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Rogue Legacy: A review

Make history or become it in this challenging but brilliant Rogue-like platformer!

Pleasing your ancestors can be difficult. When faced with the daunting task of conquering a castle with ever shifting rooms, filled to the brim with traps and vicious monsters, its understandable that you might fall at the first hurdle. Soon the adventurers you started your journey with will be ancient history. Such is the nature of Rogue Legacy.

You take on the role of a hero trying to conquer the aforementioned castle. Armed with your sword, your class specific special ability and your wits, it’s up to you to conquer the four wings of the castle, defeat the bosses and gain access to the final door which guards the final boss. A brutal mixture of Dark Souls and Ghouls and Ghosts, the rogue-like gameplay is fast paced and frantic but unlike those two franchises, with Rogue Legacy your deaths will largely only be down to your own skill level. You will die, that’s a given. But death in this game is not the end. When you inevitably snuff it, you’ll take over as your next of kin, given a choice of three randomly generated characters. Their classes will be random and they’ll have various advantages and ailments. Examples of the ailments include colour blindness, hallucinating that health items are out to kill you and even vertigo which flips the game on its head and reverses the controls.indiedb

You’ll find blueprints on your travels for armour or swords that carry bonus features such as additional jumps or vampirism and runes which further improve your survival chances or increase the amount of gold you receive per kill, invaluable for the games upgrading system. Or you can make the enemies harder if you enjoy pain. You’ll improve your maximum health, increase your mana for your oh so useful class specific attacks and even unlock new classes.

I touched earlier on the fact that many of your deaths in the game will be down purely to skill and I mean that. This isn’t a game that tricks you, its quite simple in the fact that, here you are, fighting a giant eyeball that spews screen filling eye lasers. Initially, it’d look impossible, until you realise there IS a pattern to how they fire. Its the same in some of the harder areas, where even the smaller enemies launch enormous magical attacks. But you can counter it, whether its with quick thinking and dodging or use of upgrades. Do you give yourself five double jumps meaning nothing is out of your reach or do you give yourself the quick dash ability to leave your enemy in a cloud of dust. You can customise your playstyle drastically, with farming builds, combat builds, basic survival builds all feasible.

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If you make a particular amount of progress, you can pay to “lock down” the castle. Its layout will remain the same so you can revisit areas with the correct build, at the cost of gold earned being slashed in half. Maybe you’ll find a passage too tiny for a normal sized character but perfect for one with dwarfism. Maybe you found one of the games challenging Fairy Chests and have now equipped yourself to beat its challenge, be it don’t take damage, reach the chest in a certain time limit or kill all the monsters. The game has no end of secrets, from hidden chests to secret bosses where you face powered up versions with a set build, meaning you must defeat them without your upgrades and only your skills and the abilities of the pre-set class to help.

Rogue Legacy is an excellent game for either dipping into or investing a long slog. I personally found myself playing for long sessions then transferring my cross save to my Vita and continuing upstairs in bed. It’s incredibly addictive and charming as hell with its sense of humour and useless but endearing character traits. It helps to relate to the characters and makes seeing that death tally all the harsher. I’d recommend the game for any console you can play it on, I beat some of the hidden bosses on the Vita and the PS3 so the controls aren’t an issue. So go forth and make your ancestors proud and end the Rogue’s Legacy!

 

image credits to steam and indiedb.com

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