When the original Risk of Rain launched ten years ago it became an instant classic. Its minimalist retro-graphics and nearly endless rogue-like grind struck a chord with gamers everywhere. Following Risk of Rain’s success, fans were treated to a sequel that took the action into the third-person shooter realm and fleshed out some of the concepts from the first game even further. Now, the team at Hopoo Games are getting ready to revisit their original title and integrate some of what they learned making their sequel with the upcoming Risk of Rain Returns.
At its core, this is still the same game you may recall fondly from a decade ago. You’re a survivor on a desolate planet who must escape by collecting power-ups and weapons and taking out anything in your path. If you make it through the gauntlet of enemies, find the warp pad, and take out whatever giant boss monster is waiting for you there, you can make your way to the next challenge.
What’s new for Risk of Rain Returns though is a number of upgrades that includes a few new playable characters, improved multiplayer functionality, and a few other features. While I wasn’t able to check out any of the new characters during our hands-on time with at GDC 2023, I did get some time in a 4-player co-op game. While it’s admittedly been a minute or two since I’ve dived into the game, it is still very much the Risk of Rain I remember. Although my multiplayer experience did feel a bit snappier than it had back in the day.
And while I wasn’t able to experience it first-hand, a new Providence Trials mode was recently announced as well. This mode will feature a bunch of mini-games each focused on a different survivor that’s been given a certain set of abilities. Each challenge will vary and could involve things like destroying a certain number of enemies or climbing your way up platforms.
Risk of Rain Returns is taking a classic indie title and breathing new life into it and you will never hear me complain about taking a great game and making it even greater. This isn’t looking to reinvent the wheel, it’s just tweaking things and making some improvements that fans should appreciate. If you liked the original version of Risk of Rain, odds are you’re going to enjoy Risk of Rain Returns when it launches on Nintendo and PC later this year.
This review is based on a hands-on preview during a GDC 2023 event put on by Nintendo. Risk of Rain Returns is set to launch in 2023 for Nintendo Switch and PC, but does not have an official launch date as of the time this article was written.