Rogue Legacy Review
The basic mechanics of Rogue Legacy are very similar to an old-school Castlevania game, except the castle is randomly generated every time you step inside so you never know what you’re going to face.
Spikes, traps, enemies, and treasure are randomly dispersed throughout the level every time you bring a new heir into the castle. Even the design changes every time, which makes exploring genuinely intriguing no matter how many times you’ve played.
Death is permanent in Rogue Legacy, so when you die—and trust me, you’re going to die a lot—you start over as one of three randomly generated heirs in your bloodline.
Each heir also has randomly assigned traits that affect how you’ll play the game. Traits range from the game changing, “Vertigo” trait, which forces you to play the entire level upside down, to the hilarious “Clumsy” trait, which makes it so that whenever you walk by a vase or table in the game it automatically breaks.
Traits can stack too, which can make for some pretty interesting characters. For instance, the first character I defeated a boss with was named Sir Kenny. He was a dyslexic dwarf with ADHD.
Eventually after defeating the boss, Sir Kenny died as well, but thanks to his heroic efforts he earned the title of “Legendary Paladin.”
Every heir you’ve ever played as is viewable in your bloodline wall. Going back to review all of your previous heirs’ titles proves to be a lot of fun. As you continue to play heirs with the namesake of great members in your bloodline will begin to pop up. This proves to be a huge moral boost and it makes you want to play well enough to live up the legacy of your last playthrough.
While your character’s death is permanent, the gold you obtained carries over to your next heir, allowing the purchase of stat upgrades and new classes to play as in addition to armor and weapons. This brilliant mechanic allows you to make your heir stronger every time you start over and if you’re good enough you’ll even make it a little further than you did last time.
Cellar Door Games takes away the sting of death, because when you die you’re excited to see what new upgrades you can buy with your previous heir’s inheritance.
That being said, it’s extremely addicting to purchase new upgrades and venture off into the castle. South Park describes using heroine is often described as “chasing the dragon” because every time you use it you’re trying to experience what it was like the first time you used it and you’ll do anything to experience it again.
I found this to be an apt comparison to playing Rogue Legacy. The first time I tried the game I found myself playing for over 8 hours in a single sitting. I missed my doctor’s appointment and several calls from friends and family because I kept on saying, “Just one more try.” So take it from this Rogue “user” when I say quit your job, sell your dog, abandon all familial attachments and start chasing the dragon, you won’t regret it.