PAX EAST: Danger Scavenger

Danger Scavenger
Publisher: Star Drifters
Developer: Star Drifters, Piotr Wolk

The robots have run amock and it’s up to you to stop them. At the Polish Game booth at PAX EAST 2020, Developer Star Drifters was on hand to showcase a special little game that looks to be fun, thrilling, and perfect for when you need a quick dose of cyberpunk action in your day. Danger Scavenger is an isometric twin-stick roguelike game that made its debut at PAX EAST, and while the game is still in development, I came away from it very impressed.

Danger Scavenger takes place in a future inspired by the likes of Blade Runner and Robocop. In a world filled with corporate greed, there are the Scavengers, agents proficient in weapons and combat that take the fight against the greedy mega-corporations of the future. This guerilla fighting continues for quite some times until the greedy corporations get ahead of themselves and unintentionally launch a robot apocalypse with A.I.O.N.E. With a city in chaos, The Scavengers are sent in to turn dangerous machines into piles of scrap metal.

My time with Danger Scavenger was incredibly positive in various ways. To begin, the game sports a polygonal, bright-colored presentation that is vastly different in comparison to the darker, grittier tone of other cyberpunk games As the game takes place within a highly futuristic city, the game featured bright billboards and crisp, clean skyscrapers, with bright colors and particle effects. The isometric combat felt sharp, with weapons and explosions having a strong impact on the mechanical enemies. Machine guns, lasers, and flamethrowers all felt right and popped off the screen. The enemies, in particular, felt strong, fearsome, but were a fun challenge to take down, especially the smaller mini-bosses.

There are many roguelikes out there, but what sets Danger Scavenger apart from others is the dynamic reward system. As Danger Scavenger takes place in a world where mercenary work is stronger than your average 9-5 office job, this particular job has a set of rewards to attain. At the end of each level, the player can choose which path to go on. An easier path will increase the chances of staying alive, but it is possible to walk away with nothing. However, the harder levels, while challenging, do yield to higher rewards, form weapons, perks, and special tools to big payouts.

During my time with Danger Scavenger, I went for the high route, trying to reap the rewards and get stronger weapons, but facing much tougher robotic enemies. Bullets and laser fire popped off the screen and the narrow rooftops mad every encounter fun yet challenging. Discovering new abilities and weapons was always a small or as I didn’t know what to expect next. Fighting the smaller bosses also provided a lot of fun as well. Considering the demo, I lasted quite some time, clearing many different floors of levels. Alas, I was eventually gun downed by a rogue robot.

Danger Scavenger is shaping to be a wildly enjoyable action roguelike. The presentation, the sharp, the cyberpunk world is colorful, and the gameplay is tight and rewarding. I am a believer that when rewards are done right in a roguelike, it keeps you coming back for more, and Danger Scavenger is shaping to be a game that will be wildly rewarding, one destroyed robot at a time. Danger Scavenger has been confirmed to be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC in Q2 2020.