Risk of Rain Returns Review | A Must-Buy Roguelike Remake

Risk of Rain Returns is a remake of the original game developed by Hopoo Games. Read our review to see what it did well, what it didn't do well, and if it's worth buying.

Risk of Rain Returns Review Overview

Risk of Rain Returns Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Checkmark Amazing Survivor Variety
Checkmark Insane Replayability
Checkmark Late Game Visual Clutter
Checkmark Story Is All Over The Place, Literally

Risk of Rain Returns Overall - 76/100

Risk of Rain Returns is an excellent remake of the 2D action roguelike, especially for those who weren’t there to experience it. With modernized rules and new additions of characters, items, skills, and quality of life changes that even veteran Risk of Rain 1 players would feel and appreciate. The remake is a great way to modernize the older roguelike, while also introducing the game to players who may have only played the sequel such as myself.

Risk of Rain Returns Story - 6/10

The game’s story is explained more through the logs and items you collect throughout the game. While the game does have an animated intro sequence showing the villain as well as the Survivors and a slideshow for the ending showing the aftermath to what happens, it’s not entirely clear what the plot was supposed to be about and who these characters are. This type of storytelling may not be your preferred method, as you may need a third party to summarize and wrap the narrative, rather than having to play the game countless times to sort through collected information. The lore is vast, and it definitely is not for everyone, especially to those who just prefer to play the roguelike.

Risk of Rain Returns Gameplay - 8/10

The gameplay is primarily the same as the first where it's a 2D side-scrolling action roguelike. It is difficult, no doubt about it. You will be tested by different enemy types and random loot to make the best out of what you have. With different Survivors to choose from and unique locales to find the secrets of, you will never be bored of the game. I'm no expert on 2D platformers, so some sections where skill jumps are involved had me struggling, but this is more a skill issue than a game design issue. It may take some time to get used to the controls if you're not used to it yet, and it may lead to some early deaths. If you're not a fan of platforming and roguelikes in general, this game might not be enjoyable for you.

Risk of Rain Returns Visuals - 7/10

The visuals of the game are amazing. It sports a pixelated look with a fantasy sci-fi look for all of the characters, creatures, items, and locales. Not everyone is a fan of the pixelated graphics, but in the case of Risk of Rain Returns, it works absolutely well. It has an eerie and mysterious vibe tied to the locales of Petrichor V, and most of it stems from being the invader of a hostile planet. One of the complaints I have would be the player Survivor’s visuals being too small, and the visual clutter that may arise in later runs where there will be an abundance of enemies and abilities on the screen. Another complaint would be the visual of getting hit, as it is definitely difficult to discern whether you were hit or not without totally paying attention.

Risk of Rain Returns Audio - 7/10

The music of the game is melancholic and somber, which perfectly captures the eerie vibe that you get exploring the different stages of the game. Sound design is also great as the abilities and equipment are clear and crisp when connecting against enemies. However, the hit registry sound effects to the player Survivor may be hard to hear, and it may lose you some runs as you might be receiving damage with you oblivious to it.

Risk of Rain Returns Value for Money - 10/10

This is an amazing remake to the first game, giving quality-of-life improvements and even additional items from the sequel. You will surely take your time getting all the unlockable items and survivors which ensures tons of replayability. Having access to different items, survivors, and equipment as well as the new Providence Trials will make sure that you have a lot of things to do in a $15 game.

Risk of Rain Returns Review: A Must-Buy Roguelike Remake

Risk of Rain Returns is a great entry point to the series and I can definitely argue that it's a great introduction to the roguelike genre. It’s a quick entry to learn the mechanics of the game and a simple objective to find the teleporters to advance to the next stage. What comes next is now dependent on you, whether you want to loot more items, or maybe explore more of the map before going to the next stage. Each Survivor is varied and all the abilities are unique from each other, giving you a distinct experience each time you choose a different Survivor. Some are more resilient than others, better at certain ranges than others, and even better at collecting items than others.

The game offers you a multitude of items to choose from, sometimes even giving you the choice of trading items to get what you need more for that particular run. Traversal is another part of the game where if you play a couple of different 2D platformers, you will have an easier time getting around. The different maps you visit tend to be a little hard to get around, especially when I discovered that there are invisible walls in the game that award you items and logs. I had experience playing the sequel, so I kind of knew how the assortment of items and interactables function, the abilities of the Survivors, etc. That prior experience helped greatly since my biggest problem was getting used to the movement and traversal in the game. All in all, it’s a great remake. It helps scratch that itch to play a simple and fun roguelike with tons of variety and replayability, all for the cost of $15.

