Rouge Legacy Impressions
A few months ago I was browsing the Steam store looking for a new game to play with a controller. I have been slowly buying up indie games with controler support to give me some new variety on my gaming portfolio. For the most part I have been playing competitive online games, like Starcraft 2 , League of Legends, Smite,, and Dota 2. I wanted something more casual that could be played in small bursts when I wasn’t in the mood for something that was as demanding as a competitive PvP game. Rouge Legacy has proven to be my go-to game for this purpose.
Rouge Legacy presents itself as a 16-bit era platformer. The game seamlessly blends a seemingly counter-intuitive design containing both insta-death roguelike gameplay and persistent character stats that follow you through generations of children who seem to enjoy pillaging a randomly generated castle for gold. But thats already getting a bit ahead of how the game should be presented, so lets take a moment to do that.
Heres how it works:
1. Launch the game
2. Select an heir
3. Run around killing monsters
4. Collect as many gold and items as possible
6, Select an heir
6. Spend your gold on items and upgrades
7. Run around killing monsters
9. After some time, get mad and close the game
10. Launch the game .. repeat
What to expect:
1. Get ready to die, a lot: Rouge Legacy can be unfair, it will present seemingly impossible rooms full of monsters, shrapnel, spike traps, and projectiles flying at your character from every direction. In my now 19 hours played I have died dozens and dozens of times, possibly hundreds of times, and in the process I have been slowly learning how enemies move and behave. I also start to understand the character classes and in what situations they are useful. The castle is randomly generated each run, so you can’t just memorize a path and blast through.
2. From death comes upgrades and learning: Each time I ran through the castle I usually had some upgrade in mind, and knew how much gold I needed to buy that upgrade. The goal of each ‘life’ for me was to get enough gold for that upgrade – everything extra was a bonus.
a. The Keep - Pictured below – the keep is your main hub of persistent upgrades. Here you can purchase things like increased max health, crit chance up, damage up, new classes, and other perks. The picture below is after about 16 hours of game time, It will take a long time to get all the upgrades… i’m still not there.
b. Armor - From time to time your heir will come across blueprints for new armor. These give bonuses to various stats, like more health, more armor, more mana, vampirism (kind of a life steam mechanic), just to name a few. I found that I mostly ran with the red vampiric armor other than for specific boss encounters where I felt like a large health pool was better than some HP on a monster kill. More on that logic later.
c. Runes - Runes give special abilities and can change the playstyle of your heir drastically. My favorite runes usually have to do with mobility. I like to run with a double jump and 2 dash ruines equipped. This enables me to quickly dash across the screen twice in a row after jumping twice. I like being able to quickly skirt around projectiles like this, plus its handy for getting across rooms where the floor is covered in spikes.
d. Locking the castle - After some play time you will notice a peculiar man with a large screw in the ground standing outside of the castle. This guy is called the architect and I found him really useful for difficult boss encounters. When activated the castle will not randomly generate, all of the rooms you explored on your last run will remain available to you when the lock is activated. This comes at a cost of 60% of your normal gold rewards.
3. Incremental Progression: When I first started, I considered a rake of 500 gold to be good, now I usually get around 10,000 gold per run.. As you get better at playing the game, and as you get more health and upgrades, you are become more enabled to last longer and in turn earn larger piles of loot to spend on upgrades between heirs.
Overall Impressions: I got Rouge Legacy on sale on steam for about 10 bucks, I can without a doubt say I got my monies worth. The game is addictive and fun, It feels like a fresh take on an older game. The game reminds me a lot of older platformers like Castlevania and Mega Man, some of my favorite console action platformers. If your looking for an indie title for your PC and are up for a challenge , Rouge Legacy might just be the thing for you.