Fully Released on: April 28, 2022
Available Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Price: CAD $28.99 (US $24.99)
It’s sequel time! Some time ago, I took a look at Rogue Legacy, an ambitious indie game from almost a decade ago. While popular among independent developers today, back when Rogue Legacy was released, Roguelikes weren’t anywhere near as ubiquitous. As such, it ended up being my first Roguelike experience. Since its release nine years ago, there have since been numerous games that pushed the Roguelike envelope. It’s fitting then that Rogue Legacy 2 emerged like a descendant ready to take the mantle of its predecessor.
I first heard of Rogue Legacy 2 from Rogue Legacy’s Steam Page. While gathering footage for it I noticed its sequel entered early access. I held off on it then since, unless the premise of the game piques my interest, I tend to tread carefully with early access games. Fast-forward to around a month ago. I saw a review for Rogue Legacy 2; it looked like a significant improvement over the first iteration. It was officially out of early access. Thus I decided to give it a try myself. Is Rogue Legacy 2 worthy of carrying on the lineage?
Rogue Legacy 2 begins with the player storming an ominous castle. Along the way, they find bits of lore (and tutorial tips) that detail the chronicles of the previous adventurer(s). When the player reaches the end of the tutorial, they succumb to, what is presumed to be, the same fate as their unknown predecessor. Like the first Rogue Legacy, the heirs of the tutorial knight vow to best the changing halls of the castle.
Finding info on Rogue Legacy 2’s story was more difficult than I thought it would be. Not that it matters in the long run. There is quite a bit of lore to find in Rogue Legacy 2, so those who want more context to their quest aren’t left behind.
Right off the bat, Rogue Legacy 2 looks much cleaner than its predecessor. While the first game looked great in its own right, Rogue Legacy 2’s visuals are an improvement in every aspect. The knights have more detail, the enemies pop out more, and the side characters have more personality. The bosses also have more elaborate attack queues, making it easier to predict their attacks.
Those who’ve played the first Rogue Legacy will feel right at home with Rogue Legacy. The player goes from room to room, defeating many monsters and gathering treasures that will help them in future attempts. As one would expect, it’s easier said than done. The monsters in question will shoot all projectiles and stop at nothing to ensure the player meets their doom. Rogue Legacy 2 pushes the envelope with this idea, with the many improvements to the player’s movement options. The player can dash in the air from the beginning, making the beginning of the game friendlier and faster than the first game.
Rogue Legacy 2 also gives the player an air kick move that lets them kick off enemies and breakable objects to gain more air time. This addition is important, as further on in the game, the player has to plan their kick jump to reach faraway platforms to progress. All of the new movement additions make Rogue Legacy 2’s movement and platforming feel fantastic.
The runes and equipment system returns in Rogue Legacy 2. However, this time, the previously discussed movement options don’t cost anything. The player has Resolve, which affects what they can equip before the start of their run and also dictates what artifacts they can equip when they find them in the castle. If the player equips an item that costs more Resolve than they have available, they lose a portion of their maximum health, which can potentially mean death.
Another new addition to Rogue Legacy 2 is the upgrade challenges. During the game, the player will find statues that house an upgrade to their basic movement options. To unlock the upgrade, the game makes the player undergo a series of challenges that let the player test their new abilities.
I love it when games give an area for the player to practice or train. It lets me get my barrings much quicker in a controlled environment. I can try creative techniques along with the new ability I earned or find the optimum way to get through certain obstacles.
I don’t have a lot of criticism when it comes to Rogue Legacy 2, but there are a few things I noticed…
The first thing I’d like to mention is that Rogue Legacy 2, while not as difficult as the first game thanks to the new movement options and graphical upgrade, is still challenging. If the name or the intro to this article didn’t give it away yet, the game is a Roguelike. If the player dies, they have to choose a new character to go through the castle. All they get to keep from the previous heir is the gold they collected. At the beginning of the run, Chiron takes all of the player’s gold before setting them back on their path to castle conquest.
Those currently playing through the first Rogue Legacy should finish it before diving into the sequel. While there isn’t any meaningful spoiler to speak of in Rogue Legacy 2, it won’t be easy to return to the first game. With Rogue Legacy 2 being an overall upgrade in every single way, it does make the first game obsolete.
Despite the challenge, Rogue Legacy 2 still knocks it out of the park. It is an upgrade to the original in every aspect. Those who’ve had their fill of the first game should give the second make a go. Those who haven’t played the original should skip the first game and go straight to Rogue Legacy 2.