“One more try…. OK one more… Alright, just one more!” I’ve never said these words as much as when I started playing Rogue Legacy, an indie title which is PC exclusive at the moment and can be purchased on Steam. It makes me laugh as lots of PC gamers are playing this game on a machine powerful enough to land a small shuttle on the moon when it could easily run on a Game Boy Advance. It was on sale for about 4USD at Xmas time and I took the chance to snatch it and it’s very well worth the money. It’s also addicting as hell!
It’s kind of a rogue-like game where you have to scavenge a big dungeon but it’s a platformer at the same time… It’s kind of a mix between Castlevania, Metoid and Ghouls’n’Ghosts and you’ll retrieve some game play elements of those games such as “break every objects on sight to get gold and power ups” for example.
The game is extremely difficult at the beginning and you will die A LOT! Every hit takes away about 25% of your life bar. But do not let that turn you off, because you will be able to upgrade your toon and get more powerful as you go on… You just kind of have to grind it out, but it’s super addicting, and once you get into it, I guarantee you won’t be able to put the controller down.
I’ve mentioned you’re going to die a lot, and the main gimmick of the game is based around the “Legacy” idea, as it is not “you” who will respawn and try again, but your descendants (i.e. one of your heirs or heiresses). That means each time your character dies, you get to pick another one with a different set of skills, etc… and pick up where you left off. Fortunately, all the gold you got on the previous run as well as the gear you unlocked is still available to them. There’s also a huge talent tree common to each of your descendants that you can upgrade using the gold collected on the previous run in order to increase your heatlh pool, mana pool, direct damage, crit. Chance, etc…
Each of your descendants can be from a different “class” such as Berserker or Lich and gives you the potential to get different “traits” as well, and while I would consider most of them as bonuses, some of them are hindrances such as the “vertigo” trait which completely flips your screen upside down. It’s very distracting and probably one of the worst one to pick up… Lots of them are purely cosmetic as well and will make your character fart when jumping or appear as a 2D character…
Each character is different and I find it adds something to the game as you can try out different combinations between “classes” and “traits”. Want to play a giant berserker who suffers from farting disorder? Check. Want to try out a short sighted dwarf lich? Check. It makes the game different at each try and prevents boredom that could happen if you had to stick to one class only as each of them has a different play style may it be tanky knight or caster mage.
One more thing that prevents boredom is the randomly generated dungeon at each respawn. So don’t start trying to draw the map and work out where every chest and boss rooms are. Its configuration will change every time except if you unlock and use the architect (that’s very useful if you found a boss room or missed an important chest and want to go back). However, the tradeoff for locking the dungeon is giving up 40% of the gold you earn. Just bear in mind that, although all the monsters will be back, all the chests you’d already looted on the previous run will not refresh if you lock the dungeon.
This game, besides trying to take your real life away, will also make you have mood swings and make you go from joyful to extremely frustrated in a microsecond. How many times was I patting myself on the back thinking I was playing well to get punched in the face in the very next room… A few times I was like “man, my build is so overpowered, I’ve totally cracked the game” and I wasn’t even finished thinking that the game was pounding me in the face and taking a crap on my dead body… Come on game! That’s just to say Rogue Legacy will definitely humble you.
Anyway, all in all this game is great, the game play is oiled perfectly, controls are fluid and pubic-hair precise which gives you enough confidence until the game flattens your ego when you reach the next screen. But I love this game so I guess I suffer from the Stockholm syndrome.