Roboquest review for PC, Xbox

Platform: PC
Also On: Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Starbreeze Publishing
Developer: RyseUP Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Yes
ESRB: E10+

I had never heard of Roboquest before this past week, and I will be honest and say this game would have not been on my radar, especially in such a jam packed holiday season. I was surprised to see the game had been in Early Access for three years and my skepticism started to grow, but then, I booted up the game. I picked my class of robot and was smacked in the face with a colorful dystopian land accompanied by a banger of a soundtrack and I was off to the races of this looter shooter FPS rogue-like.

In Roboquest you frantically shoot other robots in different biomes. You play as one of 5 classes (I played the whole time as the first robot, “The Guardian”), and your operator is a girl named Max who orders you to blow up other enemy robots and other impediments such as turrets. These robots can drop powerful weapons, health, as well as  power cores and wrenches that can be traded in for upgrades and better weapons after every new playthrough. If you have ever played a rogue-like you know that every drop can make a difference on the length of your run.

As you progress through every biome you are presented with different routes and little side quests that you can partake in. These definitely help each run feel different and fun. As you level up in your playthrough you receive buffs such as extra crit hit damage or maybe an elemental damage buff that provides you with more coverage to beat the level.

As with any rogue-like, if you die, you do lose all your weapons and progress, but you get to keep any collectibles, side missions and shortcuts and routes you’ve unlocked. The game’s difficulty does have some kick to it. Even on easy, I found myself overwhelmed by many enemies at times, and at the end of every other biome, you will find yourself facing off against a unique boss.  At one point you face off against a giant bomb that you must defuse before you kill, and another I had fun taking on, was a giant robot that would burrow itself underground. Some of aforementioned shortcuts would take you on a bonus path that would take you to a biome with a specific winning condition in order to beat it, such as reaching the end of a level and defusing an earth ending bomb before time expires.

Roboquest controls pretty smoothly and I didn’t have any issues with gun play as well. I like the enormous amount of weapon variety and the ability for upgrading and leveling them up.  I learned and had the most fondness for precision weapons as I found them easiest to use. Each robot comes with an Overwatch-like special ability, for example The Guardian has an immortality shield which helped during some boss battles and hyper intense sections of the game.  Some of the weaker and throwable weapons were hard to control and left me unsatisfied.

If I had one gameplay complaint, it may be that climbing short walls was pretty difficult as I couldn’t vault up a wall or grab onto a ledge. Double jumping across large spaces was very fun and Mario bounce jumping off an enemy’s head gave me a pretty good chuckle.

The music in Roboquest is fantastic with the synthwave Carpenter Brut-inspired soundtrack amping me up as I ran and gunned my way through each biome. Although the gameplay can get somewhat repetitive after a while, there is still so much variety to discover. If you’re looking into dipping your toe into the Souls/rogue-like pool, I would strongly recommend giving Roboquest a look.

Note: Starbreeze Publishing provided us with a Roboquest PC code for review purposes.

Score: 9