The original Rogue Legacy came out back in 2013 and I am a huge fan of it. This roguelike platforming game was unique, letting you choose one of three heirs which would succeed you. Each heir had unique stats and traits that could change how your character played. Some could be colour blind, making your playthrough in black and white, while others are far-sighted, amnesiacs, or have powerful muscles. Rogue Legacy 2 takes this and builds on it; it is completely different yet feels very familiar at the same time, and that’s not a bad thing!
The differences between classes are a lot more varied than the first title; each one has its own unique weapon, passive attack, and stat distribution. The game also rewards you for taking characters with traits that make gameplay more difficult, which gives you an incentive to try out these other fighters. So if you don’t mind playing in black and white, taking a colour blind heir may be advantageous for you! I love how the traits actually make a difference for your playthrough, and how some of them are crazier traits, such as Synaesthesia which leaves a trail of colour behind the character. It was one of my favourite traits because it looks so cool!
Each class has their own kind of weapon with perks and disadvantages; for example, the axe does a huge amount of damage but it’s heavier, so the barbarian doesn’t move as fast and the air attack does less damage than if they were standing on the ground. Though somersaulting in the air looks super cool! If you play as a valkyrie your weapon can attack in all four directions, making it incredibly useful for hitting enemies above and below — due to its size it’s a bit slower to swing, but I feel it is worth it. There are other classes like archers equipped with bows and arrows with good range, and if you really want something unique, play as a chef. It might not seem like someone’s first choice but it’s a role you don’t usually get to play in a roguelike title, plus it’s only fair that everyone had to be conscripted!
Rogue Legacy 2 looks great and feels like a huge improvement from the first title. The animations are super smooth, the colours are vibrant, and all the heirs have a unique look. I love that if you are playing as a lady and switch to the mage class, she is sporting “the sickest of beards”. You aren’t a true mage without it! Enemies you loved from the first title are back including the skeletons who get dressed up and shoot fireballs at you! Rogue Legacy 2 also has six bosses to face-off against that look epic, intimidating and challenging to beat making your victory over them all the more rewarding. To go along with the upgraded graphics, the game soundtrack has also been improved and complements the visuals well. The music fits the feel of the castle you are exploring and I never found it to be super repetitive, unlike other titles of a similar style.
Gameplay-wise, the platforming felt very solid, and there were just enough commands that it wasn’t overwhelming. One melee attack, one spell, and a talent was all you really need for your offence, along with the ability to dash; it was nice to not have to switch between spells whenever you faced an enemy. One of the things that I appreciate most is how accessible the developers made Rogue Legacy 2 for everyone, including the options to set your own House Rules which are great for people who want less of a challenge or don’t have the hand-eye coordination to get through the game on the regular settings. Or if someone wants more of a challenge they have the option to make the enemies stronger. There is something for everyone here and I love the customisation!
As you progress you will spend the money you have earned during your attempt on the Skill Tree for your Manor. You will unlock new classes of characters, new buildings that are added to the Manor like the Mess Hall that increase your vitality and max HP, and even find other people to assist you like the Blacksmith and Enchantress that will upgrade weapons and teach you new magic. There are tons of upgrades here to spend your hard-earned money on, but some areas are locked until the Manor is a certain level. Levelling up happens anytime you unlock one of the skills, so if you feel a bit stuck and have some funds to spare, spend it on some of the other skills and you will level up, unlocking more options. Be sure to spend as much gold as you can on upgrades on the skill tree, or with the other people like the Blacksmith because as soon as you jump on the boat with Charon, he will take all your remaining gold as payment for taking you to the castle. I found speaking to the Architect and giving him money to lock the castle — which makes the rooms stay in the same spot as the previous run and not generate a whole new layout — to be very beneficial, especially when you made a lot of progress discovering rooms during your last attempt. Being able to have the map completed for the rooms you have been to was great, as it’s nice knowing where things are located so you can just head to new areas you haven’t explored yet. This does come at a cost though, as the Architect will take 30% of all gold you find but giving him three pieces of gold for every 10 felt worth it, I definitely did not want to have to start over every time I entered the castle!
My only issue with Rogue Legacy 2 was a minor one dealing with the archer class. With the bow and arrows you have a great range, but the time to fire another one feels too slow to deal with fast-moving foes, especially when you are in a room with multiple enemies flying at you and shooting projectiles. I would rather take the gunslinger who also has good range but can reload his gun faster and shoot in a straight line instead of an arc like an arrow. But that is also the nice thing about being able to choose from three different characters, as you can always try out one of the other classes to find out which you find easier to use.
Rogue Legacy 2 has so much to do, things to collect, and unique heirs to try out, it is sure to keep you busy for a long time! The team at Cellar Door has done a great job with this title, and they have truly improved on an already great game. If you enjoy roguelike platformers with great characters and a ton of stuff to do this is a must-play. Even if you aren’t great at titles like this, the option to set your own House Rules makes this something that anyone can play.
Rogue Legacy 2 (Reviewed on Windows)
Outstanding. Why do you not have this game already?
Rogue Legacy 2 has taken everything you loved from the first title and improved on everything, this is an incredibly addictive roguelike with customisation options to make it accessible for everyone no matter your skill level!