Risk of Rain Returns – PC Review

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Getting to revisit the original format of Risk of Rain brings a ting of nostalgia. And the recalibration to my brain that I can move away from the teleporter when starting. It…..it took a while for it to sink in. A little too long and many Huntresses were harmed in the making of this review.

Risk of Rain Returns is an Action, Rougelike, Multiplayer game that’s developed by Hopoo Games. The original developers of Risk of Rain and Risk of Rain 2. The funny thing I’d like to note for readers is that Risk of Rain Returns was released 10 years ago that day. No kidding, Risk of Rain released on Nov. 8th 2013. I do wonder if they planned for this to happen.

Or they had a meeting and realized that their 10th anniversary was coming and went to get us a gift. The fact that no one knew this game was not only coming out was impressive on all levels.  But they’re working on another DLC for Risk of Rain 2. With an unknown release date, it’s nice to have this game to preoccupy us while working on the DLC.

15 boxes with portraits of different survivors. With four tabs reading Survivor, Skills, Difficulty, and Artifacts. Image of the Huntress sitting in a calm pose after being selected.
Same UI, but more choices to have.


When it comes to the story in this series, it’s a simple and easy one that anyone can relate to. Prisoners are being transported to another place, a transport ship goes down, you’re on a strange planet. And begin to search for something to get you out of there.  On your way to locate a method of getting off the planet, you come across various teleporters and various enemies. From lizard men, to flying jellyfishes to magma worms that each vary in status and abilities galore.

You can do this adventure alone, or with a group of two or four to create some well needed game breaking chaos.  Either by local co-op, online co-op or if you’re playing on Steam with their Remote Play option. Another mode that is single player would be the Providence Trials. A true test of skills which pins you with specific scenarios and character that you’ll have to get yourself out of. You’re rewarded with new unlocked items and skills if you complete them or do other conditions like I did.

This rendition of the game comes not only with a new boss and new items, but new survivors as well. Having the roster grow to 15 characters, unlocking them was either easy or simply complex in nature. The fact that I enjoyed both the new additions being the Pilot and  the Drifter, learning their mechanics was super fun. Though playing with others, I got in character a bit too much. For example, I acted like Gordon Ramsey whenever I played the Chef or as a dwarf when playing Miner.

Compared to their first released game and its co-op connectivity, Hopoo Games did a lot better with not having connection issues. And the game doesn’t break from me playing hours to become the most overpower lord that can kill without moving.

The sniper survivor lands on a wooden platform that is sturdy enough to take a capsule with the full force of entry with only a bit of dirt. A old looking pot near the entry point and a chest with the price of opening being $25. The sight of the moon seeming larger than anyone would be comfortable with.
I’ve landed with $35 in my pocket.

Graphics & Audio

Playing on both my PC and Steam Deck, they both worked beautifully. Apart from the studders when playing on the Steam Deck. Risk of Rain Returns is also available on Nintendo Switch for those who want another form of portability to play. The graphics between RoR and Returns is big, but I feel like there was something missing when looking at both games. In Returns, the environments have a lot of detail, but the background seems slightly lacking.  But, they must have their reasons for doing this when developing the game and still give us an amazing game. 

Though, I will give it to them for having these little sneaky ladders that hide with the environments and the background.  If you don’t take the time to find them, you might miss out on bits of lore. Yet, there are times where I’m jumping away and grab onto a string of goop and start climbing. Or the fact that if I’m climbing I can’t attack, yet enemies can, which is bananas. But, again they must have their reasons for these choices. 

There is also the text being in the ground that was sometimes illegible during some moments in a fight. I will say that they have not lost their touch when it comes to the soundtrack this time around as well. They each had me banging my head through new locations I hit and especially my fight with Providence. I swear, Hopoo Games just have the magic touch when it comes to composing the music to get you going. I especially love the sound effects the chef makes whenever I shoot fire. That “ding” sound effect is the equivalent of the “ping” of a M1 Garand when it ejects its clip.  

A huge room with broken monitors and a view literally to die for. Survivor with several amount of items that can barely fit in the screen. The sun rising over the horizon while four corpses lie there montionless.
JANE! Get me off this crazy planet!


The amount of hours that myself or any other person can put in this game is slightly immeasurable. To factor in playing with your friends who are either new to the series or aren’t makes it almost double. In both RoR and RoR 2, I’ve sunk a combined time of over 1,000 hours and will do the same with Returns. With the addition of Artifacts thanks for RoR 2, you can make some amazing playthroughs by yourself or with friends. Knowing the community for RoR, there will be a lot of mods that will continue to support the game just like the others. 

Mountains of jagged rocks pointing to towards the sky with the sun rising. A rocket leaving the atmosphere. A lizard man dead with it's back on the rock with another lizard man's arm laying on the same rock.
I got out! But…at what cost. My ears it seems.

Final Thoughts

Risk of Rain Returns is a beautiful re-entry into the series that started some great memories and friendships. This game already has me hooked for the next couple of years. It’s beginner friendly and helps you learn from your mistakes to become better aware of what to do or grab. I can’t wait to see what they have in store or what the mod community have in store either for Returns.

Risk of Rain Returns receives the Thumb Culture Platinum Award

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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