Pros of Risk of Rain Returns

Things Risk of Rain Returns Got Right
Checkmark Amazing Survivor Variety
Checkmark Insane Replayability

Amazing Survivor Variety

The game is very simple, both mechanically and objective-wise. You go around the map, kill enemies to get gold, use gold to get items for different buffs and find the teleporter to get out. It’s easy to understand and easy to execute. While there may be some difficulty moving around since not everyone has played a 2D platformer, it is still simple enough.

The starting Survivors are easy to understand and simple to use, as if to teach you how to move around enemies as well as how to use your abilities. The Survivors are different from each other and add variety since they all play in different ways. Some may require you to play faster, some may need you to play close, and some are even dedicated boss killers. Each of them offers a different way to play the game and it makes the game amazing on that front.

Insane Replayability

As said earlier, there are a lot of things to unlock. Unlocking items requires you to do specific objectives to be able to use these and it may take a couple of runs to be able to unlock one thing. There are a lot of items in the game, as well as secret unlockables that require a keen eye to spot hidden walls and such to be able to find. Additionally, you can play with your friends to experience this amazing roguelike and help each other out in unlocking stuff.

If you’re not satisfied with unlocking and finding things, you can compete on the leaderboards based on time or score. It may be able to scratch the speedrunning or perfectionist itch in you to fight against other players in terms of these categories. Adding to the leaderboards, you can access the new Providence Trials mode to try your hand at their more objective-based missions where you may have to beat the clock to defeat all enemies, get to point A to point B as fast as you can, and the like.

Cons of Risk of Rain Returns

Things That Risk of Rain Returns Can Improve
Checkmark Late Game Visual Clutter
Checkmark No Obvious Storytelling

Late Game Visual Clutter

Risk of Rain Returns is a visually great pixelated game. However, you may have difficulty in looking for your own Survivor when it comes down to the later stages of your run. There will be tons of enemies and effects that will crowd the screen and may make it annoying to get around. There are some options to make it easier to discern which of the characters on screen is your character. But, with all the chaos that’s happening and the multiple items that you’ve secured throughout the run, it will obscure your vision a lot especially with multiple fire effects, skills going off and the like.

Story Is All Over The Place, Literally
Roguelikes aren’t typically known for their story, but games like Hades and Returnal have turned it up with the storytelling they initially do. The roguelike gameplay is meant for you to start a run and have various experiences that don’t really happen the same way in every run, then eventually end the run somewhere and repeat. Risk of Rain Returns has a ton of lore and story put aside in collected logs, but it doesn’t obviously tell you this and it may be a pain to find. Most people, including myself, would probably watch an explanation of the compiled logs instead of trying to find it out as my main motivation to play the game is the rinse-and-repeat part of roguelikes and not the story.

Is Risk of Rain Returns Worth It?

Absolutely. Great Introduction to Roguelikes.


Risk of Rain Returns is an absolute gem of a game. It is a great introduction to the roguelike genre and is simple enough to understand and have fun in just a couple of runs. At $15 it will give you tons of hours of content to go through and enjoy. With all of the unlockable items, Survivor variety, and replayability this game has, the game is an absolute steal and I would say a must-have for roguelike enthusiasts.

Risk of Rain Returns Overview & Premise


The denizens of Petrichor V are as diverse as the many planets they once called home. As these monsters approached extinction in their own worlds, a mysterious force brought them to Petrichor V. The planet quickly grew to be a menagerie of the most dangerous monsters in the galaxy, and they were not thrilled by interlopers (aka YOU).

Risk of Rain Returns FAQ

What platforms are available to play for Risk of Rain Returns?

Risk of Rain Returns is available for both the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo Switch and Steam for PC. Currently, there is no definite answer regarding the release of the game for both PS and Xbox as the sequel was released to these platforms as well. We’ll update our “Risk of Rain Returns Release Date and Time | Everything We Know” as soon as we get more information regarding console release dates.

Will there be an option to aim with the mouse in Risk of Rain Returns?

Recently, the developers of Risk of Rain Returns have acknowledged that adding a horizontal mouse aim will greatly help the players. Although they have acknowledged this concern, there is no guarantee if or when this will be added in the game as aiming and moving is an integral part to the gameplay since some Survivors like Huntress can shoot while moving effectively while others cannot.

Risk of Rain Returns Product Information

Risk of Rain Returns Cover
Title Risk of Rain Returns
Release Date November 9, 2023
Developer Hopoo Games
Publisher Gearbox Publishing
Supported Platforms Steam (PC), Nintendo Switch
Genre Action Roguelike, Multiplayer
Number of Players 1-4
ESRB Rating T
Official Website Risk of Rain Returns Website
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