Closer look at Pylon: Rogue - an aRPG by QuantumSquid
Pylon: Rogue is an Action-RPG where the player is constantly moving, hacking and slashing through groups of monsters in the search for... well, we don't want to spoil it for you! You have just 1 life to make it to the end. How does that work? Well, let's have a closer look!
The game is installed over Steam and will take up about 2.5 GB of your drive. Since the release about 2 weeks ago, only 1 hotfix has been released. Steam is generally positive about the game.
When you log into Pylon: Rogue, you are greeted by a "Caching Resources" screen, which seems a bit odd so early in the game. After that, you come to the main menu where you certainly would want to visit the options section immediately, to make sure you are running in a proper resolution. While you are in the video settings, you can see a whole range of other switches and sliders. You will be searching forever for an "Apply" button, as it is not there, because changes are applied upon pressing "Escape". Be sure that you know what you are doing as there is no backing out of it.
Otherwise, it is good to see so many options available, although you need to understand the typical gaming video vocabulary with "SSAO" and "Screen Space Reflection" - alternatively, it will be trial and error for you. The audio settings allow for individual volume adjustments for SFX, music, ambient and even footsteps. Well done. The control settings are OK, does everything one would expect.
Back in the main menu, you can start a new run, continue a previous run and show your unlocks. Upon starting a new run, you can choose from four different classes
- Stone Golem
Additionally, you will need to select a weapon, unique to each class. More weapons become available over time.
When first loaded into the game, you will be placed in an area where you can move around, to select a level. You will have to unlock nodes to progress. Entering a node will show you a set of doors, which each lead to a room, guarded by one or move waves of enemies. Those need to be slain to progress to the next room. Slaying enemies requires a precise mastery of the skills are your disposal. Don't expect that you can just keep spamming your attack key to cleave your way through the masses. It's much more a skillful combination of your abilities. Choose between attack, block or get out of harms way. Precise timing of your skills, combined with precise movement are key.
Upon clearing a room, frequently there is a treasure chest to be found. Chest can contain crystals, usable items or gear. Some chests need a key to be unlocked, which you may buy in shops, or find. Keys seems to be universal and unlock all chest, but they disappear after use. A truly magical world. You can stay in the room to collect any loot, shoot all destructible objects for some extra crystals, or move on to the next room. If you die - well, you have to start all over again.
After you cleared a room, it's back to the node again, to select another room. Once all rooms are cleared, you can go back to the main overview area.
Movement is done using the WASD keys, while your mouse controls the camera. If running in the same direction for a second or so, you will automatically start to sprint. Upon stopping or taking an action, you fall out of sprint mode. You use your mouse buttons to do all of your attacking/defending, and otherwise you just have very few keys to remembers. You can activate a scroll, which is a kind of super-action, which you have to time properly, as you have limited amounts of scrolls.
Be careful with the controls, as it happened to me several times that the mouse cursor left the main game window, which made me click around madly without anything happening.
There are different types of areas in Pylon: Rogue, with different sets of enemies. With that, there is enough to see. The gameplay is very responsive, but especially when playing the archer, I keep shooting in the wrong direction as the character needs to be turned around with WASD and is not shooting where the mouse is pointing. Coming from other similar games this seems a bit tedious. Playing the archer means using your second ability all the time to roll away from the enemies, quickly take a few shots and move away again.
The graphics in the game look good. Everything is very fluid. Textures are detailed and clear. While turning around, obstacles are removed to give a clear view on the action, so houses, trees, or anything else will not obstruct your view.
The quality of the sound is good. A different sound set is used in different environments, which gives some variety. The volume of the various sound types (SFX/Ambient/...) can be set separately, which should be a default on every game.
Was Pylon: Rogue fun to play? Well... I am not a fan of rogue-likes, or whatever you call them. You play, you die, you play again. It gives me the wrong feeling. Too many hours have I tried to stay alive with all means necessary in MMOs, too many last-second heals have I thrown out to save someone in the last moment in other games. Too many rezzes, to not completely lose all progress. As such, it's a difficult genre for me to work with. In Pylon: Rogue you take a lot of damage quickly and it is hard to regain. If you have found a health boost earlier, you may have to run back. If you haven't found one, you start smashing down barrels and chests in the hope that you find health before you find new enemies. It does not give me a feeling of smooth gameplay. Maybe, like the auto-run, throw in an auto-heal as well. Returning to previous areas to collect that bit of health is no fun.
More information: http://pylongame.com/
See us play Pylon: Rogue:
Disclaimer: The game has been made available for free to review.