ReviewsReview: The Serpent Rogue

Review: The Serpent Rogue

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In a world filled with despair and destruction, it is easy to feel powerless. You are but one small being against mother nature and evil, so how can you compete? Worry not, as life is weird and wonderful and occasionally helps in mysterious ways. This is exactly what happens in The Serpent Rogue, a game about one being’s fight to save humanity.

Developed by Sengi Games and published by Team17, this is a dark action-adventure title. It uses a simple but eye-catching aesthetic, crafting mechanics, and clumsy combat. All these elements combine to deliver a challenging but enjoyable exploration game. Its approach and melancholy atmosphere reminded me of Don’t Starve. However, progress in The Serpent Rogue is slower and more experimental. Consequently, the lack of hand-holding and slow action will frustrate many.

The Serpent Rogue: a story of survival against the odds. 

The world is being destroyed by a shadowy entity known as Morbus. This corrupted power mutates everything it touches. Animals die and then rise again, and plants and trees become twisted and dangerous. What’s more, a deadly storm hunts you at every turn. Subsequently, you must move quickly, plan on your feet, and use potions to your advantage. Combat is, of course, a choice, but it shouldn’t be your go-to option. Strangely, this action-adventure title wants you to craft your way to victory, and that takes a bit of getting used to. 

You control a strange figure known only as the Warden. This masked individual is an expert in alchemy and must concoct potions to save the day. Furthermore, he is expected to experiment, scavenge for resources, and help the hapless surrounding humans. This combination of mechanics and loose story creates an unusual but enthralling survival game. Yes, its meandering pace will deter some, but I enjoyed its difficulty while exploring the corrupted lands.

The Serpent Rogue has an easy to navigate world map.
Where will you go?

Hard to get started. 

I always struggle when games fail to hold my hand. Subsequently, The Serpent Rogue was difficult to get into. Sadly, a lack of tutorial enforces trial and error and death is all but guaranteed. However, this brutality makes it moreish and oddly addictive. You’ll craft goods, potions, and food as you explore your dank surroundings. You are also forced to research ingredients, tame wild creatures, and hire people to assist you. What’s more, your foes have strengths and weaknesses that must be exploited to be victorious. In short, multiple calculations must be made if you wish to succeed.

Now, you may worry that this is too vague. Yet, I adored its obsession with death and its morbid atmosphere. Furthermore, the gameplay is rewarding when you discover recipes, solve problems, and finally progress. It’s a game that will attract a hardcore following and is tough to put down once you understand its fundamentals. Yes, death is always tough to swallow, but it’s not the end of the world. If you die, and you will, your kit remains where you fell. However, if you die without collecting it, it will be lost forevermore. This mechanic adds a further layer of difficulty to a game that is already challenging enough.

As you can probably tell, The Serpent Rogue isn’t for the faint of heart! It’s tough, unfair, and will drive you barmy. Yet, it’s this horrendous nature that makes it so enjoyable! You’ll scour the deadly landscapes and find secret passages, all while scratching around for solutions. Now, I understand this won’t be for everyone, but I cherished its horrific nature.

The docks are essential when expanding your following.
Who will you find at the docks?

The bad points!

I’m a fan of degrading equipment, survival stats, and challenging gameplay. However, when you blend this with a lack of direction and clumsy combat, it’s pretty frustrating. The hero is uncharacteristically slow and has the agility of a tanker. Consequently, avoiding enemy blows is nigh on impossible. This impacts your ability to survive and causes unnecessary deaths.

Alongside this, every tool degrades in record time. Now, I know the game focuses on potions and buffs, but this was ridiculous. Melee weapons are pointless and as much use as a chocolate teapot. I believe the developers got this balance wrong, especially for the early action. Sadly, this imbalance will put many off enjoying the rewarding and enjoyable later story.

The Serpent Rogue is simple but striking. 

In a world of death and destruction, there is an understandably sombre appearance. The Serpent Rogue capitalises on its melancholy nature with an array of darker tones and vivid reds. Furthermore, it has clean lines, a cartoon appearance, and many sinister characters. It enhances its simple style thanks to its basic UI and well-defined areas. The visuals won’t wow you, and there is no new ground broken. However, it was pleasant to look at morbidly.

This approach is continued with the heavy audio. There is a blend of calm songs and fast-paced dramatic music that makes the game uncomfortable to experience. The sense of urgency is clear whenever there is danger, and this puts you on edge throughout. What’s more, the sound effects are brutal and you’ll wince as blows are struck.

Have as many followers as you wish.
A bit greedy with the followers.

Slow but easy-to-understand controls. 

Had the hero been quicker and more agile, The Serpent Rogue would have been much better. No matter how many potions you brew or equipment you make, you’ll scream at the cumbersome gameplay. It was a shame as the UI makes it an easy-to-understand game. Consequently, you’ll master the fundamentals quickly, and this makes it somewhat worse. The Warden’s slow movement is annoying and undermines much of the action. You’ll know what you want to do, but you won’t be able to avoid your foes or death.

If you put the poor movement to one side, you experience a game full of replay value and longevity. Thanks to its monstrous achievement list, massive amounts of craftable items, and a big world to explore, you’ll play this for hours. Yes, it takes some time to get into it, but if you can overcome this, you’ll love the challenge you’ll face. 

The Serpent Rogue is challenging but rewarding.

If you adore a challenging game that doesn’t hold your hands, then love The Serpent Rogue. Its brutality won’t be for everyone, but I adored its rewarding gameplay, simple aesthetics, and addictive ways. The movement and combat let it down, but don’t let this prevent you from experiencing this gem of a title. Subsequently, I recommend you buy it here! Can you prevent the corrupted entity from taking over the world? Learn new recipes, craft items, and destroy every creature you face. 

SUMMARY

The Serpent Rogue is a tough, no-nonsense action-adventure title. You must explore, experiment, and battle whatever blocks your path. You'll die repeatedly as you fumble your way to victory. It's hard work, but oh so rewarding.



+ Simple but effective aesthetics.
+ Melancholy audio.
+ Brutal but moreish gameplay.
+ Oddly addictive.
+ Many crafting options.

- The combat is cumbersome.
- The weapons are imbalanced.
- The lack of hand-holding is frustrating.

(Rating: PEGI 7 Mild Violence Release date: 26/04/2022 Price: £15.99)


(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.)


Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: The Serpent Rogue<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>The Serpent Rogue</em> is a tough, no-nonsense action-adventure title. You must explore, experiment, and battle whatever blocks your path. You'll die repeatedly as you fumble your way to victory. It's hard work, but oh so rewarding. </p><br/> <br/> + Simple but effective aesthetics. <br/> + Melancholy audio. <br/> + Brutal but moreish gameplay. <br/> + Oddly addictive. <br/> + Many crafting options. <br/> <br/> - The combat is cumbersome. <br/> - The weapons are imbalanced. <br/> - The lack of hand-holding is frustrating. <br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 7 Mild Violence <b>Release date:</b> 26/04/2022 <b>Price:</b> £15.99)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.) </p><br/>