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Video Game / Streets of Rogue

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Streets of Rogue is a real-time Roguelike-ish PC game set in a Wretched Hive of a city filled with crooks and governed by a corrupt mayor; the player, an agent of the The Resistance, is sent to climb the city and assassinate him.

Or at least that's the plan. In practice, procedural mayhem and wanton death is more likely to ensure. The player can use explosives, burn down buildings, flood air vents with poison gas, shoot up both banks and drug dens, and generally cause ridiculous amounts of chaos in an urban environment.

The game is billed as a cross between roguelikes and Immersive Sim games, such as Deus Ex. While there is permadeath, the layout of the game is very unusual by the standards of traditional roguelikes. Upon loading up the level, the game generates a few missions for the player to complete: upon failure or success of all of these missions, the game allows the player to head to the next floor. The game encourages multiple solutions to every problem, and the game's many systems facilitate this: why blow open a wall to get inside a room, for example, when you can cut out the window, teleport into the room, or lure everyone outside and sneak in while they're oblivious? There are dozens of items to play around with and quite a few different character classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Finding the solution to a problem that also results in victory is where the real difficulty of the game lies, as a single mistake can spell the end of your run or cost you more than you can make up for.


The game's homepage can be found here, and it can also be found on Steam. The game left early access and released on consoles as well as PC July 12th, 2019.

Tropes found in the game include:

  • Action Bomb: When playing as the Slavemaster, you can send your slaves anywhere you want. You also have an item to detonate their Explosive Leash whenever you want. Do the math.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Cannibals and Zombies (unless you're a Zombie yourself), will ALWAYS attack you on sight. There is a perk that keeps cannibals from attacking on sight.
  • An Axe to Grind: A powerful melee weapon, and part of the Cannibal class starting loadout.
  • Anti Escape Mechanism: There are many items that can keep enemies from escaping, such bear traps and dizzying grenades. An interesting variant comes up in the terrain generation in later levels (or anywhere with the mixed-up floors mutation) in the form of large indestructible barriers that the police can raise when alarmed, quarantining their target (often you) to a small area where avoiding a shootout can be difficult.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • When playing as the Cop, criminals will have the "Guilty" added beneath their name to indicate people you can safely arrest or kill.
    • If one of your quests becomes unwinnable (for instance, if someone you need to rescue dies), it'll be marked as a failure and you'll get no rewards, but you'll still be allowed to proceed as if you completed it, preventing the player from getting stuck due to a freak accident.
    • The game takes a few steps to avoid frustrations with normal roguelike macrogames.
      • You can turn off items and perks you don't want showing up as rewards during the game from home base. Got a perk you know you'll never use? take it out of rotation. Item you don't like? It won't show up as a mission reward.
      • Adding modifiers doesn't prevent progress unless it's "sandbox", meaning if you want to make a few tweaks to make the game more playable for you, like removing disasters every 3rd level or giving weapons infinite uses, you can do so without worry.
      • There is a machine that will let you pay money to remove or reroll perks. Get a bad lineup of perks from your level-up and want to change it? for around $200-300 you can convert it to another random perk, or if you pick one that ends up being detrimental, such as not making noise when hitting walls and realizing you really need to draw attention without angering everybody, then you can swap it or just remove it.
      • There's a "loadout-o-matic" vending machine that will give you a chance to buy your starting items from it. On some, like slum dweller, it's simply useful but on others, like doctor's tranq gun or bartender's mixing kit, you can lose some essential items for your character, bartender needs his mixing kit to work as intended and the doctor's big quest relies on not killing people as well as their super class letting you get as much ammo as you want for the tranq gun, you can buy them back for a cost.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: For some odd reason, you can place anything that's considered a "drug" into an air purifier, and it will suddenly leak as gas throughout the building it was attached to. This can include "sugar", muscly pills, and cigarettes.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A Giantizer pill lets you temporarily turn into one of these, smashing any walls in your path. This is part of the Scientist class starting loadout.
