Live, Die, Repeat! You’ll do a lot of this in Rogue Legacy, but the way the game is built and how it plays keep it from becoming stale. Rogue Legacy is a rogue-like game, where death is permanent and combat is everything. What this means is that when your character dies, that’s it, he’s gone for good.
Here comes in play a similar mechanic to the one found in Infinity Blade. Once your character dies, his or her heir takes his or her place and so on. And like Infinity Blade, the gear, the stats and abilities earned by the ancestor carry over to the next generation. When you start the game, your character is extremely weak and you will die. The same will happen to the second, third and so on till you reach a certain level. Even then you will die and die over and over again cause the journey through the 4 different areas starting from The Castle, The Forest, The Maya and The Land of Darkness is a perilous one filled with all sorts of dangers.
So basically every run becomes all about collecting the gold which is utilized to unlock new classes, new gear and increase the overall stats. When you die, the game takes you back to the main menu where you can start a new run by selecting one of three descendants. As I said, the game has many different classes and while at the beginning there isn’t much difference between them, once you upgrade and unlock their full potential, each feels and plays uniquely. For example: the Barbarian has a ton of health, but little mana; the Hokage has a devastating attack power, but has little health and takes a lot of damage; the Assassin has little health, but has an increased chance for a critical attack and so on.
The classes are not the only thing that “changes”. The game has an interesting Traits system where the character can have up to three at a time. Now these traits most of the time are useless mainly because are there for fun like you’ll fart randomly when you jump or you’ll see in black and white. But there are also some traits which can “make or break” a run, traits like: gigantism where you are a big and bulky with increased range of attack or dwarfism where you are small and faster etc. This system when combined with the class system make each run fun and unique.
But the true unique part of each run comes from the way each run is generated. Rogue Legacy is a procedurally generated game meaning that the layout of one run will be totally unique. Sure you can “lock” the previous layout by using the Architect in game, but why would you even do that? The randomness is the main hook of this game, that’s the main reason why you’ll want to play Rogue Legacy over and over again even after your 50th death per play-session.
I was really impressed by this balance. Sure, death is permanent, but it doesn’t really matter. Depending on how good you are, usually a run might take from a minute to 20 or more. And when you die, you can restart immediately and what gold you collected previous can be used to upgrade your attack, defense and much more, so your legacy can continue to kick ass. Rinse and repeat, until you’ve killed all of the four main bosses, one for each of the areas. Once that’s is achieved the giant door in the Castle entrance is opened and you have to fight against the big baddie which is extremely difficult to kill, but you better discover that for yourself.
Now being a 2D sidecrolling platformer game, you would expect extremely tight and responsive controls. Well, I have to say the controls could have been way better than those present in the game. Not that it controls badly or anything like that, but you don’t really have the necessary responsiveness to execute some of the most difficult jump to reach certain loot chests or other secret areas. You can’t really play the game with the analog stick since it feels really floaty and the game knows that cause it urges you to use the D-Pad. For example, executing a down strike with the analog stick is impossible.
Another thing that really bugged me was the direction changing. Many of the enemies in the game move very fast and come to you in strange trajectories so you have to walk left and right or jump and attack while on the air so the direction meaning the way you are facing need to change in an instant. Unfortunately it didn’t felt that way, it felt just wrong and many times I ended up dead cause of this. I cannot speak for the PC version, but all of the three Playstation versions had this same problem.
Yes, as for now Rogue Legacy is only available on PC and on the Playstation consoles: PS3, PS4 and PSVita. And the best part of Rogue Legacy being a Playstation exclusive, at least for now (suck it Xbox!), it is a Cross-Buy and Cross-Save title meaning that if you buy it, you can play the same save on all your PS consoles, no added cost whatsoever.
As for the presentation, Rogue Legacy looks beautiful. It is a 2D game whose artstyle perfectly embodies the ones found back in the glorious games of the NES and SNES while having new and modern elements that make it quite unique and stand out from the croud. The character models look goofy and cool, the animations are even better and the designs for each of the areas make Rogue Legacy on the best looking indie games on the PS4.
Bottom Line: Rogue Legacy is a beautiful, funny and unique game fully packed with content that will keep you hooked for quite a while. Sure, it has some minor problems, but the overall experience remains fantastic. The Cross-Buy/Save only adds to the great package that Rogue Legacy already is and makes it worth every penny, cent or gold coin. Thanks for reading