Pylon: Rogue takes 5 buttons on your keyboard, and your mouse, and somehow makes an in-depth roguelike version of Diablo without pissing me off.
Select your dude or lady dude, go into a randomly generated level, collect gems. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Buy equipment. Don’t die. These are the basics of Pylon: Rogue, and, it’s pretty much your standard Roguelike formula. The game is so light on story I don’t even care that the characters have silly names or abilities. I would say this is a far different game than Rogue Stache, though both are inspired by Rogue, so that’s cool.
The graphics have this weird feeling of being really good, but really bland at the same time. I don’t care about having a knight wearing all gold, but having a shaved head and no distinct characteristics. “Looticus Maximus” just seems kinda boring to me, and the archer and Golem (affectionately named “Rokk”) are roughly the same. (I’m still working on unlocking the 4th character, the assassin, though, she too looks very bland.) There’s nothing wrong with this, I just… really appreciate being able to look at my character and feel that they’re worthy of the abilities that they have. Your mileage may vary, but, I felt like I was looking at a guy who should be working as a mall security guard instead of a knight. If the gameplay were as dorky and self-referential as the characters, I think the tone would work better.
The audio was fine, music stays in the background, and you’ll hear the same chittering and growling sounds from the zombie enemies in the desert level enough that it’ll be kind of annoying, but, it’s nothing terrible. AAA titles have done much worse with much larger teams.
The game utilized your standard WASD move system and left click for attack, right click for defensive move, and then you press your 1 key for awesome special super funtime powerup attacks. This whole system seems really basic, and… it is. Except, you can just hold down your left click mid-clickfest to use a charged attack, and that changes the whole darn combo. The ultimate attacks require scrolls, which drop in levels, but are really expensive in the store, so, they’re definitely not something to spam. They all are VERY powerful and make your character seem like a badass, so, I’m not mad that they’re “expensive” to use.
The melee characters definitely get the short end of the stick when it comes to survivability, but the idea of wading knee-deep into a bunch of bugs and mummies with a sword and shield kind of make that seem realistic. The game’s punishing, but overall I believe that intelligent play will help you survive, as I haven’t seen anything you cannot just… avoid, provided you react quickly and fight defensively.
As you play, you unlock powerups you can find in the world the next time you play through. And, you’ll be playing it over and over if you want to beat it. Enemies are brutal, and they will just gang up on you like you’re the kid wearing red sweatpants in 4th grade, so, using your defensive moves to avoid getting beat up is not just smart, it’s really your only option.
Each class plays sufficiently differently, and, while the control scheme seems like it would be limiting, you’ll find that each class not only plays differently, but requires different tactics and skills to play well. Not only are there class differences, but equipment differences for each class, so, your Moneydin can sword and board, or dual shield, changing his abilities entirely. This is really awesome, because it lets you get a lot more mileage out of each class by trying out their different weapon sets. (Which have to be unlocked.) Although it says the Moneydin (C’mon, just call him a Paladin…) is the easiest class, I think the Archer (named, “Miss Underhood”) is more user friendly. Just dodge-rolling everywhere and shooting things with arrows is much easier, especially if you’ve spent endless hours in Dark Souls cheesing enemies with a bow and action-rolling like Captain Kirk.
The game is a pretty version of Binding of Issac that had bred with Diablo and created some sort of insane non-demonic baby somehow. The gameplay is fun, but super difficult, and you’ll find certain enemies annoying and definitely will feel like levels can sometimes be too long or that healing items will cost too much. That being said, if you’re a fan of the genres and are looking for a challenge, this game fits the bill. It’s a little faster paced than you’d imagine watching the trailer. I was certainly surprised by how much input I had to put in, and it’s fun.
Disclosure: We received this game for free
Developed and Produced by: Quantum Squid Interactive