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Hi-Rez's new shooter Rogue Company looks as inspired as its name

Hi-Rez really deserve a break. They’re the plucky underdogs, really, forever chipping away at the big dogs. Even if games like Smite or Paladins aren’t household names, they’re still a decent bet for a good time. Weirder, niche alternative to the genre titans, great for the weirdos who want something a bit less streamlined than an Overwatch or a League Of Legends. I’d love for Hi-Rez to finally hit the big time. I’m just not quite sure Rogue Company, the Georgia company’s next game, is gonna cut it.

Hi-Rez revealed their next stab at hectic team shooters during last night’s Nintendo Direct. Rogue Company won’t be locked down to Switch, though – the team shooter is heading our way some time in 2020.

Hi-Rez aren’t strangers to this whole multiplayer rodeo. Even if they don’t make blockbusters, their games tend to chug along quite nicely by doing their own thing. I wasn’t a huge fan, but Smite did a great job of filling its own niche between the MOBA giants. Tribes Ascend was brilliant fun, even if it has died twice at this point. Paladins certainly was awfully similar to Overwatch, wasn’t it?

Rogue Company has a bit of Blizzard going on too. A shadow organisation of high-skilled operatives taking on baddies across the globe? Sounds awfully familiar, that. It certainly has a look – even if its irreverent grit is perhaps stepping on Dirty Bomb‘s toes a bit. There’s the cool ninja lady, a sniper with a skull mask, some hooded lad with an LED facemask straight outta Watch Dogs 2.

Hi-Rez is offering PvP matches across dozens of modes and maps, with guns and gadgets and… yup. It is, certainly, one of those. Right now I’m waiting to be convinced. Hi-Rez make solid games, but I’m not sure solid is really enough to cut it. Even within the developers’ own catalogue, it looks a bit naff. All of the ingredients are there, I just hope they end up coming together in something that evokes more of a response than “Yup, this sure does exist.”

Dropping out of the sky’s always great fun, at least.

Rogue Company is heading to the Epic Games Store next year. There’s an alpha coming up ahead of that, and you can sign up over on the game’s site.

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Natalie Clayton

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