Going Rogue is an adult visual novel with a story that I haven’t seen before. You’re an undercover police officer infiltrating an organized crime ring. The unique setting definitely grabbed my attention from the start.
It’s evident from the start that this VN had some amount of a budget – everything about it is slick. The perpetual soundtrack is decent, though the loops definitely get repetitive. But they’re pleasant enough, so I can’t really complain. Going Rogue has all of the standard QOL stuff going on, with text skip, replay galleries, and mousewheel rollback on text.
Now, those of you who are familiar with the other reviews I’ve done for Lewdgamer know that poor translation is probably the biggest pet peeve I have. While it’s obvious that this wasn’t made by native English speakers, the translation itself is competent. While there’s some syntax issues on occasion, they’re generally minor. I always knew what they were trying to say, even if it wasn’t perfect.
The gameplay itself actually is pretty layered. There’s a lot of choices from the beginning, and in ways, it’s very reminiscent of a Telltale Game. Some decisions clearly are more just flavor text, while others give you the “They’ll remember that” message, letting you know that you’ve had a distinct effect on the story. Your first run, presuming it’s blind, will almost certainly include a moment where things distinctly go in a direction that you’re not expecting at some point, which is a big plus in my book.
Also, like Telltale games, there’s quicktime events, though generally they’re pretty generous in the window for you to react. This is the first time I can recall having seen this implemented in an adult visual novel, so there’s definitely a novelty factor for me. It’s a minor touch, but it adds to the game aspect organically and doesn’t feel like it exists purely for the sake of existing. There was real thought put into the design here, and this doesn’t feel derivative at all, particularly compared to what I’ve seen on the indie AVN scene in the past year. It feels like they have a very solid framework for what they’re trying to do. They’ve put thought into the overall experience and not just the adult content. Other devs in the adult space should take note.
The other thing that sets this AVN apart from the vast majority in the genre is the focus on the plot, which refreshingly doesn’t revolve around sex and adult content. It’s there, and it’s pretty obvious in most cases (though not all) of what choices will lead you to getting sex in either the short or long term. The plot always takes priority. This is good, because it makes your choices feel earned, not simply handed to you. The story is gritty and dark at points, and while you have a certain amount of the trope of women universally thinking you’re attractive, they’re not dropping their panties simply from the sight of you and your genitalia of the gods. It actually made me care about the plot, which is pleasantly high-stakes. At one point, I made a mistake in my answer and used the rollback because I didn’t like the result. That’s pretty much unheard of for me. Normally, I just roll with whatever decisions I make, but with this one, it didn’t fit the character I was playing. If an AVN can truly hook me to that degree, it’s exceptional. In addition, there are points where choices are dependent on your relationship level with a character. You can see them, but they’re greyed out and unselectable.
The renders are on par with most of the games, though I’ll admit that given how strong the game is overall, they’re not as good as I would have expected. At least for me, there were a lot of uncanny valley moments going on. They’re not bad, just..not impressive. There’s animation, but it’s the 1-3 stills, flip book style, which again surprised me a little bit. As strange as it is to say, the adult content is probably the weakest element here. It’s not bad, just not stunning. It’s obvious that the priority was on story and gameplay first, however, which is genuinely the right choice. Just view the adult stuff as the cherry on top of a compelling game, and you won’t be disappointed at all.
Going Rogue might be a little higher than you’re used to paying for an indie title, but it’s absolutely worth it. There’s actual replay factor here, and not just for the adult content. A single run will give you between 3-4 hours, depending on how quickly you read. To be fair, that’s a little short, but not grossly so, particularly when you factor in its replay factor. Its $13 USD price tag is completely justified. Barring a surprise game showing up in my review pile in the next couple of weeks, it’s my adult game of the year. Overwhelmingly, this game gets an A.
CLICK HERE TO BUY GOING ROGUE ON STEAM.