With the war going on in Ukraine you may be looking for a way to support the video game creators over there. One such creator is developer Sengi Games who just recently released their new game The Serpent Rogue that is being published by Team17. It’s an action/adventure roguelike game set in a medieval fantasy world and I came away from it with very positive thoughts.
For most of you out there The Serpent Rogue will be most accessible to you on a PC or Nintendo Switch, but if you’ve managed to snag an Xbox Series or PlayStation 5 then you can play it there too with this review having been done on the PlayStation 5. The world in the game is one wrapped in despair as a corruption called the Serpent Rogue has laid roots in Mount Morbus and is spreading throughout the world. This corruption is bringing death to crops, bringing undead beasts into the world, and thus has to be stopped. This task falls on you playing as the Warden, identified by their witchdoctor mask and well versed in the art of alchemy. That’s the basic set up and from there the story kind of takes a back seat to the exploration, combat, and crafting that you’ll be doing most of the game.
Early on in the game you’ll go through a short tutorial that will teach you some of the basics but the game leaves a lot up to the player’s experimentation. If you’re the type of player who needs a game to hold your hand then The Serpent Rogue may not be for you. If you’ve played Don’t Starve then you’ll likely feel some similarities as I did as you’ll be having to go out and gather materials like wood, leaves, and more in order to craft things. Once you start getting stuff gathered you can then begin crafting stuff like food or potions with recipes that you obtain or you can just experiment and hope you craft something good although you could end up wasting valuable resources by doing this. Crafting is always a hit-or-miss thing for me in games but I really enjoyed coming up with different potions in this as some will turn you into an animal while others will give helpful boosts to your character.
Your character has a health and stamina bar that you’ll need to keep watch on. Stamina is used when attacking and running and you’ll need to eat to replenish it. The combat in the game isn’t very deep as you’ll be trying to dodge the enemy’s attacks while landing your own. I found the movement of your character to be a tad slow for my liking which led to me taking some unnecessary hits at times. The Serpent Rogue also has something which I’m not really fond of in games and that is that your weapons break and they break quite often in this which was annoying. You also have a limit to the amount of weight you can carry which is another element I’m not too fond of in games.
The roguelike element comes into play when you die as when you do, you’ll lose all of your possessions. Not to worry though as if you make it back to where you died then you can retrieve all of it. You can also mitigate the risk of losing stuff by storing stuff in storage chests in towns. While out exploring the world, you can gain some assistance by taming animals or hiring people to fight with you. Overall, while I have some issues with the character movement speed and the weapon breaking, I really enjoyed the dozen hours or so I spent cleaning up the corruption in the world and coming up with new things to craft.
I really liked the visuals in The Serpent Rogue as everything has a cel-shaded look to it. The world is dark and spooky and while it doesn’t have a large color pallete, it uses what it has really well and just looks so good in the cel-shaded style in general. On the audio side the sound effects were generally satisfying while the soundtrack was also enjoyable with it changing up quite a bit in different areas or when you get into combat. Trophy hunters will find 42 trophies to collect including a Platinum. It’s a very varied list that will have you doing a lot of crafting and other random things to earn them all.
The Serpent Rogue can be a bit daunting to get into but if you fancy an action/adventure roguelike game that doesn’t hold your hand and dabbles in a lot of crafting then you’ll really enjoy it. The world is fun to explore and there is always something new to find or something new to research and craft to use. It has some things that can be improved but overall, I really enjoyed this cel-shaded medieval fantasy trip.
*The Serpent Rogue is available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.