  • Batter Up!: Baseball bats are one of the most common melee weapons in the game. Also, the Jock starts with one.
  • Body Horror: In order to make the fire department better at their job, the mayor ordered that every firefighter should have one of his arms replaced by a water cannon. The firefighter's consent is not required.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Assassin, Doctor, and Vampire all require somebody to have their back turned to use their specials to their fullest, and the game seems aware of this (hence why there are so many people walking around, including officers with itchy trigger fingers). Despite this, said classes are easy to use and their abilities are expected to be frequently used.
    • The Soldier, the Shopkeeper and both Gangsters lack any game-breaking quirks or abilities, have no significant downsides, and start with decent equipment and a firearm for dealing damage at a distance.
    • Placing any drug into an air purifier will cause the inhabitants to run out, even if the effect is beneficial. This can be used to either force a target to get out into the open, or walk into the building while the inhabitants can't see you.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: The Zombie's active ability damages you slightly when used.
  • The Charmer: The Bartender class begins with this trait, which makes most of the NPCs in any given level friendly towards you by default. The Vampire class starts the game with the Cologne item, which has the same effect but lasts only one level. The Comedian is a slightly different take on this; his jokes can charm people into becoming his allies or even followers, but sometimes backfire and make them into enemies instead.
  • Corrupt Politician: The Mayor, the Big Bad of the game. He confiscated all the alcohol in the city to hold a giant party... and the party sucked - consisting of a single keg and a bag of tortilla chips.
  • Crapsack World: The place sucks. Bystander Syndrome is in full effect, the government is corrupt and doesn't care, and professionals are hilariously unreliable. While not super common, it's not rare to see fights break out on their own, and even escalate without outside input. This is in addition to the random disasters that randomly occur that all seem to be man-made, such as radiation storms and random bombings.
  • Cutting the Knot: Encouraged. Why go through the hassle of sneaking through a base to get a code for a safe when you can just remotely hack a computer and open it yourself?
  • Dance Party Ending: Everyone listening to your speech after becoming Mayor dances to the credits music.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • The tutorial covers all its bases.
      • Punch the door down instead of opening it like you're instructed to? The Resistance Leader responds in amazement.
      • Kill the shopkeeper you're supposed to purchase a key from? His corpse will drop the key, and the Resistance Leader responds appropriately.
      • Kill the friendly bouncer who serves as the tutorial's living punching bag instead of tranquilizing him? The leader's suitably annoyed.
      • Try to tranquilize the leader instead? He's wearing protective thermal underwear, you see.
      • Throw a rock at the leader after he just made you walk through an explosive tripwire? Admits he probably deserved that.
      • Purposely throw all your rocks away such that you can't safely disarm the second explosive tripwire from a distance? He asks if you're trying to break the tutorial or something.
      • Smart enough to step away from the generator that's clearly about to explode? He's disappointed that you're not a total schmuck.
    • The game proper has some interesting examples as well.
      • The doctor can't use their ability to knock out Gas Mask Mooks because it relies on the victim inhaling chemical fumes.
      • Security cameras can't detect moving boxes. Hacking them shows they're completely A.I. in universe and can recognize owners and non-owners, but apparently it's ability to recognize and distinguish humans also means it can distinguish non-humanoids and chooses to ignore them.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Quite a few characters.
    • The Hacker is able to manipulate computers better than anyone else in the game, and can even hack from a distance for free, but is fragile, does poorly in combat, and is bad with weapons. Paired with someone who can dish out damage, he can poke weak spots in enemy strongholds and make him and his comrades's lives much easier.
    • The Comedian has one notable ability: he can tell a joke to a crowd, who will either like or dislike it. If enough people like him, he gets free followers, and thus can become extremely powerful in later levels.
    • Well played, the Investment Banker will be rolling in cash and constantly buffed by drugs. Badly played, he'll be struggling to pay his debts and drugs and constantly dealing with withdrawal.
