Studios, I didn't quite know what to expect. I actually hadn't heard of the game and quickly learned it was a four-versus-four, third-person shooter with some form of tactical mechanics involved-- and a free-to-play on top of that. Now I'm not against free-to-play games, but I don't actually expect much from them either. Especially when they start limiting items and gameplay to coax the player into purchasing microtransactions for more play.
Interestingly enough Rogue Company isn't built around that pay-to-play/win model --though it does have its share of -truly optional- microtransactions. You'll have a full experience without a single purchase if you'd like to go that route. In fact, the launch edition feels similar to a full-priced title than any other F2P shooter in recent memory. From Rogue Company's beautifully designed and multi-faceted nine maps, diverse weaponry and abilities, to the fun and energetic characters and their abilities, there's a lot to love in this free package.
I quickly forgot the premise of Rogue Company --something about a band of mercenaries sent out to kill each other and finish objectives for money. This is a multiplayer experience; gameplay is king, and that's what shines here. The game starts everyone out on a proverbial level playing field by giving each player a pistol, melee weapon and a few dollars to spend how you see fit. Depending on who you choose as your character, you'll also have various abilities and perks too. Each round begins with you and your team in an airplane flying over the map with a few seconds to purchase weapons, grenades and more with the starter allowance before jumping. Now don't get worried-- this money isn't coming out of your wallet in any form; and you can only earn more by completing objectives, tasks and downing enemies.
So far nine maps have been released alongside the base game, and I have to say that they're pretty well laid out for the three types of game modes currently available to play.
Just be mindful of which character you choose in the lobby and be quick. You may be attracted to the cool looks of a certain character, but they may not have the weapon loadout that you're comfortable with. Each character has two locked-in main weapons that are specified for them. So if you choose a character that's a sniper class, you'll only have a sniper and their secondary weapon to purchase. However, taking down enemies during the round will give you the opportunity to switch your weapon with theirs, but that's only for the remainder of that round.
So far nine maps have been released alongside the base game, and I have to say that they're pretty well laid out for the three types of game modes currently available to play. Each map is high in quality with amazing graphics and smooth textures. You'll be battling it out anywhere from a dusty, old warehouse to a futuristic city or even a village by the ocean. What's neat are the maps' interactive portions, that if you don't watch out for you may miss entirely. Ziplines, locking doors, and breakable windows all give you the advantage if you know how to utilize them properly; and that can really put a twist in your gameplay and leave the other team scrambling to figure out your next move. I was just sitting there, getting lost in the moment, shooting up bad guys, collecting their weapons and grenades, having a really good time and didn't realize I was playing all night, every night for the first week. The game is that engaging. And what I like most is each round is short and sweet. No round lasted longer than five minutes, allowing me to get right back into the action if I had a perma-death.
Right now there are currently only three different game modes to choose from:
Demolition: This game mode consists of two target locations on the map, with one team attempting to plant a bomb and the other team trying to defuses it.
Extraction: This game mode has each team fighting for control over neutral zones.
Strikeout: Both teams start with a limited number of respawns and battle it out to eliminate the other team's numbers.
Unfortunately, there isn't much besides those three modes except a ranked Demolition, which really limits the game in many ways. On top of that each mode feels similar to the other, by which I mean you don't even have to do the objectives. You can opt out and just kill the other team and still win.
I never thought I'd say something like this, especially at a free-to-play experience, but I think Rogue Company is the modern day SOCOM we've all waited years to play.
Luckily there are character-based assignments to complete along your way to help Rogue Company's longevity. With a list of Awards to accomplish, you can work on personal assignments during the multiplayer, as well. These assignments range from 'winning 100 matches' to 'reviving a total of 100 players.' These little extras allow you to always have something to work toward rather than just the kill.
What's really refreshing with Rogue Company is the fact that the developers are always adding more to spice up the game and keep it fresh, with some free content and some paid. I had a chance to test out the Ultimate Founder's Pack expansion that's currently on sale for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and the Epic Store.
The Ultimate Founder's Pack includes:
6 FREE ROGUES + SQUAD UNLOCKED
RARE SPRAY - FOUNDER
EPIC EMOTE - SUPERSTAR DANCE
RARE OUTFIT - SPEED DEMON RONIN
EPIC WRAP - SOLAR FLARE
6 ADDITIONAL ROGUES
- VY, LANCER, SCORCH, TALON
- GL1TCH, FUTURE NEW ROGUE
RARE OUTFIT - EXTERMINATION (CHALKED UP) CHAAC
EPIC OUTFIT - NIGHT RUNNER LANCER
RARE SPRAY - CHALKED SPRAY
EPIC EMOTE - LEG DAY DANCE
1500 ROGUE BUCKS
These additions are generally aesthetic and won't allow you or the competitors to have any unfair advantages during any given match. The new characters are pretty cool --my favorite being G1itch who looks like someone you'd see from Watchdogs. The new emotes, outfit, weapon skins and sprays you can tag across the maps are fun, but I don't think they justify the current price point of $60. However, when I get enough fun out of any free-to-play game, sending a little love in the form of my own out-of-pocket money toward the developers makes it feel earned. There are Standard and Starter Founder's Packs available at a much lower price that come with less content but includes the extra characters-- if that's all you care about.
I never thought I'd say something like this, especially to a free-to-play experience, but I think Rogue Company is the modern day SOCOM we've all waited years to play. It's intense, energetic and always action packed. Each round is short enough to where it never feels like it drags or slows down. If the developers would beef up the game a little more, add a few extra game modes, and allow weapon selection among any character, I strongly believe Rogue Company would be the best free-to-play, four-versus-four, third-person shooter currently on the market. I've already put over a dozen hours into what little there is to chew on, and I can't wait to go back for more. I highly recommend playing this game.
A game code was provided for the Ultimate Founder's Pack for review from the publisher for Xbox One.