by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
The castle is split into rooms, the layout of which is randomly generated. The architect back at your manor can lock in the layout, however you wonít get as many rewards if you choose to do this. The only thing that remains the same about the castle is the four areas it is split up into. You have the main castle, the Maia up in the towers, the dangerous Dungeons down below and the Gardens out back. The rooms themselves are pre-generated, so you can learn the majority of them, however it doesnít become repetitive. You run around the 2D environment, dodging traps and going from room to room searching for treasure. Killing enemies will give you some gold, and certain objects like chandeliers and vases will occasionally yield some cash, but your real goals are chests and bosses. Some chests require you to fulfil certain requirements in the room before opening. For example an area might be filled with spikes and the second you take any damage the chest locks forever.
Bosses are another beast entirely. There are four bosses to defeat spread throughout the castle, and doing so gets you one step closer to opening the door in the foyer (the only room in the castle that remains constant through all playthroughs). You wonít even be able to dent them until you put some serious work into your character though, and even then they are tough. Most of the combat in the game centres around you learning the tells of each enemy type. You need to know when the baddie is going to charge at you, or fire some projectiles at you so you can dodge accordingly. There are a decent amount of enemies in the game, however some simply get reskinned and change up their attack patterns a bit in harder areas of the castle. The types range from hulking suits of armour to haunted portraits hanging on the wall attempting to blend in with the normal ones. They can never quite contain their mischievous glee though, and will twitch when approached.
The graphics are basic and going for that retro style that is being used a lot nowadays across indie games. That said, it is wonderfully colourful (apart from when you are colour-blind) and the game has a really nice style about it. Your character changes slightly depending on their traits, and new equipment you buy is represented on the model. I also love the way that your hero runs with sword outstretched as if they canít wait to go adventuring. Itís really cute until you realise that they are probably going to meet some sticky end within twenty minutes. The music is pretty good too, with a fair variety of songs, however none of them have really stuck with me while Iím not playing the game.
Get back in
My favourite part about Rogue Legacy is that I always seem to be finding something new, even after I think Iíve seen it all. I havenít finished it yet, and perhaps I never will, but I always feel like Iím getting one step closer with each hero I choose. That sense of progression makes the game really compelling, and each time you die you arenít frustrated, you are just excited to spend your wealth and get straight back into the action. Despite the occasional control annoyance and underdeveloped trait system, this is a fantastic game that I am going to spend many more hours with to continue building my legacy.
Wonderfully engaging gameplay. Great progression.
The traits aren't that interesting, despite being one of the main selling points.