  • Dirty Cop: The police force in the city is so corrupt and easily bribed it's laughable. For a price, they will ignore any criminal activity you carry out during the current level (although they will become hostile if you attack them, obviously). There's even a sign in the Slums that flat-out says that if the crime isn't committed in front of them, it might as well have never happened.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While the Cop was already leagues above the rest of the force by not being completely corrupt, his main motivation for joining the Resistance is that the mayor outlawed groups of more than 4 people dancing, forcing the Cop's Village People imitation band to end.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Sledgehammer is a rare melee weapon and the most powerful, being able to turn to hamburger most foes.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe, a possible reaction from NPC's to the Comedian´s jokes. People who dislike your jokes will become permanently annoyed at you (they won't attack you, but you won't be able to interact with them. Annoyed property ownwers will also demand you leave).
  • Dumb Jock: The Jock, obviously. He's all about wanton property damage, but can't use a computer to save his life.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Wrestler. Has tons of HP and hits like a train in melee, but the only use he has for computers is to use them as throwing weapons.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Completing the Big Quest of a class turns it into a "super" variant of said class new abilities or buffs, most of them not that useful since the quest ends once your reach the Mayor's Village (the last level). However, a mutator allows you to play with the "super" variants.
  • Explosive Leash: The Slavemaster can turn any NPC into their slave by placing of these on them.
  • Fantastic Racism: Gorillas are very intelligent, but this is a result of experiments on them by scientists. Unless you're in multiplayer and have two characters playing each class, then gorillas and scientists will always be hostile towards each other.
  • The Fettered: The Cop, who has the ability to take down unsuspecting people from any angle with only a small use bar (and loud noises from the cuffs) in the way. However, he's the only person who can lose XP, in this case by stealing from, attacking, arresting, or killing innocents. (Note that for some reason, chests and safes don't count)
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Most (but not all) classes fall into one of these types:
    • The Fighter-types tend to be beefy classes focused on melee and are often unable to use computers or have other significant restrictions that push them towards straightforwardly violent solutions, like the Gorilla, Wrestler, Jock, or Werewolf.
    • The Thief-types tend to have moderate health and focus on sneaking up behind people, often with items or abilities focused on movement, stealth, and quick stealthy takedowns, like the Assassin, Thief, or Doctor.
    • The Mage-types tend to have low health, the Skinny Nerdlinger trait (lowering the fire rate of guns as well as boosting their recoil) and items or abilities that give them weird capabilities, like the Hacker or Scientist.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: In order to avoid problems on more family-friendly platforms, Cocaine was renamed to Sugar, while Steroids were renamed to Muscly Pills.
  • Fur Against Fang: The Vampire's quest has him hunt down werewolves hidden in each level.
  • Five-Finger Discount: The Thief can pick the pockets of any unsuspecting NPC.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The Jock's special ability.
  • Freeze Ray: A starting weapon for the scientist (and something others can find at random.) It freezes victims solid, at least until they get hit. Enemies killed while frozen shatter into ice cublets.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: After you deal with the mayor, the next mayor either goes corrupt or is even worse from the start. Or, you can intentionally destroy the government, causing the whole city to fall to total chaos.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The Shapeshifter starts with the "Naked" trait (you won't see anything, don't worry). This isn't just a cosmetic effect, waltzing around naked is illegal, which makes cops automatically hostile towards you until you possess someone.
  • Functional Addict: The Investment Banker needs to take drugs once per minute or else he goes into withdrawal, which decreases his stats and gradually reduces his health until he gets his fix.
  • Gang Bangers: The Crepes (blue gangsters) and the Blahds (red gangsters), an obvious parody of the real Bloods and Crips gangs.
  • Guide Dang It!: How to raise Electability. While it's somewhat obvious that you have to be liked by people so they'll vote for you, the fact that you have to deal with people who do not like you (usually by killing them) and that everybody votes (including the slaves and the prisoners) isn't explained until Mayor's Village. Those gorillas you freed in the Slums? Yeah, they're registered voters and will remember the guy who let them out.
  • Hollywood Hacking: The Hacker class naturally engages in this - with a few typing sounds on their laptop, they can make a building's security systems attack its owners, flood the vents with poison gas, unlock safes, and so on, all without even having to set foot in the building.
