Risk of Rain (2014) is a running, jumping and fighting game where you defeat hordes of monsters and the difficulty steadily increases the longer you survive as you try to scavenge the parts to make a way back home. When you die, you start over but do keep some of your items and upgrades, allowing you to progress slightly further each time. This try-til-you-die-then-try-again loop, paired with hundreds of weapons, upgrades and a host of different character classes, leads to the necessity for ambitious experimentation and expert strategies.
In the far future, transporting goods through space on massive trains has become commonplace. You play the sole survivor of one such rain after it crash-lands on a desolate planet. You work to build the teleportation device to get you home by searching the surrounding landscape for parts and braving the deadly monsters patrolling the surface.
You run and jump across the 10 unique landscapes, dodging chasms and traps, using various long and short-range weapons to defeat the groups of enemies and tougher monsters you encounter in exchange for valuable items that help you progress. When you die, you start again at the beginning but get to keep the weapons, upgrades, and other extras, such as new characters with different abilities, you find to use in subsequent runs, allowing you to get slightly further every time. As you play you also find logs and ancient items and scrolls which reveal the mysterious history of the planet.
While each area has its own enemies and items within, each time you play, the stages are randomised, and using the knowledge you gain to develop, adapt and iterate on clever and ambitious strategies for progressing is essential to success. By playing with up to three other people online, you can share strategies and work together to execute even the most difficult of plans.
The result is a unique take on the roguelike genre that combines it with challenging platforming and demands precision, practice and strategy to overcome the odds and make it back home. The sequel, Risk of Rain 2
combines similar roguelike shooting elements with a 3D environment and more powerful attacks and abilities, while a remake, Risk of Rain Returns, was announced in December 2022.
Risk of Rain (2014) PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch.
Risk of Rain 2 (2019) PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
Risk of Rain Returns (2023) PC and Nintendo Switch.
Our examiner, Ben Kendall
, first checked Risk of Rain a year ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 3 weeks ago.