Risk of Rain 2 might just be one of the PlayStation 4’s most addictive co-op experiences. Crash-landing on a hostile planet littered with sparsely detailed but highly stylised landmarks and architecture, you and your team must survive using weapons and abilities that are in constant flux as you slot in more and more perks. It sounds simple, and at first it feels that way — akin to playing laser tag against overwhelming odds, such is the deceptively basic (yet responsive) way that starting out each run feels.
Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll find plenty more within this game’s meta. For starters, each defeated enemy contributes currency which can be spent on item drops within levels, or powering up downed turrets — thus reaping more money. Enemies begin to drop more currency the tougher they get, and this constant investment gives every run a satisfying new perspective.
Because of the near constant swarm of loot and weaponry you’ll earn, and the six playable classes (unlockable via multiple challenges) with their own unique abilities, play styles can alter completely from one minute to the next — especially when factoring in larger boss enemies. There are ranged characters, melee-focused skirmishers, and even a really enjoyable mage class capable of chucking spells around like nobody’s business. These combinations of abilities build into explosive chaos and seemingly infinite replayability — at least if you’re playing with friends. Risk of Rain 2 is a lonely experience when played solo, and while ability cool downs never feel too prohibitive, being able to exchange which of your squad is unleashing all manner of hell on an enemy is a big part of the fun and strategy.