Preview: Protect the World as a Cowboy Robot in Co-Op Rift Sweepers

I’m a huge fan of co-op games. I regularly play Deep Rock Galactic and have put many hours into games like Vermintide 2 and Left 4 Dead, so I'm always enthusiastic to try a new co-op game. And while Rift Sweepers borrows some of the best bits of games I love, it’s coming into Early Access today a bit rough around the edges. Even so, I can’t help but see its potential.

Rift Sweepers is a 1-4 player third person shooter. You play as one of four “Rift Sweepers.”-- basically, cowboy-themed robots that travel time to close rifts that threaten the world. It’s simple: fight demons across several different scenarios, and you can bring up to three friends. Rift Sweepers borrows a lot of elements from third person shooter games like Gears of War and Remnant: From the Ashes while also incorporating four player co-op elements from games like Deep Rock Galactic. It’s a fantastic mix.

Screenshot: Rift Sweepers

I got to spend an extensive amount of time with a preview build of Rift Sweepers, and it’s definitely a bit rough around the edges. But I managed to have a blast playing with my colleague and testing out each of the (so far) three playable characters.  Rift Sweepers is a game that is simultaneously full of gory action and absurdity. I definitely have to applaud it for its creativity, especially for the level that has you creating pizzas Overcooked style while fighting off hordes of demons.  It’s strange, but in a wildly creative way I want to see more of in video games.

Rift Sweepers is coming into Early Access today, where it will be until March of 2023—when you should expect the full release of Rift Sweepers. In the meantime, developer JOSOFT will use this Early Access period to turn Rift Sweepers into a full-fledged game. Currently, there are three unique characters you can play as, each with their own level progression and skill tree. There are also three missions to play through, and each have very different objectives. However, even as experienced players, we were struggling a bit. Rift Sweepers can definitely benefit from some balancing—as well as other polish—something JOSOFT will undoubtedly be working on during the game’s Early Access period.

Screenshot: Rift Sweepers

Rift Sweepers is another entry into the co-op shooter genre, but it does a few things different. It takes some inspiration from some great titles, but so far Rift Sweepers doesn’t quite add up to the sum of its parts it borrows from. But I have hopes for this space cowboy themed co-op shooter.  

If you're eager to try it out, check it out in Early Access here.

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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.