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Rogue Legacy (PS4) Review

/ Aug 4th, 2014 No Comments

Rogue Legacy Review

Rogue Legacy is a difficult and grueling game at times. Like most roguelikes, it requires multiple playthroughs to learn the tricks of the environment and behavior of enemies. The more you play, the better you get. But you will still die many times.

The brilliance of Rogue Legacy comes in the form of its progression, rewarding better runs to improve your heroes. The sense of progress makes the game addictive–frighteningly so.

The Sins of the Great, Great, Great…Grandfather

There is always a hero and a castle with a forest to the east, the Maya to the north, and a land of darkness lurking beneath. While the locations remain fixed, the castle changes its layout with each new hero attempting to progress further than their ancestor before them.

Each new generation of hero also is inherits a trait such as color blindness or ADHD that makes tackling the castle a unique adventure. The goal of the heroes is to explore each area and defeat a great monster. These four foul beasts must be slain in order to destroy the traitor ruling over the castle.
 

Rogue Legacy

Heroes must slay great beasts in each section of the castle.

The hero must enter the castle and fight hordes of beasts and monsters to reach the area’s boss. A score of enemies and dangers lurking in each area makes this no easy task, and the playable character is merely mortal. The hero must use might of sword and knowledge of magic to slay every enemy.

Each character is destined to die, but will be succeeded by a new character better equipped to tackle the challenges ahead. With each respawn, the new character has the knowledge of their ancestors before them. If their ancestors were successful, they will gain gold to improve their chances of success.

Since rooms (and heroes) randomly generate each playthrough, players must learn behavior patterns of enemies and traps in order to progress deeper into the game. Knowing how enemies move and attack can mean the difference between dying immediately and dying with a sack full of gold.
 

Rogue Legacy

You’re going to die, but that’s okay. Your offspring will do better than you, hopefully.

While skill plays an important part of progression, the game gives each successive generation of heroes a leg up in the form of upgrades, equipment and runes. Every hero that goes into the castle earns gold for killing enemies, finding treasure chests and destroying objects.

Gold can be used to purchase permanent upgrades for successors, ranging from stats like increased health and damage to new classes for offspring, vendors outside the castle, increasing gold drops or lowering the money taken by Charon.

Performing better in the castle will net players more upgrades, in turn improving their future performance. Sharpening your skills improves your heroes overall, meaning the two aspects of the game feed off each other. As players improve, their playable characters also get better.
 

Rogue Legacy

Doing better in the castle unlocks more upgrades, which helps you do better in the castle.

Once the Blacksmith and Enchantress are unlocked, players can buy equipment and runes to improve their heroes’ chances of success. These two vendors allow gamers to experiment with different hero builds to see what works best in the castle. The trade-off between runes and equipment, and tinkering with equipment and runes adds an extra layer of depth to the game.

Despite being able to upgrade heroes, no amount of enhancements change the fact that players will need to execute in each run. Enemies can easily swarm and overwhelm users, resulting in death. Surviving as long as possible comes down to managing health drops effectively, covering up weaknesses, and using quick reflexes to dodge attacks.

Dat Cross-Save Doe

Rogue Legacy is a fantastic game on PC, but the addition of cross-buy and cross-save on PlayStation platforms gives the game a much better value. The game’s cross-save integration sets the standard for how developers should approach the function. Rogue Legacy autmatically saves in the background as long as players’ devices are connected to PSN. Gamers can also manually sync cross-save data.

The feature works seamlessly when switching between PS Vita, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.
 

Rogue Legacy

Quick reflexes are important.

Developers took full advantage of the PlayStation hardware. For example, checking the map often is necessary. On PS4, players can click the touchpad to quickly bring up the map and put it away with another tap.

The lightbar is the coolest unnecessary function on the PS4. Each new run in Rogue Legacy lights up a different color. The PS Vita version allows plaeyrs to use the device’s front touchscreen to move the minimap around, essentially letting players get a quick look at their surroundings without pulling up the full map.

Overall

Rogue Legacy is a challenging game that demands multiple playthroughs. Due to the generous cross-buy functionality, Rogue Legacy on for PlayStation is the definitive version of the game, and using DualShock 4 controls doesn’t hurt either.

Even if you’ve poured hours into the PC version, picking the game up for your Sony console is well worth it, especially if you have two or more PlayStation devices.

 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs

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ROGUE LEGACY (PS4) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall91%

GAMEPLAY9.5

Rogue Legacy makes the randomness of a roguelike accessible and forgiving without sacrificing difficulty or the sense of discovery.

GRAPHICS9

What makes the visuals so interesting are the various traits each new generation in Rogue Legacy inherits. These traits add different visual flairs to the game like making the castle look Matrix-esque.

SOUND9

The game's sounds mesh perfectly with the art style and only add to the complete package.

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