Not every day you try a game that made a genre popular! Two years after its early access debut, Rogue Legacy 2 enters the rogue-lite arena once and for all, on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series. As you will understand, it is the sequel to the excellent Rogue Legacy (2013) that was able to update this very specific formula, where everything is based on randomly generated levels. A game as cult as Spelunky or Binding of Isaac. In short, the work is heavy on the Cellar Door Games studio, especially after an early approach that is more troubling than convincing. What does he give in the end?
The test was performed on a computer. Rogue Legacy 2 is also available on Xbox One and Xbox Series starting April 28, 2022.
We are not going to lie to you, we put our hands on Rogue Legacy 2 with enthusiasm. Beyond all that the first installment brought to the genre, it is mainly fascinating how Cellar Door Games responded to the challenge of “modern rogue-lite”. Early access to the game left some worries about this (despite welcome innovations) with a formula almost identical to the first Rogue Legacy. But in 2022, we can no longer do rogue-lite like we did in 2013. Because in the meantime, other games have been introduced as the new references in the field – Hades, Dead Cells – with reinforced specific arguments, both in terms of artistic direction, narration and gameplay. For Cellar Door Games studio, it is impossible to follow its course without trying to climb to their height. You know what ? Rogue Legacy 2 is on its way.
Not like the others
But before we get into the details, let’s look at the basics first. As in the first dose, Rogue Legacy 2 gives you control of a bloodline. You do not play one and the same hero throughout the adventure but several of his descendants. Thus, every time your avatar falls in battle, it must be replaced and chose another among three suitors of the same blood. Never fear, the wealth accumulated by the deceased is automatically transferred to his heir – with the exception of Relics, the temporary bonuses accumulated along the way. Enough to unlock permanent improvements during game hours (increase health, physical / magical damage, unlock new classes of heroes and characters with useful services). Not to mention very practical magic equipment and runes, for which you must first find the diagram.
But beyond a virtuous circle based on a lot of money and a family relationship, heirs do not have much in common. simply because Their order and “characteristics” vary with each new generation. In other words, you might as well spend an hour with a completely ordinary warrior before continuing with a dwarf wizard. The recipe was already in the first Rogue Legacy, but it extends a lot here, with many and varied features – practical and completely insane – and that refresh the enjoyment throughout the adventure (count about fifteen hours). Same remark for the classes, which have been the subject of even more remarkable work. There are a total of fifteen and we all seemed relatively well-balanced, keeping new weapons / subtle details each time: overall, the gameplay of Rogue Legacy 2 is also very accurate and effective. You will unlock these lessons throughout the game thanks to a skill tree. And you will more or less “have to” try them by choosing three offspring after each failure. But it is for the best: overall, the evolution is varied, rhythmic and very fluid.
Ad vitam aeternam mesh;
Feature in Rogue Legacy 2: you can not accumulate the wealth of your ancestors forever. Whenever you find death, get up just before the entrance to the dungeon, where the skill tree and benches are to buy permanent upgrades. And to go on an adventure again, you have to empty your pockets completely, even if you have a few cents left after your shopping. Charon, a famous hero borrowed from Greek mythology, holds the boat to take you to the crypt and will be uncompromising. Note that you can, however, moderate this sentence using a skill.
Rogue Legacy 2 – A Happy Swimming Mage (Gameplay)
So you begin to understand the loop of this Rogue Legacy 2. We get lost in random levels, we die with pockets full of money – at best – and we go back to the first to unlock permanent improvements, etc. . So far, nothing strange about the genre. But Cellar Door Games does not want to do something like everyone else, me a structure that is closer to metroidvania than the traditional rogue-lite. In fact, you will not have to play the game from A to Z with one move to reach the final boss. The latter really waits cautiously at the beginning of the adventure, at the exact point where you start each “run”. But to unlock his door, you must first face six other bosses hiding in the heart of six areas. Once you defeat one, the enemy will be validated for good. You will see, it is a relief.
Matches that will not be easy, such as against simple opponents. The last bosses embody real challenges that will undoubtedly require a little agriculture. But Rogue Legacy 2 can be demanding, but it always gives the impression that you are moving forward. A very good point. A specific example: sometimes you have to find specific strengths to flirt with bosses. We are talking for example about a double jump, the possibility of momentum in the air. Powers different from relics and features that will surely be yours once acquired. Finally, Rogue Legacy 2 can even activate permanent gates to teleport from the entrance to the dungeon. Even more amazing, the possibility of freezing the last levels has passed, preventing the world from being reborn by chance. Convenient not to go all the way before a boss. But in both cases, you have to give a large part of your property in return. Finally, note the presence of accessibility options, to reduce damage, aim for slow motion or even throw, or even make the game much harder.
In fact, wherever you look, Rogue Legacy 2 looks like it has been studied from every aspect. An emotion that could not be more pleasant. Again, we did not tell you everything. Cellar Door Games can even afford to follow a pleasant little scenario, the fall of the empire which serves as the setting for the adventure. Everything takes the form of letters to find, giving clues to some must-haves and some juicy secrets, and further accompanying the rhythm and the constant sense of progress. But there are also 2.5D graphics and soundtrack, both very successful. Overall, there is a first-class coating here that serves a design of varying levels, sometimes limited, open, vertical or even immersed in darkness. In terms of technique, we are sorry for the rare slowdowns on the computer, which however never interfered with the ongoing action. The same, a little regret for some punishments for the heroes, sometimes crazy to the point that it becomes – too – embarrassing (the title reserves a gold bonus depending on the most serious cases). Other than that, the copy is pretty flawless.
- Really great formula
- Expensive and addictive game
- 15 varied and top categories
- Something more than steady progress
- Many “features” to discover
- Both funny and epic
- Visually and soundtrack also good
- Accessibility options
- Punishments are sometimes very restrictive
- Some Delays (PC)
Addictive, varied, accurate, coherent, relevant, Rogue Legacy 2 serves as the perfect sequel to the 2013 cult game that made rogue-lite popular. But more than doing well at absolutely every level (ranks, weapons, features), Cellar Door Games Studio sets a new benchmark for the genre thanks to a clever combination of metroidvania and random levels. It’s simple, the whole thing works like hell. Never disappointing, always giving the impression that you are moving forward, constantly refreshing the pleasure of the game with different powers and heroes to incarnate, Rogue Legacy 2 returns and marks the rogue-lite with a red iron. One of the best games of 2022.
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