The most prevalent though that I have while playing Rogue Legacy is “#&$@ you, you #$%&ing @$&#”. I feel that this is a common mantra that spans many new (and veteran) Rogue Legacy players. It’s a difficult game, make no mistake, but it can be mastered.
Rogue Legacy is a roguelike, sides-scrolling, Metroidvania-esque game with Medieval themes. You play as a linage of warriors, all hellbent on conquering a mystical castle which somehow stole your king (father?) or whatever. Let’s be honest, the story isn’t really necessary.
You start with selecting your heir. This will be one of three warriors, each with different traits. These traits can be a myriad of issues, some more helpful than others. Examples of this are the “Dwarfism” trait, which makes your character smaller on screen shortens your weapon range; or the “I.B.S.” trait, which makes your character fart at random.
Upon selecting your next hero you are presented with your legacy’s castle (not to be confused with the bad, evil castle), which functions as a skill tree. Anything you upgrade here (with the currency found while playing) will remain, through death, with your lineage. These upgrades range from new character types to boosted stats. This way when you die, and you will, it (usually) won’t be for nothing as you will have at least a few gold to spend on upgrading your stats or gear.
Game play itself is a fairly standard affair. You have your basic attacks, as well as a random magic ability (throwing an axe, summoning a wall of flame, etc.), coupled with jumping and various abilities bestowed upon you through the skill tree. Your map maintains a general sense of direction: head to the right for the Forrest, up for the Tower, and down for the Basement. In each of these areas you will find a boss whose defeat will open up a series of locks on the final bosses door. You then proceed to kill everything you come across until you die. Rinse, repeat.
The game plays great; the controls are tight, the soundtrack is excellent, and the gameplay is compelling. That being said, this isn’t a game for everyone. It’s difficulty can be compared to games like Spelunky, La-Mulana, and FTL. The game can chew you up and spit you out. It’s differentiation from those games, however, comes with the ‘crutch’ that the skill tree and items provide. As they state, Rogue Legacy is “Rogue-“Lite. Even a less than skill player will, through time, gain the needed stamina or damage to conquer the game.
Back of Box Quote: “It’s everything I want from a lineage based roguelike sidescrolling Metroidvania hack-n-slash”