I’ve gone straight back to the world of roguelikes for my fifth pick, Kyle Barrett’s stellar Immortal Rogue. This one sees you playing as a particularly peeved vampire who, rather than dying, goes for an extended hundred-year nap at the end of each run.
What makes this one special, besides the snappy and satisfying combat, is the way in which you can lightly alter the course of civilisation itself. By opting to focus on converting or killing, say, the societal elites, you can greatly disrupt industrial and technological progress. So, on your next run, enemies that once wielded laser guns might well have been forced to revert back to swords.
Times change and chaotic uprisings occur with or without your consent, so it’s as much about remaining reactive as it is about twisting society’s progress to your preference. This system, alongside the regularly available temporary upgrades, keeps the game feeling fresh and interesting.
Weapons are diverse and almost always a joy to use. And while the game’s combat is definitely suited to up-close assaults, ranged weapons can also be surprisingly effective. It’s really all about gradual experimentation and fine-tuning your ideal arsenal through the years.
There are a generous number of environments to explore, varied hordes to tackle, and bosses to outwit. Story definitely takes a backseat here, but it still does a decent job of spurring you on to the next big event/boss fight – all culminating in a challenging brawl with good ol’ Dracula himself.
Fans of roguelikes will obviously find much to appreciate with this one. Though I think its appeal is broadened thanks to the way it sidesteps the frustrations and disheartening deaths that typically repel those who don’t love the genre. If that sounds like you, give Immortal Rogue a shot and there’s a sizable chance it’ll win you over.