Earlier this week Rogue Company started its closed beta, though it’s really closer to early access. The upcoming free-to-play game can currently be accessed through a wide variety of easily obtained access codes or by buying one of a handful of editions that give additional characters and cosmetics. Since this summer has been rather slow, once you move past a couple high profile releases, complete with people staying inside because of the virus, there are a lot of reasons to check out this experience, but should you?
Since Rogue Company is considered a beta, it unsurprisingly is missing a wide variety of features. Currently there are no rewards for leveling, in-game currency does nothing besides buy characters and basically without cosmetics besides a small handful you can obtain from things like buying a specific edition or PlayStation Plus. Though, we do know some of this stuff is coming. Yesterday a roadmap was revealed that shows a new map and penalties will be added, with ranked, a new character and cosmetics will make an appearance sometime later, with the year ending with a battle pass and more. As a result, this makes it hard to be fully engaged in but a lot easier to appreciate what Rogue Company actually is.
Now, full disclosure, despite being in a beta, it’s a rough build. Given this is a four versus four team based shooter, I actually played more games where I started down a player, typically due to some kind of error with matchmaking, putting my team at a distinct disadvantage. Often times someone else will leave and my choices are struggle and almost certainly lose to another team or just leave myself. And, as the beta continues to gain more players and following last night’s update, the problem has increased. Given how important this functionality actually is, it will be corrected at some point in the future, otherwise I guarantee Rogue Company will never find an audience.
As for the experience itself, it is rather divisive to say the least. Where a good number of comments suggest some people see this as a possible contender for the next big thing, I find it hard to see Rogue Company as anything more than a rather forgettable ‘hero’ shooter. Like, there is a clearly diverse and interesting cast of characters, though access will limit the cast to about half and most people flock to the same characters due to their build. Eventually this will improve as people obtain more characters, though it’s hard to say if characters like Gl1tch, Vy, Phantom and Dima will find success in the long term.
Right now, one of the biggest struggles is making matches feel dynamic. Since characters have predetermined gear, I find most people stick to characters with more advantageous weapons over skills. For example, Anvil is immune to EMP, disorient, slow and blind effects, yet of the 20+ games I played only one person actually used a flashbang and despite fighting a number of Trench characters, only a couple actually threw down his barbed wire grenade. This will likely get better over time as players learn the advantageous and disadvantages of each character, but for now it’s a lot of Ronin’s using SL-C or Lancer with 24S.
Similar things can be said about the cash based upgrade system. Every match, based off your performance and other factors, you’re awarded some amount of cash. However, there are very few instances where you need to adapt and most times you pick the same upgrade paths. Like, very few people opt to use the side arm, most will pick up a weapon if they run out of ammo and since you can’t carry two primary weapons, it’s a pretty linear path. You’ll almost always start by unlocking your favorite primary weapon, followed by whatever perks help your team the most. This might be grenades, additional health, radar, quick revive or whatever. There is very little in terms of thinking what the enemy has and then adapting your build to overcome their tactics and a lot more like knowing you’re the healer and opting for quick revives or using traps, which is unfortunate to say the least.
Ultimately, this is the impression Rogue Company leaves. It has its moments, even the worst games I’ve ever played have that, it just doesn’t do anything different enough or offers enough of a change to make it feel memorable. Most games come down to the same core tactics, the average player plays most of the characters the same exact ways, there are very few changes and there are many games that do many of the aspects better. This might improve over time, Fortnite certainly did, but that spark that makes a new game exciting to experience just isn’t here.