+One Gaming

Published on July 26th, 2013 | by APant1

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Rogue Legacy [Review]

Rogue Legacy is everything UnEpic isn’t. Fast, fun, fluid controls, clever, it’s the total package. The premise is a bit odd, though.

The game starts with a character exploring a haunted castle full of monsters to defend his family’s honor, or rescue a princess, or something like that. I forget. The conceit is that he will die very early on, since the game is stupid difficult. Then you must pick one of his three children to go into the castle and avenge his death. Every time you die, the castle completely randomizes its layout, and you pick another heir for your next run. The heirs all have different classes, magical skills, and traits. A paladin can block attacks and an assassin can land devastating critical hits, but the real fun is in the traits.

Most characters will have one or two personality traits that can help or hurt their run in the castle. ADHD makes you move much faster, or you could have a great memory, which marks the placement of enemies on your map. Or you could be cursed with vertigo, which flips the whole game upside-down so you walk on the ceiling. Or you could be gay, which as far as I can tell does absolutely nothing in terms of gameplay.

While you will die a lot, the money you make in the castle can be spent on permanently upgrading the stats of all your future characters or unlocking new classes. You can buy runes and equipment to customize your characters too, but as soon as you enter the castle, Charon, the ferryman to the underworld, will take all remaining gold (unless you spend money learning to negotiate with him).

What I really like about this game is how well it’s executed. The controls are spot-on and feel very tight, so I never had anyone to blame for death but myself. Even though you die a lot, the feeling of progression is very steady, whit new items and upgrades coming at a great pace. The game’s humor is very good as well; each run is what is honestly a goofy and light-hearted castle of death will give you a chuckle or two.

Bottom line is if any part of “randomly generated love letter to 16-bit rogue-likes” sounds fun, this game is worth it. Rogue Legacy is available on Steam for PC. The game’s website says Mac and Linux versions will come later.

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