  • Hub Level: The Home Base, where you unlock perks and reward items, as well as buy starting loadout items and unlock shortcuts to later levels.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: The Cannibal class, unsurprisingly. They can only heal by eating corpses and refuse to eat standard food items, although they'll still use alcoholic beverages.
  • Improvised Weapon: The Wrestler can pick up almost any object lying around the level (trash cans, lamps, boulders, vending machines...) to throw them at anyone for a fair amount of damage.
  • Instant Sedation: The Doctor's special ability allows him to perform an instant, non-lethal takedown on any unsuspecting NPC by knocking them out with chloroform. He also starts with a Tranquilizer Dart gun, which takes several seconds to take effect.
  • Kill It with Fire: The flamethrower, of course. In addition, you can spread oil over the ground and light it (either with the flamethrower or a lighter), and fire can spread over wooden structures, hedges, bushes, and so on. There's also lots of oil, flaming barrels, and fire-spewing traps in the city, especially in the factory area.
  • La Résistance: The player works for one of these. They're surprisingly incompetent, unlike most examples of this trope.
  • Layered Metropolis: The city is composed of a bunch of stacked floors; the only way between them is via elevators. Naturally, the lowest ones are slums, then factories, slowly working your way up to the upper class districts.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Cyanide Pill. Unsurprisingly, when you swallow it, you die. The "lethal" part comes when you realize that the game treats "Cyanide" as a status effect, and there's a number of ways to use the items with status effects on other people. In particular, combining it with the Water Pistol gives you five instagibbing shots.
  • Life Drain: The Vampire's ability allows you to suck the life out of your victims to replenish your health. The downside is that this is the only way the Vampire can heal. Food/medical items can't be used and doctors will tell you "their training doesn't cover the undead".
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Seeing people explode into meaty chunks isn't an uncommon sight in this game.
  • Magikarp Power: The Slum Dweller class starts with terrible stats in every category and no immediately-useful abilities or items, but gains XP faster than anyone else, and has a trait called "Potential To Not Suck" which raises his stats as he gains levels. Likewise, doing his quest turns him into the Upper-Cruster, who has similar stats... and the power to use supercop-summoning panic buttons on the upper levels, and they aren't harassed by the security robots in Uptown.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: While each class has its own unique quirks, The Shapeshifter is still the outlier out of all of them. They are very weak and tiny, however their ability allows them to possess any NPC on that floor, which gives you their inventory and their alliances when you do so, which means if you take over a "building owner", or a character with a yellow name, all others who share that building will suddenly be allies, however they can still turn on you if they see you doing something suspicious, like robbing "your" building.
  • Meet the New Boss: Each player character that usurps the mayor's hat will give a new era speech based on their class. They're all hilariously insane.
  • Money for Nothing: Chicken nuggets, being the currency to buy new perks and rewards, will eventually become this. The loadout shop, which lets you pay nuggets to start a run with different items, seems to exist solely to avoid this trope in full, just so you have something to spend nuggets on, but even then it has some limited use.
  • More Dakka: The Soldier starts with a machinegun, a high firearms stat and an item that gives him ammo per kills. Hence, the solution to most problems when playing as him is to just shoot his way out of them.
  • Metal Slime: if you see a random NPC with red eyes then they have a changling in them. Kill the host and the small man will pop out and start running. Kill them and you will get a good bundle of cash.
  • Nice Hat: The Mayor's Hat, a snazzy tophat.
  • No Fair Cheating: In a sense. Custom characters have you use points to build up a character, requiring strengths which use pints and flaws which give them to have enough to balance it within 20 points. The game will let you build up a character past 20 points, but you won't be able to get any progress in the game as a whole, such as chicken nuggets, with them if you do.
  • No OSHA Compliance: None of the buildings with security systems are particularly safe, and for some reason every server in the game has a function to flood its building with poison gas in the hands of a good enough hacker, but the Industrial section of the game stands out in particular - it's filled with conveyor belts leading into flames and pits, crushers note , puddles of easily-flammable oil, no guard rails, explosive poisonous barrels, and so on.
