Pylon: Rogue is a fantasy rogue-like RPG that pits you against waves of increasingly powerful enemies.Different skills and item choices are required to complete the game with each of the four heroes and each of their weapon sets. The game features a one-button combo and charge attack system.The game offers unlimited replayability since the maps are procedurally generated.
Pylon: Rogue was developed by QuantumSquid Interactive and is currently available on Steam. The game was released on 21st September, 2017.
Graphics and Performance
The only compelling aspect of Pylon: Rogue is its graphics. Although the game is inspired by Diablo, the graphics are significantly better than it. The character and enemy models are well designed and the animations are pretty smooth. The world map has pretty minimalistic graphics design. The various areas are well designed, both strategically and graphically. The colours though are a bit too contrasting. The enemies are designed in such a way that get blended in the environment and this further increases the difficulty level of the game.
We tested the game on a PC with the following Specs-
- INTEL E5500
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- GTX 1050
The game ran decently on our rig apart from a few hiccups along the way. A major problem of the game is massive FPS drops while traversing a new area. Although this stabilises eventually, this is a major drawback since the game utilises the perma death feature making each and every combat sequence important. Apart from that game didn’t suffer any performance issues while we played it and is pretty well optimised.
Pylon: Rogue, is a story-void game like its predecessors of the same genre. The only motive of the game is to survive through the intense combat sequences and if one dies, repeat the whole process again. An intriguing storyline would have surely compensated for the lacklustre gameplay upto some extent. For players who enjoy games with intriguing storylines and look for the same, this isn’t the right game.
Gameplay & Sound
Procedurally generated levels. Perma death. Death.
Three phrases which define Pylon: Rogue’s gameplay. Well these might sound appealing at first, but they only contribute decoratively to the gameplay. Challenging games are indeed enjoyable, provided that the challenge is needed to be tackled skilfully, and is equally rewarding. Pylon: Rogue, leaves no stone unturned in making death synonymous with it, but fails to make the intense challenge alluring due to the lack of in-depth combat mechanics and a character progression.
At the very beginning of the game the players get a choice to choose between three characters with whom they want to pursue the game. Each character has a different skill level which directly affects the difficulty of the game. Under the “Beginner” skill level is Looticus Maximus, a knight with a sword and a shield. Under the “Intermediate” skill level are two characters namely, Rokk, a golem, and, Ms. Underhood, an archer. Finally, under the “Expert” difficulty level is Killyana, the assassin. Killyana can only be unlocked after defeating the final boss. The game’s unbalanced difficulty level forces the player to ponder about his character choice and eventually one may start the game all over again with a new character. The characters itself are unbalanced. The archer, Ms. Underhood, has the least health and is under the “intermediate” skill level but has a massive advantage over other characters since she can avoid AoE damage by dodging and can easily shoot by maintaining a safe distance. The other characters, offer more health and damage, but they often falter under AoE damage due to the lack of agility or get overcrowded as there combat skills comprises only of melee attacks.
The map consists of a Super Mario 3 inspired path system and four areas per map. The map progression is pretty simple. One has to conquer four areas per map, and then defeat the boss. This goes on for three different maps and finally one reaches the final boss. Each area is strategically designed. Going into the right room in an area will provide an exit to the world map and will eventually lead to that area’s completion, while going into the wrong room would award one with treasure, but will make survival harder.
Each area has plenty of rooms filled with monsters having both aerial and ground attributes. The game does give players a choice to choose between three characters at the start of the game, but amidst a combat their attributes hardly play a role and all one has to do is to mash the buttons. The procedurally generated levels hardly play a role, and the whole game gets repetitive, thanks to the shallow combat mechanics. The combat system consists of a couple of combo moves along with an ultimate attack, which consumes scrolls. The fancy attacks aren’t that effective and mashing the buttons is the only thing one can do while surrounded by enemies. The ultimate attacks can act as a life saver at times but they can be used only a limited a number of times, thanks to the limited number of scrolls, and the inability to access the items shop while traversing an area. Scrolls can be bought while in the world map from the items shop. Apart from scrolls there are other items also available in the items shop which can be bought with the help of gems. A variety of items unlock in the items shop by completing achievements and are known as “unlocks”. Unlocks are the only thing that are retained if a character dies. Apart from unlocks, all the gems, items and even the map progression gets reset once a character dies. However, there is no certainty that a certain unlock will be available in the items shop, as the items shop keeps refreshing. The unforgiving swarms of enemies make the combat challenging, but lack of character progression and the inability to carry forward the loot makes it unrewarding and consequently mundane.
The game features pretty mediocre sound design. The music while traversing an area is pretty minimalist and doesn’t blend in with the intense and unforgiving combat sequences. The various sound effects are well composed and compensates for the lack-luster music upto some extent. Overall the sound design is very generic and isn’t praiseworthy
Pylon: Rogue is a challenging hack and slash game that requires skill, precision and patience. For players who are new to this genre, this isn’t the right game as the game fails to offer an experience which other titles of the same genre provide. The gameplay is quite lacking without a character progression system and in-depth combat mechanics. For players who crave for rogue-like and challenging games, this game is worth playing as it offers a quite challenging gameplay unlike other titles of the same genre, thanks to its perma death feature and challenging combat sequences.