If you fancy freeing a gorilla to murder some scientists so you can use their cloning machine to create a gang to do in a bartender, you might fancy a crack at Streets of Rogue [official site], which is free to try this weekend. Ignore the name: Streets of Rogue is not a beat ’em up, it is a curious emergent sandbox roguelikelike inspired loosely by games including The Binding of Isaac and Deus Ex. I’ve run through a few missions myself and yeah, even in its early access state it’s an interesting one to prod.
So there you are, in the dystopian future, as a member of the resistance trying to take down The Man. Off you go on missions, heading into procedurally-generated levels with a series of procedurally-generated objectives. You might need to retrieve evidence from a safe, rescue a kidnapped ally, and assassinate someone. How you go about that, well, who knows?
Streets of Rogue’s classes range from Soldier and Hacker to Comedian and Vampire, each with their own abilities to manipulate people and the world. Perhaps you’ll hack a ventilation system to pump a building full of gas. Blow a hole in a wall with explosives and go in guns blazing. Sneak. Hack gambling machines to win big and buy whatever you want from shops. Start a gang war. Lead an army of clones. Then you have items from glass cutters to boomboxes… I’m sure I’ve only seen a teeny percentage of the possibilities. Levels aren’t huge — a few dozen buildings, tops, as far as I’ve seen — but with all the different classes, items, and perks, it seems like a lot to play with.
You can try yourself, as Streets of Rogue is free to play on Steam until Monday at 6pm GMT. After a stretch in alpha elsewhere, this week it hit Steam Early Access with a big update adding daily runs, unlockables, tutorials, and four-player local and online co-op. Oh, yes, it’s multiplayer too.
Streets of Rogue is £9.89/13,49€/$13.49 for keepsies right now, for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s due to launch properly later this year. Matt Dabrowski is making it and Tinybuild are publishing.