The Serpent Rogue

I hadn’t heard of The Serpent Rogue until my main survival games YouTuber Jade PG mentioned it in one of his weekly roundup videos.

I missed this trailer during the indie blitz that was Gamescom 2021, but once I saw a little bit of gameplay and learned a demo was currently available on Steam, well, I knew I had to have it. Or, rather, had to play it, since the full game currently has no firm release date outside of a general 2022 window. And let me tell you, I was immediately impressed.

I’m not usually one for games with more of a fixed camera, and as soon as you jump into The Serpent Rogue, the camera is positioned as if Rogue were a 2.5D side-scroller. But it’s a ruse, as once you move away from the starting point, you realize that this is actually a semi-fixed-camera viewpoint, similar to Diablo. However, you are able to move the camera vertically, which allows you to sort of zoom out above the character. This took a few minutes to get used to, as this isn’t normally my jam, but the game has so much going for it that I soon forgot all about my camera-rooted trepidations. 

The Serpent Rogue

The next thing that immediately jumped out was The Serpent Rogue’s macabre, almost whimsically gothic art style. In some ways it reminds me of Don’t Starve, or something out of Tim Burton’s playbook (well, something from back before he fell into the rut he’s been stuck in for the last two decades).

You play as a character ensconced in the garb of a plague-era doctor, long-billed mask and all. It isn’t initially clear why, and doesn’t really become clear later — at least in the early goings of the demo — but there is a bit of atmospheric corruption going around, so perhaps that factors into it.

Mainly, I find the charm and design of The Serpent Rogue to be it’s biggest selling points, on top of its solid gameplay mechanics. It has basic features you’d find in most crafting games: crafting tables, recipes, and scavenged ingredients. You can research items you find along your journey to unlock their attributes, such as whether something is best used for a potion or whatnot. You can also craft tools you will need along your journey to help you progress, like axes and torches, and there is even a dedicated cooking system. 

The Serpent Rogue

You can also learn how to transform yourself into various creatures, which gives you access to their abilities and movesets. There’s a giant hulking monstrosity, for example, which will allow you to take down other hulking monstrosities. I haven’t really spent a whole lot of time on this feature, mostly because it seems like something that will factor in more in the final release. Although, I did find a scroll that would allow me to transform into a dog of sorts, so I’m itching to try that one out.

The Serpent Rogue has a unique look and approach to allowing the player to interact with its game world, and I definitely look forward to spending more time doing just that. I like the enemy and character animations, as well as the storybook mood of the world overall. And seeing random NPCs walking around with their pets linked to them by a visible, Chiral Network-esque strand was a unique visual touch that made me want to figure out if I could tether my own creatures to me.

Like I said earlier, the release date is slated for a vague 2022. If you’re interested why not head over to Steam and add The Serpent Rogue to your Wishlist. While you’re there, you could even check out the demo. And if you just want a visual tasty treat, why not check out The Serpent Rogue‘s Gamescom 2021 trailer below?

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