  • Not Completely Useless: The cigarettes. Normally, they're Vendor Trash, since they only inflict the "Nicotine" status effect (deals minor damage to whoever is affected) and you need a cigarette lighter to use them outside polluting air vents with it (which any other negative effect drug is much better at). Enter the Investment Banker, and cigarettes become way more useful, since Nicotine has a couple of side effects: it temporarily freezes the "Feelin' Alright" countdown timer and stops the "Withdrawal" gradual health loss, both of which are extremely useful to the Investment Banker. On top of that, Banker as of Alpha 57 starts with a lighter, making using cigarettes less dependent on RNG.
  • Notice This: The use of light is a major theme to help the player see what's important. interactable items are always lit up naturally, each unique building has its own lighting to let the player know what counts as what building, characters emit light on their own to help highlight what's a person and what isn't, and a specific mission type will show its cleared by removing the lights from the building it was in.
    • Also, anything the player has an inventory item for, such as glass cutters or lock picks, will glow green to let the player know it has a unique interaction with a consumable item, presumably so the player knows if they have that consumable in their inventory.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Playing as the Zombie is all about creating a zombie army to cause havoc.
  • Nintendo Hard: Make no mistake, the game is freakin' hard. There are many ways to screw up a plan, and a single misstep could end in your death.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: The game's Tag Line: The World's Only RPG Roguelike Action Stealth Shooter Brawler Co-op Megagame.
  • Pacifist Run: Hard but possible. Some classes actually reward you for it, such as the Cop (who gains more XP if he arrests criminals instead of killing them) and the Doctor (who gets an XP bonus if he doesn't kill more than 2 people per level).
  • Palette Swap: "Gangster (Blahd)" and "Gangster (Crepe)" are two separate unlockable classes, but they have the exact same equipment, the same stats, both of them have the "other gang attacks on sight" trait, and their Big Quest involves killing the other gang. Even the short snippet of backstory for them is essentially the same: they walked in on their parent having sex and somehow mistook that for them getting murdered.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The Jock class specializes in two things: destroying stuff and beating people to a pulp. If, by the time you leave a level, half of it hasn't been reduced to rubble and a good portion of its population isn't dead, you haven't been playing the Jock right. The game even encourages that by giving the Jock XP for demolishing things.
  • Retcon: Shapeshifter's motivation got retconned from "an alien wanting to help take down the Mayor" to "an alien wanting to cause planet-wide mayhem".
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Resistance is comically violent, often demanding that the player kill people who clearly have no relevance to anything. They even have you beat up another Resistance member in the Tutorial, and he makes it clear he did not agree to this.
    • However, it also averts this very commonly. United under the Revolution any sworn enemies will work together without a problem, such as rival gangs or intelligent gorillas and their former captors. In addition, a common mission is to free people who are locked up, and 3 of the ways a person can be locked up heavily imply that they were worse off without your help. note 
  • Schmuck Bait: The Cyanide Pill item, whose description reads "Maybe don't eat this. Seriously."
  • Shrink Ray: A starting weapon for the Scientist (and something others can find at random.) It lets you shrink people down and stomp on them.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: When playing as the Slavemaster, civilians will randomly turn hostile, implying slavery is (at least for some people) a Moral Event Horizon In-Universe.
  • Slipping a Mickey: The Bartender class starts with an item that lets him turn any drug item into a cocktail he can then give to any NPC. This means you can neutralize/weaken people you want to eliminate by giving them a cocktail with a negative effect, such as poison, weak or cyanide.
  • Standard Status Effects: By the crapload. Syringes and pills can cause various effects, and outside of that there's Freeze Ray doing what is says on the tin, and a few perks allow you to inflict status effects on hit.
