Have you ever wondered what it’s like to fail and entrust your quest to your children? If that’s the case, Rogue Legacy 2 is the game for you. This roguelike indie game combines metroidvania and RPG mechanics to create a game that is both addicting and relentless.
Continue reading to learn our thoughts on Rogue Legacy 2!
While the game is a direct sequel of the original Rogue Legacy, the story does not continue, taking place in a new land. This land is called the Kingdom of Genesis, a collapsed civilisation full of treasure and danger. Although similarly to the first game, you play with generated heroes, all having different names, traits and skills. Once the said hero perishes in their adventure, instead of coming back from the dead, they are succeeded by a descendent of them.
Rogue Legacy 2’s tale is fairly complicated, with most of the lore being discovered through books or spirit orbs. You’ll learn what happened to the kingdom from various characters in these entries. Without entering Spoilerland, the King and his most devoted followers, the Estuaries, have displaced the Kingdom’s subjects for their own personal gain and greed. There was a revolt, and the kingdom was cut off from the rest of the world. You (and your extended family tree) are now the sole hope for the kingdom and its inhabitants.
The plot moves at a good speed, and piecing together clues in search of the truth is satisfying. There are also several secrets, which, along with the game’s random room generation, make it a delight to explore. While the tale isn’t really an apotheosis, yet it keeps you guessing about what happened. As a result, you become emotionally engaged in the characters and the universe, which is always a positive aspect of a game.
A roguelike, or roguelite, is defined by its addictive gameplay loop, and Rogue Legacy 2 is no exception. Aside from the desire to discover mysteries and explore the world, each run is defined by the question, “Who am I going to play with?” You must pick one of three successors of the previous hero you played with after each death. They’re completely random and can result in some amusing or annoying combinations. What if a character is unable to perceive opponent health? Or a colorblind character that sees things in black and white? What if they have dwarfism, able to enter tight spaces and slip past enemies? There are several options, and it’s always exciting to see what you’ll get the next time.
Apart from the various characters, the gameplay of Rogue Legacy 2 is fluid and satisfying. Employing platforming, in combination with metroidvania item collection, named heirlooms, each run reinforces upon the previous. These heirlooms allow you to traverse obstacles in the world that cannot be passed otherwise. From dashing in the air, to double jumping, they are very important, and thankfully, are permanent unlocks for all your characters. The combat of the game is rudimentary, yet with the different classes in the game and the large amount of relics offer great variety for runs.
Additionally, while biomes are generated at random, they each present unique difficulties in terms of platforming and combat encounters. There are six biomes in all, each having six main bosses, but you’ll almost surely have to fight through a slew of “mini-bosses” to get there. The battles are all unique, and while the boss fights aren’t as memorable or difficult as the ones from the previous game (damn you, Herodotus! ), they’re still enjoyable. Overall, Rogue Legacy 2 features a more refined blend of gameplay and superb platforming, making it a delight to play.
The graphics are also a significant upgrade over the first game. From the previous game’s pixelated visual style to a more contemporary, cleaner 2.5D look. The game’s visuals are noticeable from the initial seconds, and as you move through the game and discover other locations, you’ll be astounded at how distinct, but similar, they all seem. The hand-drawn backdrops offer a striking creative contrast with the characters and the action.
We played the game on PC and found it to run well with no frame drops and a consistent 60 frames per second. We weren’t expecting it to be very demanding, but its visual is fantastic and it blends in seamlessly with the rest of the game. The visual effects are really varied and well-executed. All of the VFX in the game are fantastic, from fire spells to poison clouds, luminous foes to thunder clouds. In terms of art style, there isn’t much to criticize, however Rogue Legacy 2 pales in comparison to Hollow Knight or Ori and the Will of the Wisps in terms of aesthetics.
The exalted main theme greets you as soon as you enter the game, setting the tone for Rogue Legacy 2’s high fantasy vibe. The soundtrack is excellent, with the various songs played throughout the game effectively expressing the undertone of the various places and bosses. The sound effects are likewise excellent, albeit there were a few occasions where cracking noises in the background detracted from the overall ambiance. Unfortunately, the problem wasn’t with our system, but with the game, and while they weren’t often, they were quite annoying.
The dialogue in the game is both hilarious and unique. Although the audio is not recorded, the quality of the text makes you feel as though the characters are speaking, and it feels that being mute conversationalists is for the best. Nonetheless, there are instances when the dialogue becomes more complex or dramatic, and it’s exciting to witness it go from humour to drama in only a few minutes.
As previously said, Rogue Legacy’s plot and gameplay mechanics keep you always on your toes. While playing, there were no dull times, and the environment seemed incredibly alive, with stories and surprises around every turn. The docks, or game’s primary hub, has a really wonderful vibe to it, and the many NPCs that assist you on your voyage really add to the atmosphere. However, as soon as you board the boat to the kingdom, your muscles tense up and you’re ready for another round of platforming and mayhem.
Overall, Rogue Legacy 2’s atmosphere is fantastic, with numerous NPCs and encounters that keep you invested in the game’s development. The different room combinations, as well as the mysteries and side-quests found throughout the game, make it a game worth spending a lot of time with.
Rogue Legacy 2 excels at creating a magnificent atmosphere and gameplay loop that entices you to want to learn more with each playthrough. While the original game was fantastic in its own right, the second installment outperforms it in every way. There are very few reasons not to try Rogue Legacy 2 if you desire a platforming roguelike, and we can’t recommend it enough.
Our criteria at Games Row for rating games are as objective as can be. Of course, reviews are influenced (also) by personal experiences. So our ratings may not meet everyone’s expectations.