Rogue Legacy Review

You’ve probably already heard of Rogue Legacy. Available on other platforms, it’s finally making its debut on the Xbox One. And it’s still very, very hard.

Seriously, you’re going to die. A lot. Then you’re going to start all over again. And yet, you’re always going to come back for more. It’s the addictive brilliance of Rogue Legacy that will get its hooks into you and not let go.

A platformer/roguelike, you control a chosen character and must venture through a randomly generated castle, defeating enemies, bosses and avoiding traps. Before you eventually end up dead. Did I mention it’s very hard?

As each of your chosen heroes succumbs to the dangers of the castle, it’s then passed on to their heir. You get to choose a character, each coming with specific traits and weaknesses. Some characters end up with dwarfism or gigantism, others can have blurry vision making it difficult to spot incoming attacks. There are less visual ones, such as magic being replenished with each item destroyed, or simply being able to take more damage. It’s probably Rogue Legacy’s most unique trait.

Each time you die though it’s not the end of the world. Money you gain remains, so you’re able to build up your base with new abilities, increased health and new weapons and armour. It does make the first few hours a bit of a grind, but once you gain enough experience and money you’ll be making slow and steady progress to each boss. Luckily, once the boss is defeated they stay dead, so not everything resets with every death. There’s also a way (once bought) that can lock the castle down, so it stays the same. You will earn less coins in the castle though, but it’s a good way of easily retrying a boss battle instead of trekking through the castle again due to teleporters that are located outside the boss room.

The random nature of the castle makes everything feel different each time you play. I guess, because it is! Although certain areas are always located in a specific direction, each room is randomly generated. Sometimes you’ll be lucky and only come across a few enemies or hazards, others can be best described as bullet hell.

Rushing through the rooms is the best way to get yourself killed. Slow and steady is the best way to approach each area, because while it’s devilishly difficult, if you die then you’ve really only got yourself to blame. Enemies always have a set pattern and it’s about learning how to approach each situation that will get you through the game. It’s wonderfully designed. And it controls perfectly.

The only major issue with the game is the opening couple of hours. Those with short attention spans may find themselves getting stuck early on and abandoning the game, which would be a shame. The start is all about grinding for better equipment and abilities before you can finally push for that first boss room.

As a game where the developers have stated it was inspired by Dark Souls, it’s safe to say Rogue Legacy won’t be for everyone. It’s a game where you are continuously pummelled into the ground until you get better or give up. Those that persevere though will be greatly rewarded.