Maddeningly compelling co-op looty shooter Risk Of Rain 2 has just rolled out its first major expand-o-patch since it entered early access. Per Hopoo's earlier road-map, The Scorched Acres update adds the gorgeously golden-red hued Scorched Acres map, which are less on fire than the name suggests, a new boss called the Grovetender (who presumably keeps those trees looking lovely) and a new character to play as; REX, a bizarre quadrupedal plant/robot hybrid. Quite how it'll play the guitar I'll never know, but you can see it all in motion in the new trailer below.
Rather than extend the game, the new stage, the Scorched Acres, appears as an alternative to the snowy Rallypoint Delta. It's such a nice, scenic location full of raised gardens, standing stones and well-cultivated greenery, which makes it a pity that you'll have to burn it all down and kill everything. I honestly feel a little bad for the new Grovetender boss, who was apparently content to just tend Grovers until you stomped in to loot and shoot everything. In combat, he fires seeking explosive wisps, and occasionally gets a bit Hellraiser on you, firing barbed hooks to drag you closer.
A major part of the update is photosynthetic robot REX. Its primary attack is a burst of syringes, the last of which debuffs enemy speed and armour and heals you a little. The self-healing is handy because its secondary ability spends your own health on a big seed-mortar shot from your plant bits. REX's mobility power simultaneously knocks back and slows enemies, while launching you backwards, ideally putting you in mortar range. If you're still having trouble hitting stuff, REX's ultimate move launches a flower that pulls in and holds enemies still for pruning.
There's a lot to the update beyond those three big additions. The full patch notes here break it all down, but you'll also find a new basic enemy type, two new types of drone, specific damage/healing/utility chests to narrow down your choices, and a swarm of new items. There's been some re-balancing to the other characters too, except for MUL-T, who is so perfect that they changed nothing, and even gave them a special landing pod. Good robot.
The Scorched Acres update is live now, and Risk of Rain 2 is in early access. You can snag it on Steam and Humble for £15/€18/$20, although the Steam summer sale is about to start, so that price may drop in the next few hours. It's published by Gearbox.