I could shoot him in the balls with the fire-shotgun, severing the legs of the jerk behind him. I could thump that chump into the air and grenade-tether him towards that enormous fan. I could slide into the whole crowd, knocking them into the allegiance-shattering toxic plant dust and watch them mutilate each other as I sit idly by, sipping on a cool pop. Bulletstorm, by People Can Fly and Epic Games, presents all these options and a million more in a game that is amongst the most insane, over-the-top, and unforgettable shooters I have ever played. Continue reading
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”
The only advice I was given before playing Chivalry: Medieval Warfare was, “Don’t use horizontal swings.” Wise words, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
My first match had me playing the role of the Vanguard, the long-hilted weapons specialist: spears, halbierds…you get the picture. I joined the match at the top of a grassy knoll, my comrades in arms sprinting down the hill, weapons raised, snarling their battle cries. I lowered my spear and chased after them to meet the enemy at the riverbed. Arrows whizzed past me as I ducked and dodged, gradually getting a closer view of the mayhem below me.
I spotted my target–a lightly armored (and armed) Man-at-Arms, who had just finished off my teammate–a plate armored knight–in the riverbed. I closed in, hefted my spear, and as I jabbed….was instantly decapitated by a stray flail from behind.
Shocked at the speed of my defeat, I consulted the scoreboard. How could I have missed seeing the second enemy? To my dismay, my executioner was actually a fellow teammate, who had caught my neck, instead of his foe’s, midway through a horizontal swing.
While friendly fire and team kills are common in many competitive multiplayer games, nowhere is it more prevalent than in Chivalry. It’s a common sight to see players dealing 20-50% of their damage to their own teammates. When you’re swinging heavy weapons in a confined space where one hit often spells death, precision just doesn’t factor into the strategy.
It makes the game frustrating, but it also has a lot to do with what makes it so addictive. You start to celebrate when you manage to dispatch an enemy without gutting a teammate in the process. You get better and more precise over time, but the risk is always there, and that’s the best and most unique thing Chivalry has going for it.
The game looks and often plays a bit like a half life mod. The modes are pretty straightforward, the equipment progression system pretty uninspired, and the visuals pretty has-been. But these shortcomings hardly matter, because it’s way too much fun to swing a broadsword around.
The game’s on sale right now, so go check it out.