Good things come to those who wait. Even though Rogue Legacy came out almost ten years ago and Rogue Legacy 2 has been in early access for almost two years, the full release of Rogue Legacy 2 has finally come. Fans can rest assured: Rogue Legacy 2 lives up to and exceeds even lofty expectations. Cellar Door Games, the developers and publishers of Rogue Legacy 2 have achieved the difficult feat of improving on every aspect of its predecessor, while making a bigger and more ambitious game.
For those that are unfamiliar, Rogue Legacy is a roguelite with a unique concept: every time you die, not only do you start over, but you’re playing as a descendent of the original character. And these descendents all have unique classes and abilities (barbarian with IBS, mage who is colorblind, archer who is a vegan, etc.). So in typical roguelite fashion, this leads to no two runs being the same, as well as lots of zaniness. But Rogue Legacy 2 doesn’t just repeat the formula that was created in the first Rogue Legacy.
Rogue Legacy 2 ups the ante with more biomes, permanent character upgrades that add a Metroidvania progression to the game, a much deeper story, and a greatly improved art style. Another huge addition is the accessibility that the game offers. With the newly created “House Rules”, players can increase or decrease enemy health, enemy damage, platforming abilities, etc. to make the game less or more challenging. Another cool aspect of this is that toggling these options does not block players from getting achievements.
If Rogue Legacy 2 is played at the default difficulty setting, gameplay is smooth and precise, yet punishing. Aggressive enemies, intense platforming rooms, risky but rewarding treasure rooms, and tough bosses will provide even experienced players with a challenge. But in failure, lessons are learned and a way forward is paved. Along with picking a new character after each death, players can use the gold collected in the previous run to upgrade a plethora of aspects for future runs. This helps soften the blow of a death and leads to progression at the same time. Health, damage output, new classes, max weight, and a ton of other aspects can be upgraded, leading to longer lasting and more successful runs. Conveniences such as permanent teleporters also help with making the runs more focused and not so repetitive.
On the note of repetition, that is the only issue with Rogue Legacy 2. Getting stuck in a difficult area and having to play it over and over, encounter the same enemies, and listen to the same music does become tedious. Fortunately, this is pretty well mitigated with the previously mentioned features.
Overall, Rogue Legacy 2 is a superb sequel. With its rewarding, progressive, and accessible gameplay, it strikes a perfect balance of catering to existing and new fans of the series. If you are a fan of roguelites, Rogue Legacy 2 is a no-brainer. If you aren’t a fan of roguelites but like great games, Rogue Legacy 2 is still a no-brainer.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
Rogue Legacy 2 is now available on PC through Steam and the Epic Games Store as well as Xbox One X/S
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