  • Technical Pacifist: The Doctor's "Pacificst" trait prevents them from using most weapons. While they do have non-lethal ways to take down enemies, and nothing technically stops the player from playing them as an Actual Pacifist, in practice this generally just means you're going to be killing people indirectly instead. Lampshaded by their Big Quest, which requires that you play them as something sort of vaguely akin to an Actual Pacifist... by killing no more than two people per level.
  • Thieves' Guild: The Thief can talk to other thieves to purchase thief gear (any of the items the thief starts with), which is useful since normal shopkeepers won't sell things to Thieves.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Although it is possible to finish a level without killing anyone with most characters, this is Enforced with the Doctor, as they can't use weapons of any kind, rely on knocking out enemies with chloroform from behind, their big quest requires that they kill a maximum of two people per floor.
  • Utility Party Member: Hired Slum Dwellers aren't typically useful in a fight but can be sent to cause a ruckus outside of a key location, either drawing targets out into the open where you can engage them on your terms or distracting them long enough to sneak in and complete a mission without anyone knowing. Can also come into play when rescuing people that offer services, although you'll still need to pay which limits the utility somewhat.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: In spades. Every level is filled with innocent (and not-so-innocent, but irrelevant to your mission) people wandering around doing their own thing. Nothing stops you from stealing from them, assaulting them, murdering them for whatever spare change they have in their pockets, flooding their home with poison gas, shrinking them and stomping on them, and so on (and, unless you're the Cop or have a character with The Law trait, you'll even be rewarded with some EXP for doing so).
    • Videogame Caring Potential: This deserves to be a sub-note, because while you can't do actions that randomly help people in mass, you can still free slaves, who have explosive collars on controlled by slavers, and caged gorillas, held by scientists and proven to be intelligent but unable to communicate, or even just play favorites and save people getting attacked.
  • Violation of Common Sense: when playing a vampire you wanna get hurt. Until they get a special perk they can only bloodsuck, which is deadly against single targets, while injured.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Werewolf can turn into a lycanthrope at any time by using his special ability.
    • Averted with the Shapeshifter, ironically. He has to possess someone's body to change forms.
  • We Have Reserves: A playstyle encouraged with the Slavemaster, since the longer your slaves are alive, the more likely it is for them to rebel against you.
  • Weird Currency: To unlock traits and mission rewards, as well as buying starting loadout items in the Home Base, you use chicken nuggets as currency. Somewhat explained as the current mayor outlawed them after choking on one.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Talking to any character that doesn't have an assigned function in the home base, such as unlocking new skills and items, will earn the same message over and over, and if they are a class that can randomly be found in game, they'll say their line from the actual maps, such as the police officer asking you to do crime where they can see it.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The Shapeshifter's entire gimmick comes from Messiah, with a diminutive angel on a Mission from God possessing NPCs to do their dirty work.
  • Wretched Hive: The city where the game takes place is swarming with gangs and drug dealers, and the police employ lethal force without question, immediately siding with property owners to beat you to death (unless you pay them to look the other way, of course.) And all of this led by a completely corrupt mayor, opposed by a violent and unstable Resistance.
  • 0% Approval Rating: The mayor, who got elected on a platform of lower taxes and more beer, proceeded to raise taxes dramatically, ban chicken tenders, and confiscate all the alcohol, purely to hold a giant party... and the party wasn't even that great. Of course, this is The Resistance's account of events, and they're not entirely trustworthy.
    • Any and all NPCs will either run away from you or attack you on sight when playing as the Zombie.
    • Potentially, you, if you're a total psychopath who has earned the ire and hatred of every single floor.
  • You Killed My Father: The reason why the Gangsters joined their respective gangs is that their father (for the Blahd) and their mother (for the Crepe) were killed by members of the opposite gang. Except it actually was respectively a woman cosplaying as a Na'vi and a man with a bad case of rosacea. And they weren't killing them, but doing "something else".
  • Zombie Infectee: Any NPC that enters in contact with you while playing as the Zombie will turn into a zombie upon death.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: The Zombie Phlegm active ability. Anyone hit by it not only will turn into a zombie when they die, but they'll join forces with you instead of roaming randomly through the map.



Example of: