What's ROG playing this month?

Articles: Gaming
Aug 01, 2020 Written by:Chris_Barr

We’re back for another look at what members of the ROG team have been playing recently. We don’t just build the best hardware to play on—we spend a lot of time playing games, too. Keep checking back in every month as we discuss games that pique our interest, new and old alike.


Juan Jose Guerrero, AKA JJ - Marketing - Social Media

chrisEagle Island was released about a year ago. In the time since the developer committed to listening to his supporters and improving the game’s core mechanics and playthrough experience. That work has taken a solid game and, for me, elevated it to a truly enjoyable one. Distinctive, crisp pixel graphics with varied level design, dynamic animations, and engaging mechanics have all held my interest.

The story, while simple, is fleshed out enough to add meaning to the game and make the world, level, and character’s designs work. The game takes place on Eagle Island. You take the role of Quill, and you're joined by Koji, your owl companion. You embark on a journey through forests, caverns, deserts, ruins, and more to save Ichiro, another owl companion who was nabbed by Armaura, a large guardian eagle.

The gameplay mechanics only take about 15 minutes to learn.  At the same time, the unique procedurally generated worlds change every time you die or re-enter an environment. This makes things different each go around and keeps things fresh while also adding to the game’s difficulty. There are various ways you can approach the game, whether that's looking for speed runs and completion, collecting all the loot, or focusing on the story and saving Ichiro while learning about Eagle Island and its lore. Add to this some great boss battles and RPG-like elements via temporary power-ups, and it makes for some fun gameplay that rewards replayability and experimentation. 

I will also note there is just something cool about having a weaponized owl that can have powered up attacks. The pursuit and execution of chain combos, which are needed not only to get life but also effectively battle enemies and bosses, is also very gratifying. The game is simple to learn and hard to master, but it thankfully doesn't penalize you for selecting different difficulty levels or respawning. This is a welcome addition to this genre.
All of this is presented through some fantastic looking pixel graphics that are bold and bright and offer just the right amount of detail. It's a nice departure from the pursuit of realistic graphics. This art style compliments the overall world design and characters. 

While I'm still making my way through Eagle Island to save Ichiro, I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay, and I’m looking forward to finishing the game. For $12 it ranks high on the value side for me. The recent July update has introduced some significant improvements like a new aiming system that helps consistency in ensuring what you see is what you get, and that makes a great game even better.

Eric Born - Content Marketing

ericA Mancubus just busted through a door up ahead, but I don’t have time to pummel him with the firepower necessary to break through his thick hide—there’s a Hell Knight hot on my tail, and his relentless melee attacks can break down my armor in moments. I jump to a protruding bar nearby and flip into the air neatly, using the extra jump granted by the bar to give me a clear shot at the Mancubus. I peer down the sight of my heavy cannon, and time slows down just long enough for me to squeeze off two precise shots to destroy his weapons.

With that demon’s long-range artillery neutralized, I have a few precious seconds to deal with other threats while he waddles across the arena. I land on a platform, switch to the shotgun, and catch the Hell Knight full in the face with a flaming grappling hook. I spin around to his blind side and give him a full broadside from point-blank range. While he’s staggered, I gather some armor drops and toss a grenade toward a small group of soldiers. I dance away from the Hell Knight’s swings, timing my dashes to keep just out of his reach while I tear him down chunk by chunk with the shotgun until I can finish him off with my blade.

Meanwhile, the Mancubus has waddled back into range, but his allies are all gone. My second grenade and some sustained spray from my chaingun are all it takes to shred him to pieces.

This is what it’s like to play Doom Eternal. People talk about it as the fastest-paced shooter in years, and for those of us who grew up on frantic, gravity-defying deathmatches in games like Quake III Arena, Doom Eternal is a welcome return to a breathless style of action I haven't seen in quite some time. Is there a reasonable in-game explanation for your character’s preternatural ability to double jump and dash through the air across dizzying chasms? No, but who cares? I’m too busy enjoying the sheer freedom of unbounded motion and the delight of massacring hordes of hellspawn.

Next up is a Marauder, and he’s no mindless bullet sponge. I’ll need to deploy every trick in my arsenal if I’m going to get past him and his blood-soaked axe. But even after I do wear him down, there are countless swarms of demons waiting for me, and there will be even more when the story expands in an upcoming DLC. If you haven’t yet tried out the next generation of ripping and tearing, don’t miss a chance to check it out.

Chris Barr - Content Marketing

chris“For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.” With just a few words, the wise Ben Kenobi defined not only who the Jedi were, but the bleak state of the universe without them. Since the original movie, many of the events and timelines of the Star Wars universe have been thoroughly explored. However, the dark time between the fall of the Old Republic and the events of A New Hope is perhaps one of the least visited, making the premise of Jedi: Fallen Order all the more appealing.

Jedi: Fallen Order places you in the shoes of Cal Kestis, a padawan who managed to escape the horrible consequences of Order 66. The story picks up five years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Cal finds himself the target of the Imperial Inquisitors tasked with eliminating the last remnants of the Jedi. The journey takes you to several planets, both familiar and new, as Cal attempts to save a new generation of force-sensitive children and completes his training in the process.

The gameplay focuses on melee combat with a lightsaber and the Force powers that you unlock along the way. Much of the combat has you facing off against multiple enemies, and you have to chain together attacks, dodges, and counters in a way that feels very Jedi-like. If you’ve played any of the Batman: Arkham titles, then you’ll be right at home with the combat system, as the two are very similar. Just trade out Batman’s fists for a lightsaber and his host of gadgets for Force powers.

The game is a mostly open-world experience, and you'll unlock new worlds as you progress through the story. In each area, you come across meditation circles used to regain your health, save the game, and upgrade your abilities. Be careful, though. Much like Dark Souls, every time you rest at one of these spots, all of the enemies you’ve defeated in the surrounding area will respawn. While most of your basic enemies won’t cause you too much trouble, the more difficult Purge Troopers may make you rethink when and where you choose to rest.

The fluid combat, combined with the extra-difficult bosses and optional mini-bosses, makes for a satisfying gameplay experience that makes you feel like a padawan growing into a full Jedi Knight. If you love a good Star Wars story, exploration, and challenging combat, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order deserves a look.