Loot River, analysis and review of the game for PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series

Loot River, analysis and review of the game for PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series

This roguelike tries to mix the action with the puzzle, through a series of platforms that float on a river and that can be moved at will. Here is Loot River and here is its analysis.

We’ve been living in a gender hybridization for some time where sometimes it seems like it’s not enough to be just one thing. This seems to be the case Loot River a game that could be defined as both a roguelike with soul-like mechanics and puzzles. Thus, straka.studio’s proposal takes us to a world in which, to avoid the dangerous areas that inhabit it, we must cross a long, randomly generated river. Our raft is made up of a series of moving platforms that we can drive in all four directions using the right joystick while we control the character with the left joystick. Everything to arrive (if we arrive) alive at the end of the road and make us stronger to continue moving forward.

The hybridization and use of the aforementioned genres is good, but one thing is to grasp the background of the mechanics and another is the very spirit of certain games. And in this aspect, I’m starting to get tired of the way it sometimes takes up, almost crudely, direct elements of the Souls saga, something that repeats itself more and more. From the eternal cycle of death and resurrection explained and perpetrated by a strange lady, the encounter with the NPCs who gradually gather in the camp, the decaying dead world… All of this is in Loot River and, as I say, I think it is legitimate to be inspired by the mechanics of a Souls (invasion system, loss of souls, bonfires, for example), but uninspired to want to find again and again the same spirit of his dark world.

For this reason, I became more interested in Loot River, its navigation system through levels. It is, without a doubt, the nuclear and differential element of the video game. Some pieces resemble Tetris and enliven our forays into dungeons with small situational puzzles in which, according to the map, we will have to move the platforms so that they don’t get in each other’s way and that the way is clear for our progress. It not only has that puzzle component, but also strategic. A rig can pile up a lot of enemies and two tactics could be to bring our raft close to the attack and quickly pull it out; or allow an enemy to “attack” us and separate him from the group. In this game, to divide is to win, there is no doubt about it.

the river of death

Straka.studio tries, by all means, that you do not advance their gameRegardless of my personal opinion on excessive soul fatigue, I think the big overall problem I saw in Loot River is that straka.studio tries, by all means, that you do not advance their game. I think it pushed this (almost pure) roguelike condition too far to bring you back to where you started. Coming from recent Rogue Legacy 2 and its perfect balance so that you feel that you have always progressed, even a little, Loot River is relentless. Relentless when it shouldn’t be. Here we lose everything we have earned, weapons, money, experience, equipment, except what we unlock with our experience. The number of games I had to play just to unlock one thing is measured in hours. And, once a light helmet and some weapons were unlocked, my surprise was that I didn’t come back to life with them, but what you actually unlock is the possibility to find this gear on the go.

Your potions are also very difficult to refill and the game encourages you to invest them before jumping into the river without them to see them duplicated later. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a difficult experience. I’m not complaining about a game being difficult, but I must warn you that the risk/reward balance and especially the risk/satisfaction balance seemed somewhat unbalanced to me. Little by little, I advanced there, barely. Loot River clenches his fist too tightly and the feeling he leaves behind is that he is afraid of being (or appearing) too small and the player will fast-forward on him. Therefore, you have to do many runs, come back several times in world 1 to the point of “kidnapping” its final boss that you will have to unlock later, to recycle the dungeon a little more.

To this are added mechanics that aren’t as responsive as I’d like. Attacking, canceling attacks, and directing shots didn’t quite feel right to me. It often feels like the player doesn’t have full control of their character. The same goes for the dodge and block functions. The first seems to take a long time to react while the second depends on the action window of a parry that is very difficult to measure in such small print and with less definition.

Loot River PC

Graphically, Loot River is attractive. Its aerial perspective reflects the great work of transmitting a vast and careful world, while the dungeons are well themed and have great lighting effects that reflect pixel art in all its glory. It is very striking how the lights and shadows are distorted by the river or how the sticky blood of enemies that has been left between two platforms stretches when they are separated. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for AI. Although the enemies follow basic but acceptable patterns, I’ve seen final bosses not responding well to our attacks, getting stuck, and being at the player’s mercy.

Mines the desire to move forward with each new attemptIt’s clear to me that Loot River is looking to sign a demanding contract with the player; and also that I am unwilling to sign said document even after spending countless roguelikes and soulslikes. Its difficulty curve flattens out as you get used to it, but the start is steep and, in my opinion, unbalanced. Mines the desire to move forward with each new attempt. However, if you’re more stubborn than me and stick with its combat system, I think you’ll find a game that, when it wants to, will have its own personality and reasons to keep pushing forward.

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