The early 2010s was unquestionably one of the best eras for indie games. The emergence of digital sales platforms across all of the major consoles allowed for the discovery of many new studios. It also provided a major spotlight for game genres that would’ve previously been relegated to handheld consoles or flash game websites. Rogue Legacy was a hugely popular game in 2013 that brought mainstream attention to 2d platformers and roguelikes. Nearly a decade later, there is a well-deserved sequel in the form of Rogue Legacy 2.
The Role You Play
You play as one of the descendants of the knight who betrayed the king. Whenever you die, you restart as a new generation of descendants. You then can pick a new descendant who has their own class, with their own attack, special ability and spell. They also have their own quirk which can make it easier or harder to navigate the castle. The added difficulty can make it so you receive more dropped gold from enemies and treasure chests. With the gold you get from your runs, you can spend it to invest in improving your stats to make your next run easier.
There isn’t really a plot to Rogue Legacy 2 so much as a main objective. You need to defeat the six estuaries in order to unlock the golden gate. Each individual section of the castle has its own individual section which is protected by its own estuary. In order to gain access to many of them, you will have to complete a trial and unlock a new ability. The new ability will help you navigate the rest of the dungeon and help you fight the estuary, such as air dashing and double jumping.
Rogue Legacy 2’s gameplay is rather similar to the first one: a roguelike action RPG Metroidvania. You play through the castle, defeating enemies and gathering gold that you can use to level up your character for their next run. Every time you die and replay. The layout of the castle changes and you have to playthrough a completely different map. This means that finding things like chests, bosses and accessories requires a lot of exploration with every playthrough.
As you level up your skill tree there are a lot of attributes you can increase, such as your health, magic points, strength and defense. You can also unlock a lot of classes that have more of their own unique weapons and abilities.
There is near-unlimited potential to play Rogue Legacy 2 for hundreds of hours. One of the best improvements from the first game is the revamping of the New Game+ feature. Instead of simply making the game more difficult every time you beat the game, you can add specific features to your playthrough, like giving enemies more health or making the world bigger. A single playthrough takes roughly 20-25 hours to finish, but it can be replayed plenty of times and still feel fresh.
For a game like Rogue Legacy 2, where you have to replay the same areas multiple times, it’s important for the music to not get repetitive. Thankfully, The soundtrack to Rogue Legacy 2 does a great job of creating an atmosphere through a diverse breadth of areas, ranging from castle grounds to observatories to underground hellscapes. The music is also polished enough that it does not get stale after hundreds of playthroughs.
In the 9 years since the last Rogue Legacy game was released, the graphical standard for games has improved greatly. This has allowed Rogue Legacy 2 to implement a more distinct, cartoonish art style that still resembles the previous game. It allows for more differentiation among the character classes, their abilities, their weapons, and the perks that make them different. Each of the supporting characters is also allowed to be more expressive and more animated, literary and figuratively.
The Talking Parts
There isn’t much as far as dialogue goes, but there is plenty of text describing the different features of the game. There is a lot that has gone into expanding upon this new iteration, but the copy in the game doesn’t always explain everything well. There’s a lot of ambiguity about how certain abilities work and what all the attributes do. The descriptions that are given either have to be unlocked, are too short or are very vague and have to just be figured out through trial and error.
Z…We’ve Reached the End. Anything Else?
Rogue Legacy 2 follows one of the most important rules of making a sequel, “Don’t fix what isn’t broken.” It retains many of the familiar gameplay elements of the previous game, but improves upon them in many subtle ways. The design layout of the castle is very similar to the previous game, using the modular room dungeon, with one area mixing it up with a more linear layout.
Rogue Legacy 2 is a wonderful improvement from its predecessor. It takes all of the most necessary steps forward to making a worthwhile sequel and none of the steps back. It is a fantastic entry for fans of indie games, roguelike RPGs and Metroidvania. Whether you are a fan of the original Rogue Legacy or not, this is an easy game to recommend.
Final Score: 9/10
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