Pylon: Rogue: Diablo Meets The Binding of Isaac – Hands-On Preview

Blending the lines between rogue-like and ARPG.

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Pylon: Rogue is an upcoming top-down roguelike with ARPG elements. It features a procedurally generated world, four varied classes, and a whole bunch of loot.

Don’t expect that loot to come easy, though. Roguelikes are notorious for being difficult, and this one is no different. Fighting through the world of Pylon: Rogue requires skill, knowledge of the classes and a little luck.

These enemies won’t go down easy.

For example, the Ranger class works out if you want to avoid getting up close with enemies. But as you play her you’ll find that you won’t be able to hit those enemies without overcoming her bow’s steep learning curve. It has no auto-aim, and missing a shot could mean death due to how weak she is.

Each class plays different enough that switching to another one is like relearning the game all over again. A nice touch when it comes to replay value. Further adding to that is the procedurally generated worlds. Each world has many levels to complete, and each level has several rooms to clear. The game isn’t done until all the worlds are beaten. Death means a complete restart.

Like The Binding of Isaac, rooms are filled with enemies, and the next room can’t be entered until the current one is cleared. Enemies vary from velociraptors to giant bats. AoE effects both friendly and otherwise litter the floors. Some enemy types are harder to take on than others depending on your class, and you will be forced to rethink your strategy based on that. Bosses will show up randomly as well, which are basically bigger forms of the standard enemy. Clearing a room nets you a chest with random loot, and it’s here where Pylon: Rogue may turn some players off.

The overhead map between levels gives access to the store as well as some secrets.

Success in Pylon: Rogue is dependent on the gear you have acquired during your play-through. Having a bit of bad luck with item collection? You’re going to to have a hard time getting through the rest of the game. Other games tend to do a good job of tweaking the RNG to make sure players get a solid chance at decent items. Pylon: Rogue needs some adjusting in that regard.

The combat is challenging, and the class and their skills fit well around that. Yet the items both myself and other players were getting do not scale very well to the difficulty. I found myself getting underpowered armor sets and equipment when I could use some pieces that were of my level. While this takes away from the experience a little, I still found the gameplay engaging enough that I could look past that. There was also a shop I could access in-between levels which softened the blow, and the RNG factors are definitely going to be altered by release. Pylon: Rogue is only in early access as of this writing.

Good luck taking these guys on without the right gear.

Out of the games I played over at PAX East, Pylon: Rogue was definitely one of the stand-outs. It’s demanding, the gameplay mechanics are tight, and the game is stable in the early build that was available to me. All it needs is a few balancing tweaks and it will be a fantastic choice for roguelike and ARPG fans alike.

Pylon: Rogue is in Early Access on Steam, and can be found here.

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Max Moeller Editor
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