Danger Scavenger is a twin-stick shooter, one which heavily draws inspiration from dungeon crawlers and roguelites. The game features randomly generated levels, plenty of items and weapons, and an optional perma-death mode.
I got the chance to try Danger Scavenger for the first time during a Steam Festival, and I must say that I wasn’t really impressed by it back then. However, having played it now, months later, I can say that the game has definitely changed my mind in some ways. It’s worth noting that the game has been in Early Access since June of 2020, but the 1.0 version should be released by the end of Q1 2021.
I’ve already mentioned that the game is a twin-stick shooter, but that doesn’t really do the game much justice, as it has more things going for it. For instance, the game features two different modes that you can play, Arcade and Hardcore. While there are other small differences between both of these modes, the biggest one is that in Hardcore you lose everything when you die. Meanwhile, in Arcade, you get to keep some items and weapons whenever you die. There’s also local co-op support for 2 players. So, it doesn’t really matter if you just want to have some fun, play something more challenging, or do one of these two with someone else, as the game offers you enough options to satisfy different audiences.
The game takes place on the rooftop of skyscrapers made out of hexagons, which was undoubtedly a design choice made to facilitate the randomly generated aspect of levels. The goal in Danger Scavenger is to climb to the top of each skyscraper and deactivate an antenna that is being used by a rebel AI to control nearby machines. When that is done, you simply move on to the next building of another corporation.
Currently, there are six different characters that you can choose from. There’s Captain J., which is the most balanced of all, but you also have the Doctor that has a jetpack, but other characters also have their own quirks. Besides these gameplay differences between them, they all start with different items, so you may be able to find one specific character to better suit your playstyle.
As far as weapons go, Danger Scavenger’s arsenal ranges from bazookas and nuke launchers, to miniguns and laser rifles, but it also includes melee weapons such as frying pans and katanas. There are dozens of weapons in the game, and more will probably be added before the game is done in Steam’s Early Access. All these weapons can be upgraded, just like items, and they all have different stats and effects that can trigger during combat, like having a chance to dodge an attack or to shoot a sticky bomb every time you shoot. In terms of items, both active and passive items can be either offensive or defensive in nature. These range from simple companions, to more simple items that simply boost some of your stats, such as weapon accuracy or range.
Although the game does provide players with a wide range of weapons and items, I’m afraid that the same can’t be said about other aspects of the game. For example, there are currently five different skyscrapers, but they all just feel like a different coat of paint to better suit the theme of their corporation. Also, the levels are extremely flat, there are only props scattered around to make them feel more crowded and serve as cover, but you very quickly destroy them as soon as the action starts. I understand that we’re fighting on rooftops here, but the game just feels like it’s lacking something to make each level feel special in their own way.
Meanwhile, while each skyscraper has its own unique final boss and a series of enemies, I really wish there was more variety. In this regard, the game doesn’t feel like it’s that replayable. It took me just about an hour to complete a full run of the game on Arcade on my first try. Still, it’s worth noting that, as you play the game, you’ll unlock new weapons and items, which will then start dropping in future playthroughs. Nonetheless, after only spending 3 hours with the game, it feels like I’ve seen all it has to offer.
Overall, despite being in Early Access, Danger Scavenger is a good enough game. It might not be groundbreaking or have tons of replayability, but what it does, it does reasonably well. However, if you’ve been looking for a game to scratch your roguelite itch, I don’t think that this might be it. As of right now, I’d recommend that you wait for the full release. At the moment, Danger Scavenger isn’t a game that I’d classify as a MUST PLAY. This is mostly because there are so many other excellent games in this genre, so I guess you wouldn’t miss much if you decide to skip it for now. Still, definitely keep an eye out for this one, as updates have only made the game better and better.
(Previewed PC, but it will be available on PS4, Xbox One and Switch)