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PAX West - First Look: Riftstorm: A Stunning Rogue-like Shooter with Ambitious Storytelling Goals

Riftstorm marries Diablo with rogue-like shooters, creating an imaginative game. I had the opportunity to play Riftstorm at PAX West. The game impressed me with its stunning visuals and intuitive gameplay mechanics. However, what truly stood out was the team's ambitious plan for Riftstorm. They envision it as a story-driven rogue-like game, where the player base controls the story's direction.

The team that I talked to at PAX suggested that I play on normal difficulty in the demo, as they said it would be easy but still provide a decent amount of challenge.

In Riftstorm, you play as an agent of Mythic Protocol who hunts down supernatural creatures. You possess special abilities, in addition to your ranged attack weapon, that assist you in battle. One of these abilities is a beam of light that inflicts considerable damage, while another ability functions like a grenade. Both skills operate on a cool-down mechanic. The environment also offers opportunities to inflict damage upon enemies, as certain objects can be shot to cause area damage. The pace and action of the game are satisfying. Although auto-aiming is available, I preferred using the analog stick for aiming.

The vision the team has for the game impressed me the most. Dave Fabrian, the publishing director of Riftstorm, stated that players' decisions at the macro level will drive the story, meaning that choices made by the player base in the game will affect the overarching story. This adds another level of immersion I haven’t seen in any other game, let alone roguelikes. I’m excited to see how this plays out, as it is an ambitious task.

After leaving my meeting with the team, I wanted to play more. The game is beautiful and is easy to pick up and play. I can't wait to see where the team takes the game next, and I am looking forward to its release.



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