Rogue Aces Review
Aspiring air pilots, its time to take to the skies with a brand new, 2D air combat game for your Nintendo Switch, Rogue Aces. You’ll join the ranks of the green army, led by your wise-cracking commanding officer, and fight wave are wave against the brutal orange army. Fans of the Steam hit, Altitude, will be right at home here. Rogue Aces features a playstyle that is very similar to Altitude, just without the multiplayer. But don’t let the lack of any multiplayer deter any would-be pilots, Rogue Aces is a blast to play as you’ll soon see.
Rogue Aces doesn’t feature a story, but it does have some elements that help create a sort of narrative. You can pick between a male and female pilot, and you have a commander that will randomly assign you missions. Rogue Aces features a few different game modes, but the gameplay is pretty much the same in each mode. You begin each playthrough on the deck of an aircraft carrier, you’ll be assigned a mission and then off you fly to complete the mission. Upon completion, you’ll return back to the aircraft carrier to refuel, restock, and repeat. There are probably about a dozen or so missions available, but since the world is procedurally generated, no two playthroughs are exactly the same. If your plane is shot down, you’ll have a chance to parachute to safety, at which point you’ll be able to get into another plane (assuming you have any planes left). Death equals game over, at which point your score is tallied and you’re given experience points that levels up your pilot. Each level awards your pilot with additional enhancements to use on subsequent playthroughs.
As mentioned, there are a few modes to choose from. You’ll start off with Training Ground, which shows you the ropes in a safe environment. From there, you can choose the first Campaign Mode, Normal Campaign, which is just mission after mission with no real ending. Eventually, you’ll begin unlocking other modes, such as the second Campaign Mode, Frontline Campaign. Frontline Campaign adds a dose of strategy by allowing pilots to choose which island to attack, with the end goal of reaching the opposing armies main island and destroying their headquarters.
I really enjoyed the games visual direction. At first glance, it seems simple, but you eventually notice so many little details. Whether it’s the little splatter of guts when you shoot down a parachuter or the changes as the day turns to night, it’s clear there was a lot of thought and care taken into the game’s graphics. The audio also has been handled nicely. While not all of the text is voiced, each of the pilots and their commander each spout off various little one liners throughout your playthroughs. Obviously, as you play for any period of time, you’ll start hearing these phrases repeated, but that’s just the nature of a game like this.
I Feel The Need…
A game like this lives and dies by its controls. If the game is hard or awkward to control, then it’s doomed. With that said, the controls in Rogue Aces are nice and tight, making maneuvers easy to pull off. It does take time to get accustomed to it. For me, I was flying like an ace after about an hour of playing. I did find myself mixing up the various different face buttons – the default “eject” button is way too easy to accidentally press. Fortunately, every aspect of the game’s controls is customizable giving you the ability to pick and choose any button for any action.
Rogue Aces does not feature any form of mutliplayer and I can’t help but thinking that the lack of any local co-op mode was a missed opportunity. The lack of multiplayer is not a deal breaker, there’s plenty here to enjoy without it, but I really hope the developers implement some sort of co-op mode in a sequel.
Rogue Aces is an absolute treat. The gameplay is addicting, the visuals have a surprisingly deep level of detail to them, the controls are solid and fully customizable, and there are enough game modes to keep things interesting. If I had to find any real fault to the game, I’d say the lack of multiplayer would be my biggest disappointment. Clear off the Switch’s runway, and bring Rogue Aces in for a landing – this is one game that deserves a place in your library.
***Rogue Aces Switch key provided by publisher***
- Nice visuals
- Lots of different game modes
- Fully customizable controls
- Addicting gameplay
- No multiplayer