Risk of Rain 2 made a surprise launch last week in early access. The sequel followed the 2013 Hopoo Games’ Risk of Rain, a 2D roguelike platformer. However, Risk of Rain 2 feels less like a sequel but much more like a remake version in 3D.

Risk of Rain
Risk of Rain 2 is in 3D, as a follow-up to its 2D version in 2013.

In the 2013 version, you get to pick a character from a large pool, each with their own set of abilities. Commando is the very first available character, having a dodge roll as well as multiple ammo types. For other characters, you can find or unlock them by completing tasks. Their abilities include freezing enemies, laying down turrets, teleporting or wielding swords.

Cool-downs should be put in good consideration as you’ll have to manage them properly. Monsters will spawn in hordes and they’ll get stronger as you progress further in the game. In each stage, you’ll need to find a teleporter to progress. By activating such teleporter, a boss will spawn and you know what to do with it. Here's the early access launch trailer, have a look at it:

When exploring, you earn money from killing enemies or from available canisters. Money is important as you can purchase items that drastically aid your run. Some items can heal, some increase the crit chance, some others make enemies explode on death while some chain lightning or fire in between.

Risk of Rain
Mastering the combos will make you an unstoppable monster-killing machine.

Risk of Rain 2 graphics

Most parts of Risk of Rain translate well into 3D. Pixelated monsters from being adorable in 2D quickly turn into terrifying in front of your eyes in 3D. The items you collected can attach to the character and it’s great fun to see yourself armed with ukuleles, floating guns, and spectral knife.

You can feel more presence in the worlds themselves in the 3D version. A stage with ice feels vast and barren while a fire stage feels oppressive and threatening. Although, the stage layouts in this 3D lack the distinction that was there in the original Risk of Rain. They feel somehow repetitive, having very little variation from different runs. It’s not easy to parse the landscape, especially when looking for a teleporter - a flat circle along with two claw-like pillars rising out.

Risk of Rain
After activating the teleporter, you'll face the ultimate boss. Defeat it to advance to the next level.

It was visually easy to spot the teleporter in 2D, but quite the opposite in 3D. Moreover, as the game gets harder over time, any minutes spent backtracking and looking for the teleporter can be very frustrating. However, the developers are working on improving the visual of the teleporter. Hence, we shouldn’t be too worried about what has frustrated us earlier.

New features

Risk of Rain 2 offers new characters, items as well as a rare currency. The Lunar Coins are what we’ll be spending in the game to unlock special items in the shop and even a character.

For the teleporter, it works differently from the 2D version as you need to stand close for it to charge and let you advance. This design encouraged players to fight bosses wherever they spawned instead of leading them to some strategic spots of the map. In general, Risk of Rain 2 feels like the same game with a brand-new look to it.

Overall, Risk of Rain 2 can equally delight you or frustrate you. There’s also the multiplayer factors and daily challenges for you to check out. As the early access period goes on, let’s hope that the stages will be more distinct and more items as well as characters will come.