STAFF REVIEW of Star Renegades (Xbox One)

Monday, March 8, 2021.
by John Elliott

Star Renegades Box art To be honest, I never knew the term Roguelike before I heard it to describe Star Renegades. I’ve played plenty of Roguelike games in the past but must have been living in a shoe to never heard of the term before. Either way, I knew the chances of me loving Star Renegades was high as I love RPGs and it seems I can add roguelikes with RPG elements to that list going forward as well.

Star Renegades takes place in what appears to be there future where your dimension is being invaded by a Dimensional Galactic Empire hellbent on destroying all life it travels to. You as the player is guiding a rag tag band of heroes, scoundrels and misfits to defend your dimension from the invaders. Each run through of the map pits you against various enemies from grunts, mini-bosses and then there is your epic bosses. Not to mention the treasure and secrets about an ancient culture that you find along the way. Not only are you faced with the invading army you also encounter traitors to your dimension who have teamed up with the invaders to hopefully get a seat at their table.

If you haven’t played this type of game before you should know that you’re going to die often throughout all of your runs and this will ultimately play into the overall strategy of the game. As you progress through each playthrough you'll gain more weapons, armor and accessories to help out your heroes. Along the way you will end up recruiting new heroes to the cause as well that bring a host of different abilities to help you in your war. While doing all of this looting and exploring there is the combat element of that game which was quite enjoyable.

If you have played classic turn-based RPG game in the past you’re going to revisit the good old days of turned based glory, although turn based here requires a quite a bit of strategy to taking on your foes and emerge victorious. Using different abilities at your disposal you can manipulate the battlefield to cause your prey to lose shields, staggered to the point they skip their turn which allows you to open up your offense to take out your target. At the same time, your enemy can use similar maneuvers on your team so be quick to shield yourselves or at least plan out the proper tactic to minimize casualties on your side of the field. There is a bit of experimentation here as you mix up your troops to create the optimal team.

There is nine characters with their own set of moves to create this team from and can help you tailor your team to your gameplay style. There is your typical tank, support and hybrid classes that have become a staple in games of this nature. They don’t particularly stand out too much as there isn’t much character development aside from your stereotypical tropes found in RPGs; 'The Empire killed such and such and I am going to save the world!' kind of rhetoric that is pretty much in every RPG.

Although I can say that Star Renegades was an enjoyable game in short bursts, it isn’t a game to sit down and beat in one sitting, as it will most likely cause bouts of rage quitting. The strategy elements combined with the nostalgia factor in the atmosphere of Star Renegades still doesn’t overcome the drain factor of continuous gameplay. This is a game that I feel would be better built into a full-blown RPG, as the strategy and the basis of a story is there but definitely needs to be fleshed out a bit more. Fans of the rougelike genre should enjoy Star Renegades for a bit, but probably wouldn’t go back to it after completing it.

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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