Rogue Company Review: Short, Snappy Third Person Shooting

Rogue Company has grown into a fun third-person shooter that’s fun with the right group, but it’s not one that will hook players for the long haul.

There’s a reason why people say to not judge books by their covers. During the closed beta period, the newly free to play Rogue Company from First Watch Games and Hi-Rez Studios came off as trite. The third-person shooting did what it needed to do, but nothing that made it rise above countless other multiplayer games on the market. Perhaps more importantly, the limited population meant games often devolved into spawn camping on small maps. Now that the shooter has emerged as a free to play open beta, a lot of those population-based issues have fallen by the wayside.


There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of worldbuilding when it comes to Rogue Company. It’s certainly not necessary for a multiplayer game to have those elements, but it has helped hero shooters like Team Fortress and Hi-Rez’s own Paladins stand out in the past. While each playable Rogue from this roster sticks out thanks to some distinctive visual design and more than a little leaning on tropes, their quips during gameplay just aren’t that memorable. With the game’s store already cycling through skins that overlay the characters with completely new personas (a trait the developer did learn from Paladins), maybe that doesn’t matter so much.

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What does matter is that, with the right group of players, Rogue Company can be good fun. Now that the game has hit the masses, opponents and teammates in pubs are much more willing to go after objectives and team up rather than rush ahead as a lone wolf. With that breathing room, the gadgets that seemed utterly useless before now have a purpose. The once chaotic gunfights have a flow to them, and each of the gametypes offers a slightly different take on the combat. There are still times when one team will completely stomp the other, but they’re mixed in with moments that finally showcase the interesting tactics the game has promised from the beginning. In an industry full of beta tests that are glorified demos, Rogue Company has undoubtedly improved since its first showings.

While some of the maps are probably still too small, others can use that close-quarters feel to impart map knowledge that players of other games spend tens of hours mastering. Most arenas only have two or three hotspots of activity, and players learn them quick enough to let them flank and perform surprise attacks like instant pros. Once combat starts, the machine guns feel pretty spray and pray, and the shotguns often feel outclassed, but they serve their purpose. The real satisfaction comes from the side items and activities. Many of the Rogues can close out entire rounds with one well-placed explosive, and there’s nothing more satisfying in the game than pulling that off at a clutch moment.

The only thing holding Rogue Company back is the lack of a real hook. For all the improvements Rogue Company has made, it’s still simply outclassed by loads of other shooters on the market. The matches are bite-sized, to the point where they feel more appropriate for mobile devices than a game console. Between matches, there’s nothing extracurricular to pick up the slack for gameplay that is now fun, but not fantastic. There’s no battle pass, no string of cosmetic nothings to unlock every level, not even a post-game screen that explains all the fancy medals awarded during a match. All that’s here is matchmaking into another minutes-long match filled with competent gunplay. No amount of buzzer-beater moments are going to keep the masses distracted in a market full of free to play games that just offer more to do.

Next: Star Wars: Squadrons Review – High Flying Fun

Rogue Company is available to download and play for free on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. An Epic Games Store code for the Ultimate Founders Edition was provided to ScreenRant for the purposes of this review, and additional testing was done on Xbox One via cross-play and cross-progression.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5 (Good)




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About The Author

Alex Santa Maria

(866 Articles Published)

Alex Santa Maria is a writer, editor, and critic based out of the Sunshine State. Raised on a healthy diet of gaming mags at an Xbox LAN center, Alex is an enthusiast who loves shooters, roguelikes, and arcade-style games. He has an unhealthy obsession with bad movies, a love of the 1980s, and the skills to rack up a high score on your local pinball table. When not covering the latest news on Screen Rant, you may find his byline on a growing number of webzones, including GameRevolution, TechRaptor, Mandatory, and WrestleZone.

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