Star Renegades immediately stands out due to its impressive pixel art visuals. But after playing it at Gamescom 2019, I can tell you there are many more reasons to be excited about this roguelite RPG.
Star Renegades plays like a classic JRPG – you meet characters throughout a developing story and fight the evil galactic empire in turn-based combat. You also meet a snarky robot called J5T-1N, but we call it “Justin.”
Combat in Star Renegades is very similar to other JRPGs at its core. Each character has beautifully animated and unique attacks and can react to different combat situations that arise. Certain characters can also combine their attacks into powerful combos. More powerful and unique moves unlock as you increase your characters’ support level, much like in the Fire Emblem series.
But unlike the Fire Emblem series, Star Renegades does not feature permadeath, at least not in the conventional sense. As a roguelite, Star Renegades creates new challenges for each playthrough. When characters die, they return when you start your next run through the game.
This is also where Star Renegades takes inspiration from the Shadow of Mordor series. When your characters die in battle, the enemies that fell them become stronger and advance through the ranks, in an adversary system much like in Shadow of Mordor. If you battle against particular enemies, there is even a chance that one of your characters will be captured and turned as a result.
The developers explained how, while it is possible to clear the game in one run, players will return for many runs, and every time get a little more progress. In between runs, you return to the renegade base, where you can control Justin and talk with the different characters. You will also earn upgrades you keep in between runs, unlike character levels which do not carry over.
The Gamescom demo I got to play only featured a small slice of the game, so I was only able to experience combat using a handful of different characters. However, it also featured the all-new 2DX graphics overhaul, which looks terrific.
Star Renegades is set to release sometime in 2020, and so far it has only been confirmed to release on PC and Xbox One. It will be available via the Xbox Game Pass.