Rogue Legacy 2: Making Your Ancestors Proud – PS5 Review
Rogue Legacy played a key role in the widespread popularity of the roguelike genre in today’s gaming landscape. Now, after a decade of anticipation, indie developer Cellar Door Games has finally unveiled the highly awaited sequel, Rogue Legacy 2, on PlayStation consoles.
The long wait has unquestionably paid off, as this Metroidvania platformer delivers a captivating roguelike experience, with its mix of distinctive gameplay mechanics, wealth of replayable content, and exceptional progression system. Rogue Legacy 2 builds upon the aspects that made the first game a critical success and elevates them to new heights.
To be honest, I harbored doubts about Rogue Legacy 2’s arrival on PlayStation, considering it was released on Steam Early Access in 2020. Fortunately, the PlayStation launch includes all previously issued updates, such as the Fabled Heroes and Swan Song additions, ensuring players receive the definitive package right from the start.
“There’s a whopping total of 15 classes to unlock in Rogue Legacy 2”
Like its predecessor, Rogue Legacy 2 maintains its innovative legacy system, where every time you die in a run a descendant of yours succeeds you in the next. This lineage goes on and on until you beat the entire game, and yes, there’s a new game plus too.
You have a choice between 1 of 3 potential heirs, each with their own unique attributes. Many of these traits, such as being color-blind or near-sighted, have serious gameplay side effects. This includes aspects like your screen rendering in black and white or blurred-out edges of the screen. Of course, not all traits are entirely serious and there are silly alternatives such as your character having irritable bowel syndrome, making them fart every so often. Nonetheless, traits can make or break a run, depending on if they’re helpful or detrimental.
In Rogue Legacy 2, the main progression system revolves around spending hard-earned coins to build up your castle manor. This also acts as a skill tree where each node rewards you with new vendors, permanent stat upgrades, or more character classes to choose from. You can unlock a blacksmith, a practice dummy, a mess hall, and an academy, all providing their own benefits and perks.
There’s a whopping total of 15 classes to unlock, ranging from generic rangers and knights to silly wizards and badass valkyries. Each class inherits its own weapon and talent, and defeating more enemies with a class rewards mastery ranks. Want to smack enemies and cook food on the fly with the chef or slice through the air with a katana as a ronin? Well, you can do both! There’s a high degree of freshness at every moment in this game, and there’s no shortage of new gimmicks to try out and play around with.
In Rogue Legacy 2, your ultimate objective is to conquer the game’s six estuaries, situated within distinct biomes. While the order in which you confront these bosses is up to you, the game provides recommended difficulty levels for each one. Notably, defeated bosses can be skipped in subsequent runs, offering a convenient quality-of-life update for those seeking to progress without compromising their chances of survival.
Within the dungeons, you’ll encounter special challenge rooms that grant permanent abilities, making it worthwhile to thoroughly explore every corner. While every biome’s general location is preset, the layout of each dungeon is procedurally generated, ensuring a fresh experience with each run. As you traverse these locales, you can collect heirlooms — Metroidvania abilities such as air dashes and double jumps — and discover randomly-generated relics that provide temporary buffs.
It’s important to note that Rogue Legacy 2 is not an easy game. In fact, it can be quite challenging and potentially discouraging, particularly in the early stages. Overcoming a diverse array of formidable enemies, environmental obstacles, demanding platforming sections, and boss battles requires skill and perseverance.
Thankfully, Cellar Door Games has incorporated a feature called House Rules, which allows you to customize the game’s difficulty without any penalties. These options include adjusting enemy health and damage, slowing down time while aiming, and even enabling flight. Alongside these refreshing accessibility choices, Rogue Legacy 2 offers tight and responsive controls, delivering a satisfying level of precision in combat and platforming.
“For a humble USD$24.99, Rogue Legacy 2 is filled to the brim with content”
Rogue Legacy 2 is absolutely gorgeous, both visually and aurally. The hand-drawn art style is charming and detailed, immersing players in a vibrant and dynamic world. Environments are varied, ranging from lush forests and haunting dungeons to treacherous castles and otherworldly realms. Additionally, the attention to detail in character animations and enemy designs further enhances the overall aesthetic appeal. 2.5D never looked so good.
Accompanying the stunning visuals is a delightful soundtrack that complements the game’s atmosphere. The music strikes a balance between upbeat and melancholic tunes, matching the mood of the different areas and encounters. Sound effects are well-executed, heightening the impact of combat and providing audio cues that are vital for survival.
For a humble USD$24.99, Rogue Legacy 2 is filled to the brim with content, ensuring players get endless hours of engaging gameplay. The Fabled Heroes and Swan Song DLC updates add new game plus, weapons, spells, relics, difficulties, and challenges to satisfy even the most hardcore of players.
Moreover, the game offers a wealth of character customization options and upgrades. Those who intend to play on PlayStation 5 also can enjoy blistering fast load times, buttery smooth frame rates, and integrated haptic feedback on the DualSense controller.
There’s honestly not much to complain about with Rogue Legacy 2 as it’s almost perfect. Cellar Door Games have thought of everything as this sequel successfully builds upon its predecessor’s foundation in every way. Sure the beginning hours might be a bit grindy and off-putting due to the punishing difficulty curve, but the House Rules option alleviates that immediately.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on PS5, code was provided by the Publisher.
Rogue Legacy 2 Review
Rogue Legacy 2 is the pinnacle of what the genre should be, and is a must play for fans of the original and newcomers alike. Now go make your ancestors proud!