While shooter fans are eagerly awaiting the arrival of id Software’s Doom (2016) on the Nintendo Switch, it shouldn’t surprise them that other developers are testing the platform’s mature waters.
Now, Rogue Trooper Redux is by no means a perfect game -- it’s a fun retro romp that has its share of flaws and misgivings -- but it proves a much-needed point: Mature shooters, whether remasters of 11-year-old cult classics or ports of the latest and greatest, have a more than welcome home on the Nintendo Switch.
For the first time in a long time, a Nintendo console feels like the perfect place for a Call of Duty or Battlefield. Earlier this year, Splatoon 2 proved that the console could manage a competitive shooter with intuitive controls and seamlessly translate from docked mode to handheld. While the game has its hangups with online multiplayer, it mostly worked in function.
Rogue Trooper Redux follows a similar path. The single player campaign, clocking in at around six hours, is a taste of what’s to come. It’s a low-risk, high-reward test to see whether the genre works, celebrating one of Rebellion’s classics in the meantime.
And when we look forward into later this year and early next, when games like Doom, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, PayDay and Morphie’s Law make their way to the Switch, we’re left hopeful that they’ll knock it out of the park.
Sure, Rogue Trooper Redux is a third-person shooter, while Doom and Wolfenstein are first-person, so one can show off the console’s ability to manage things like taking cover, while the other can focus on fast, fluid gunplay. We’re not here to compare the two, but to see them as two sides of a similar coin: developers finding footing for a mature game on the Switch.
And the controls of Rogue Trooper Redux are fairly easy to grasp, though they do suffer from feeling a bit ancient. Controlling Rogue, the titular character, and moving the camera around feels natural on the Switch; A bit more so than on, say, the Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita. Part of that comes from having full-function analog sticks, the other comes from the ergonomics of the Switch.
The major worry here is in the shooting gameplay, which feels only slightly off given the Switch’s lack of analog triggers. Unfortunately, this results in feeling like you’re clicking another button down, rather than pulling a trigger. Will this affect single player gameplay in Doom and Wolfenstein? Probably not. But for the former, this could be a dealbreaker for online multiplayer.
Other aspects of the gameplay, including crafting upgrades, salvaging loot from enemies and a health pack-based recharge system work pretty well. We’re not the biggest fan of the game’s UI, but that’s a small problem to have when everything else seems to work. Looting and grinding could be big sells, should games like Borderlands or Destiny ever make their way to the platform.
While Rogue Trooper Redux may just end up as a small blip on the radar for many, if the genre succeeds, it might be looked back on as the perfect test subject. Of course, we’re only a month or so away from seeing if Doom can prove true on November 10.
For now, if you want to see what a mature shooter on the Switch has to offer, whether you’re a fan of the original Rogue Trooper game, the comics, or are just looking for a relatively cheap, fun-to-play title on the Switch, Rogue Trooper Redux is here for you.
Plus, the online multiplayer is pretty fun, once you get the hang of it.
Rogue Trooper Redux is now available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.