Risk of Rain 2: A Happy & Action-Packed 2 Years

Risk of Rain 2: A Happy & Action-Packed 2 Years


Risk of Rain 2 celebrates its two-year anniversary. What is Risk of Rain 2, and is it worth jumping into now?

What is Risk of Rain?

Risk of Rain 2 is the action-survival, roguelike sequel from Hopoo Games and Gearbox Publishing. The second game has many things in common with the original; from playable characters (referred to as “survivors”), to massive monsters. However, the sequel has made a name for itself since coming to Early Access on Steam in 2019. 

The first Risk of Rain came out in 2013. It became known for its hectic and procedurally generated maps and formulaic “runs”. First, players are tasked with the ever-increasingly difficult challenge of killing monsters for money. Then, they use the money to purchase items. Finally, they activate the boss encounter, fighting and surviving to move on. The game has a cast of interesting survivors with unique and varied playstyles; including the sword-wielding Mercenary and the robotic Mul-T. Playthroughs are usually only an hour or so. Due to the procedurally generated loot and bosses, no two runs are ever the same.

Pixelated Commando fighting a gigantic "Overloading Magma Worm," with the text "Find the teleporter."

Risk of Rain 2, A New Look

Risk of Rain 2 officially released on April 11, 2020 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. It has lived up to its predecessor’s reputation. The goal is simple: battle and escape from a chaotically hostile planet while surviving against unrelenting, frenzied monsters. You can do this by yourself or with your friends in co-op.

Risk of Rain 2 brought back many favourites, like the bow-wielding Huntress, and the surprisingly bouncy purple lizard-dog Acrid. In addition to the playable characters, returning gamers of the original will also recognize other staples. Many locations and bosses from the first game, as well as many items have made it into the sequel. Both allow solo run and co-op. Despite their many similarities, Risk of Rain 2 has some major differences. 

The most noticeable difference is perspective. Risk of Rain was originally a charming and retro pixelated two-dimensional side scroller with various raised platforms. Your survivor was a collection of colourful pixels in a sea of other colourful pixels bent on your destruction.

However, Hopoo Games reimagined it as a third-person, three-dimensional game. What this means is simply that the camera is rotatable around your character at a fixed distance. This completely changed the gameplay, while retaining its focus on the intense, chaotic, roguelike, action the series is famous for.

Survivor Acrid looking out over the floating islands Sky Meadows.

The sequel also includes a new survivor not brought over from the original game, the fan-inspired Captain. 

Risk of Rain 2: Two-Year Anniversary Update

As of March 25, 2021, Risk of Rain 2 celebrates its two-year anniversary and has released a huge update for the game. This update includes new enemies, a new survivor (the rootin’, tootin’, shotgun shootin’ Bandit), and major changes to gameplay. If you haven’t already grabbed this game, now is a perfect time to pick it up. With this game, it just gets better with friends.

Photo of the Bandit

Challenges and Rewards

One of the most attractive features of Risk of Rain 2 is its expansive list of unlockable rewards and achievements. I have been playing on and off for nearly two years, and still have a lot to see and find.

The game does start you off with a sizeable collection of goodies; including the Commando and Huntress (as of the Anniversary Update), and a long list of items.

The game has a lot to it, with unlockable survivors, items, and stages; it can be a bit overwhelming at first, and you will die… a lot. Playthroughs may come to an abrupt end at the hand of yet another giant jellyfish who really should stop exploding. Despite dying a few times, you will slowly and surely unlock more and more content.

The unlocked content is varied; it includes new playable characters like the Captain or Engineer, powerful items like the Ceremonial Daggers, or new survivor abilities. Discovering and unlocking these are their own challenges, and is half the fun of playing the game.

An in-game tab of unlocked items, including a 7 mysterious ones locked and unavailable.

The developers have been actively creating and modifying the various environments of the game. The game currently has a total of 18 environments for you to discover. They are largely split into 8 distinct groups: Stages 1-5, the Final Stage, Hidden Realms, and Looped Stages.

Each Environment is large and unique, containing various distinct landmarks, special enemies, and their own hidden grottos. From the towering, idyllic peaks of Distant Roost, to the frozen outpost of Rallypoint Delta, to the Bazaar Between Time.

Celebrating the Two-Year Anniversary of an Ambitious Game Done Well

Risk of Rain 2 is a bold and ambitious game from a small and capable team. With only two other games under their belt, Risk of Rain 2 is a monumental success. The game is well-worth getting for its dozens of secrets and challenges, and gameplay that inspires hours of the ‘just-one-more-run’ mentality. With 11 survivors and more to come, you’re sure to find one that works for you.

Additionally, with their announcement of the 2-year anniversary, Hopoo Games forecasted their first Expansion, slated for late 2021. The expansion will contain a large amount of immediate content, as well as more in the future. The content will include new survivors, bosses, enemies, items, stages, game modes, and more.

There is still plenty of time to pick the game up and see all that it has in store.

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