There is a good one and a bad one
I talked about this last week: after Knighthood 2 and Stanley’s Parable: Ultra DeluxeSnape Heritage – the third major indie game from the first wave, received a new part nine years later. As a reminder, Rogue Legacy is a rogue-lite that almost forms its own sub-genre on its own. Indeed, there are two types of rogue-lite. In some, which make up the vast majority of games in this genre, death is final: the player is restarted completely from scratch. There may be a few power-ups that can be obtained over the course of the game, but these are anecdotal; progress is made mainly by improving the player’s skills and luck with improvements found during the game. In this category Faster Than Light, Blinding of Isaac, into the breach or even dead cells.
Before them we find Rogue Legacy and its heirs: games in which death is certainly final, but accompanied by increasingly powerful permanent improvements. Specifically, in Rogue Legacy and in Hades (especially if you activate god mode), the player will definitely win eventually; his talent just allows him to shorten the time – and therefore farm – is necessary for this.
Rogue Legacy 2 incorporates a number of principles of its predecessor. When a character dies, one of his heirs must be chosen to succeed him. Each heir has a number of characteristics, positive or negative, so the parts are always very different from each other. So I got to play a character with one point in his life…let’s just say he didn’t live long.
A notable addition to this sequel is that each character is assigned to a class that defines a primary weapon, secondary weapon, and primary stats; Barbarians, for example, have a lot of life, but very little mana, and they fight with a large sword. Mana is used to cast spells, again specific to each one.
All these elements make the games very different from each other, even more than in the first opus. However, this is not necessarily quality. Indeed, since there are many different classes, it happens that we have to wait for several games to get the one that interests us, such as facing a certain boss. It would probably be better to separate the character’s stats from their class in order to offer the player more choice.
Likewise, spells consume mana in limited amounts. To restore it, you must use its main weapon. Combined with the fact that these spells change from one game to the next, we end up with a result that’s too technical to be really useful: we never know when to cast a spell, and in any case, after two casts, the mana bar is empty. so we completely forget about its existence.
Admittedly, this system allows a special advantage to be given to mages, who can steal mana while attacking and therefore have the ability to cast their spells much more regularly. However, in the game, this only confirms one of the immutable rules. game design : The mana system is still crappy. Rogue Legacy 2, like many others, would be much more interesting if it got rid of this conditional limitation, compensating for spell power with casting cooldowns and offering mages either increased damage or reduced cooldowns.
Finally, note that classes use the experience system, providing bonuses when the player kills enemies while incarnating the character of the respective class. While this is an interesting idea, it has a downside: it encourages the player to specialize rather than diversify, which is frustrating given that they can only choose between three characters when there are many different classes.
Snape Heritage required, the player can spend their hard-earned gold by purchasing upgrades. There is always a dungeon that offers a number of bonuses when it is upgraded: more life, more power, new classes, etc. Buying an upgrade raises the price of others. Inflation is negligible, but it hurts those who seek variety over optimization. This feature was already present in the first opus, but if there was one thing that this sequel could do without, it’s this one.
In addition, the device is enhanced with other enhancement options, two of which are particularly interesting: the blacksmith and the enchantress. In exchange for blueprints found in the castle and a huge amount of gold, you can create equipment and runes that provide permanent bonuses when equipped. For example, a blacksmith can create more swords that deal damage, or a chest piece that reduces damage, while one of the sorceress’s runes offers lifesteal. The whole point of the system is that every rune and every piece of equipment has a certain weight, the player can only carry a limited weight under penalty. Therefore, it is necessary to make a choice or to improve the carrying weight in the fortress. This is a very interesting strategic dimension and one of the best additions to this new opus.
The architect is also always present. For those who have not played the first opus, the architect is one of the main features of the license: it allows you to keep the castle between two sides. Enemies reappear, but the teleports remain active, allowing you to fight the boss in full control of his abilities without having to find him. This way, you can face the boss several times in a row, avoiding having to repeat the whole path just to try again. This is one of Rogue Legacy’s biggest strengths, one of the fundamental differences compared to, for example, Dead Cells: losing against a boss doesn’t require you to replay 1:30 just to try your luck again.
The lack of an architect would be a good reason not to give this suite any credit. Fortunately, Basement door games didn’t make that mistake. However, they still went in the wrong direction. Indeed, in exchange for his work, the architect takes a commission, reducing the gold accumulated during the game, which is completely normal. In Rogue Legacy, this amount was fixed. In Rogue Legacy 2, it increases with each game, until we accept that the world is returning to the way it was. Specifically, after several attempts, defeating the boss brings… 0% gold, which is usually provided.
Admittedly, gold is not the real target of these clashes, but the decision still seems horribly petty and hard to justify.
The same goes for another addition to the title: legacy. These are tasks completed in a specific area that offer a permanent bonus if successful. So, one of the legacies of the First World War allows you to make an air breakthrough. On paper, this is a nice addition, allowing you to develop the gameplay as you play. However, in practice, this significantly increases the load on the player. In the first part, a new biome simply meant killing a new boss. From now on, it is also necessary to unlock the Legacy of the Zone, which are new skill checks that we would happily do without.
This is not the only example: there are also chests that require challenges and portals that lead to specific fights. The game now includes a large number of skill checks, much more than in the first game. Some players will surely like it, others less.
Nevertheless, Rogue Legacy 2 seems very close to its ancestor from the first minutes. The gameplay has retained its clarity and efficiency, although, as mentioned above, it has been significantly enriched. Likewise, the soundtrack and art direction, the undeniable qualities of the first opus, remain in place.
In addition, if the game retains a minimal narrative, then it has been enriched with several more significant passages. It’s not beyond experience, but it’s interesting that the developers tried to flesh out their narrative because the 2013 formula doesn’t work today.
In general, the pleasure of the game remains unchanged. Yes, Rogue Legacy 2 is noticeably more elitist than its predecessor. However, it makes you want to restart the game just as badly. You need to farm more and complete a lot of intermediate challenges before you can beat the bosses, but the exploration stages remain just as enjoyable.
“Oh no, not you either!” That’s the feeling you get when playing Rogue Legacy 2. Not too long ago, I was wondering which was the best rogue-lite ever, vacillating between Rogue Legacy and Hades; that is, all the affection that I have for the first city that marked me so much that everything else seemed insipid to me until the game came out. super giant games. Only, ironically, Rogue Legacy 2 is far from up to par.
While the main quality of Hades is its god mode, which greatly facilitates the gameplay, Cellar Door Games made the choice of difficulty at the expense of accessibility wherever possible. The gameplay has been enriched, but that just means it’s harder to master, creating a natural choice between players able to manage fifty simultaneous limits and the rest. The class system looks good on paper, but in reality it penalizes players looking to diversify, whether it’s getting the class you want less often or raising the price of other upgrades. Finally, the legacy adds a very nasty dose of challenge, and the change of architect causes controversy because it goes against the fundamental principles that made the first opus a success.
However, Rogue Legacy 2 is not a bad game as it is the sequel to an absolutely brilliant game. It makes you want to restart the title just as much just for one more partywhich often ends late at night. However, this mostly reflects the wrong direction taken by Cellar Door Games, which doesn’t seem to have learned the lesson of the failure of its elitist Full Metal Furies: a game must be available or not.
The test was carried out on a PC by Alandring from the version provided by the developer.