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  • Writer's pictureLiv

Thank You Returnal!

Join Liv as she shares her personal journey with Roguelike games!

I am notoriously bad at playing video games where combat is a heavy focus. If we were to play a co-op game together, I will get you killed. You can find various clips on Between 2 Gamers social media feeds of me blowing up my entire team. I am a liability in a game that includes friendly fire. I stayed away from roguelike games for years because I was horrific in combat. People continuously tell me I am bad at video games. I’ve heard various forms of “roguelike games are too hard for you” or “you need to be good at roguelike games to play them”. I am here to tell you that this is not true! You don’t have to be good at roguelike games to enjoy them! The first game that roped me into playing roguelike games was Returnal. This led me to a genre that I never thought I could play, but then Returnal was released on the PlayStation 5 and I just had to try it.

The first time I saw Returnal was through a trailer during a PlayStation event and it instantly emitted Control vibes. The enemies in both games look and feel unique. The weapons recharge on their own and there is no need to constantly search for ammo. I was nervous that I would pay a hefty price tag for a game that I wasn’t sure I was able to play, but it made me think of Control and that was enough for me to give it a shot. As soon as I booted Returnal up for the first time, I was hooked!

As I traversed each biome in Returnal, I was captivated by its beauty. Yes, this game was challenging at first, but the mysterious story and exciting gameplay kept me going. I wanted to learn more with every run. I wanted to find the perfect weapon that would help me get further. The story and the gameplay kept me going when the game became more difficult. I learned which guns and perks worked best for me. Before I knew it, I was getting the hang of the combat! After defeating the first boss, I thought I could do it all! I was completely immersed in this world. Returnal might just be the best game on the PlayStation 5.

If I listened to the people who told me I wasn’t good enough to play roguelike games, then I never would’ve discovered this genre! I had this preconceived notion that roguelike games were just bullet-hell games without a story. Boy, was I wrong! These games do have stories! After every run, you get more information about the plot and characters in this world. This makes you want to play again and again until you uncover it all! I didn’t expect this. I was shocked that this genre was for me. Upon beating Returnal, I branched out and played more roguelike games! If you’re nervous to try roguelike games like I was, then let me introduce you to two games that will ease you in.

Cult of the Lamb is a perfect game to ease your way into roguelike games. In this game, you're a lamb who seeks to build up a cult as you dungeon crawl to defeat the gods. You can build up your home base and decorate it to your liking! As you gain more followers, you can give them tasks to do, so you can spend more time in the dungeons. Your followers can farm, build structures, or pray to you which keeps the cult happy while you’re away. Cult of the Lamb perfectly balances a simulation-management game with roguelike dungeons.

“If someone tells you that you won’t enjoy a game because the gameplay is too hard, don’t listen! Give the game a chance if it’s something you’re interested in.”

If you’re interested in a dungeon crawler where you have the ability to level up your character permanently, then you should try Hades! This game is about the son of Hades attempting to flee the Underworld to reach Mount Olympus. The story centers around Greek mythology, so you will see a handful of familiar faces! Outside of the dungeon-crawling gameplay, you can interact with characters to learn more about them or pursue a romantic relationship! The player has the ability to decorate the House of Hades as they please. If you’re looking for a dungeon crawler with a compelling story to keep you going run after run, then be sure to check out Hades!

If someone tells you that you won’t enjoy a game because the gameplay is too hard, don’t listen! Give the game a chance if it’s something you’re interested in. You never know, it could turn into your favorite game. I hope that my story gives you the confidence to pick up a new game that you’ve been thinking about, but haven’t gotten to yet. I’m here to tell you that you can do it!

If you’re looking for a more in-depth conversation about Roguelike games, check out this episode of Between 2 Gamers to learn more!


About the Author:

Liv is the co-host of the Between 2 Gamers podcast with her friend Frewy. When she's not gaming, she's watching sports!

Looking for more Between 2 Gamers content? Follow our show on any podcasting platforms, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok!

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