Rogue Legacy Review

A down and dirty review and snippet of the PlayStation platform release of Cellar Door Games' "Rogue Legacy."

Rogue Legacy is devilishly delicious and wickedly funny. Combining a dose of nostalgia with a dab of amusing nuances and addictive gameplay, Rogue Legacy for all three PlayStation platforms takes what was best about the PC version and ups it repeatedly for a truly definitive.

Rogue Legacy released for the PC and OnLive users on June of 2013, which was followed by a Macintosh and Linux version the next October. The title was received well across all of the aforementioned platforms, being praised for its difficulty, “broader progression system,” and unique stylings.

Recently, Rogue Legacy made the jump to consoles and has been refined to fit consoles a little bit better.  All of the updates that slowly hit the original incarnations of the game have been bundled together along with some balance and difficulty tweaks. 


Essentially the game places the player as an ambiguous knight (usually with a hilarious name) and the character is tasked with exploring an ever-shifting castle.  As the game progresses the character battles numerous types of monsters while collecting coins, blueprints, runes, and other long lost artifacts.  Initially the castle is available, but as more of the map is uncovered and (more-importantly) as the knight levels up and progress other more difficult areas open up.  Each of these pre-defined areas, which are procedurally generated between deaths, have a boss.

Once the boss is defeated…the boss remains defeated.  The game promotes repetition and leveling to defeat the bosses.  Hardcore, skilled gamers will find much challenge in this setup, while those who enjoy the difficulty, but may not have a lot of time to play, will also enjoy the quick-pacing and eventual level progression that’ll make the bosses all that much more easier— Time over a ridiculous learning curve.

The real nuts and bolts of Rogue Legacy stem from death.  As the player dies, instead of respawning, the character chooses an heir to carry on the family quest.  The heir is chosen by making a selection from a group of three randomly generated characters.  These characters oftentimes have weird and unusual abilities that’ll affect the style of gameplay, the character’s attack, health, and combat/magic abilities, as well as the general feel of the character.  

The player also retains his or her gold from the prior play session and can then use it to purchase upgrades to the family manor, which ultimately upgrades all subsequent characters.  From the manor screen, there is another section which allows the user to strike up a conversation with a myriad of sellers which provide weapons, armor, and magical armaments.  There is even an architect, which can be paid a percentage to prevent the castle from randomly changing, so if a particular room is giving you trouble and you die you can pay to have the castle remain the same (instead of being procedurally generated) and tackle it once more (this can be done ad infinitum).

The Verdict

Rogue Legacy harkens back to an older era of gaming.  The art style is pixelated and colorful and the music is reminiscent of the more-limited chipsets of yesteryear.  Akin to such games as 1001 Spikes and Dark Souls in difficulty, Rogue Legacy will give most players a run for their money, however, the slick progression system, rich sense of humor, and overall cadence of the game is perfect for hardcore gamers or those wanting to play in bits on a commute or with only a couple minutes of downtime.  Plus, Rogue Legacy is cross-buy and cross-save on all three PlayStation platforms, so with a challenging experience, cohesive gameplay, and a great aesthetic there is a lot to be had by Cellar Door Games’ Rogue Legacy.

Our Rating
A down and dirty review and snippet of the PlayStation platform release of Cellar Door Games' "Rogue Legacy."


Published Aug. 6th 2020

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