Rogue Legacy is a “rogue-lite” from Cellar Door Games which has you controlling a hero in a 2D action-platformer within a procedurally generated dungeon.
When you first start Rogue Legacy you are given a choice of three character classes to run through the dungeon with, these are Knight, Barbarian and Knave. Each have their pros and cons; the Knight is well-rounded in damage and health, the Barbarian is weak in damage but has tons of health and the Knave can crit more easily but has very little health. You can also unlock many other classes throughout the game including the Lich, the Mage, the Shinobi and the Miner who equally have their pros and cons.
As for the whole “Rogue-Lite” thing, the game is essentially a rogue-like in that it has perma-death but features character-progression that isn’t normally found in the genre. In each run you get gold, which unlocks new features in the tech-tree, equipment and runes which can carry abilities like multiple jumps, faster movement speed and vampirism among other things. Equipment and runes must both be unlocked from chests in the dungeon before they can be purchased and equipped. All of these in turn power up your character, making each run much more manageable than the last. Every time you die, you are given a selection of three new heroes to choose from, who are all children of the previous hero you lost, attempting to finish what his father/mother already started. The game takes you through four different areas; the castle, the forest, the tower and the halls of darkness. In each area you fight a boss which then reveals the final area and final boss.
Each character can have up to two traits when selected, these are inherent to the characters and can vary significantly. There are traits like Dwarfism, that makes your character short, stereo-blind, where you can’t see enemies or yourself when they turn around, colour blind, which turns the game black and white and a bunch of others. The traits are a great addition because it means you really have to think about which character you select for each dungeon, you may not want a really short character for bosses because they don’t have as much reach or you may not want to see in black and white because it’s difficult to distinguish certain enemies from each other.
The enemies are extremely varied throughout the gane. You start off in the castle with only a few select enemies but each new area introduces a variety of new foes as well as different variations of previously seen enemies. Much of the game is about learning enemy patterns and figuring out the best way around them to get the most gold you possibly can before dying. On top of the standard enemies are also the five bosses and many mini-bosses you can fight in your adventure.
The story contained within Rogue Legacy is very light and only really contained in diary tomes you find randomly within the dungeon, it’s certainly interesting and finding more entries in the diary is fun but it’s definitely not the main draw of the game.
Rogue Legacy has a retro aesthetic like many other recent indie-platformers but the gameplay is what makes this game stand out. It feels like a classic platformer in how fluid the controls are and how well the game moves. With that and the tech tree, the game always feels like you are constantly progressing, even if you only play it in five minute increments. Some people might not be able to get used to the grindy gameplay, but I always found it fun regardless of how many hours I stuck into it. Rogue Legacy also has an exceptional soundtrack that really helps keep the game fresh and pushing you forward.
Almost everything in Rogue Legacy is of an outstanding quality and the game is an absolute steal at such a low price. You really can’t afford to not pick up this unbelievable package, I also highly recommend picking up the soundtrack because it is also well worth it. The game can be found on all major PC digital distribution services or at their website for $15 or £12.
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