Rogue Legacy 2 Early Access Preview — Progeny Boogaloo
Rogue Legacy 2 takes everything you know and love about the original and blows it out to ridiculous proportions while adding new twists along the way.
As someone who put hundreds of hours into the original Rogue Legacy and considers it as one of the best games to release in the last decade, I was beyond excited when Cellar Door Games announced the sequel. Recently, I was fortunate enough to sit down with the pre-early access version of Rogue Legacy 2 before it launched on PC on August 18. Fans of the original will be happy to know that the follow-up is much more of that, and then some.
I recorded some of my first thoughts for our ‘First 30’ series. So, if you want to watch me struggle to adapt to life without an air dash, feel free to check it out below. Otherwise, join me after the break to dig into my thoughts after spending several hours with Rogue Legacy 2.
As mentioned above, Rogue Legacy 2 does a ton to build on what made the original so great. If you haven’t played it, the game is one of the very best roguelites. Each run, you select one of your past hero’s children. They all come with their own unique abilities, allowing you to pick favorites or try out new combos. On top of that, you’re earning gold in each run which you can use to buy persistent upgrades.
It’s a great implementation of the roguelite system. You’re encouraged to heavily experiment with each class and build with almost all of them feeling viable. Even the ones that aren’t best suited for boss progression, serve a purpose. A good example is the Spelunker who is more focused on earning extra gold. On top of the system are a fun art style and tight controls.
Rogue Legacy 2 takes that foundation and then builds a giant mansion on top of it. The first thing most players will notice is the new art style. At first, I wasn’t too keen on it; however, after seeing it in action, I’m in love. It just looks so clean and the characters are really sharp. They pop off the screen.
Another thing that’s gotten a big overhaul is the weapons. In the original, each character, regardless of class, used the same weapon. With Rogue Legacy 2, every class has its own weapon. Thus far, I’ve unlocked four classes: the knight (default), barbarian, ranger, and mage. For my playstyle, I like the knight and barbarian the most because their basic attacks are quicker to aim. After all, you’re just slicing baddies up with either a sword or ax. It’s not that complicated.
That said, it’s easy to see the other two being viable. And, at some point, we’re supposed to get a chef class who throws ladles. Sign me right the heck up.
Alongside the new weapons, Cellar Door has added a host of new traits. Most of the classics return, but some of the new ones are special. There’s one called “Diva” that darkens the screen except for a spotlight around you and the enemies. Once you clear a room, an offscreen crowd throws roses at you. It’s incredible.
Rogue Legacy was always good for a laugh, but the sequel had me in stitches even more. It’s got some great humor in its writing, as well as the gameplay and animation. If you’re looking for a good time, this one’s worth a try.
Cellar Door has also really gone above and beyond with their biomes as well. Even the first world you fight through has tons of new toys to play with. It might look a bit like the original, but I assure you, there’s so much new stuff to see.
I haven’t really explored any of the other biomes just yet, but the team promises these will “adopt different build strategies.” In my mind, that means we can expect even more variation in how we’re asked to platform through later biomes. That’s rad.
All of this is super exciting for long-time fans. However, the thing I’m most ready to really delve into is the upgraded Metroidvania aspect of the game. In the original, you could enter a boss door the second you found it. With the sequel, you’ll have to unlock the doors by earning heirlooms that give you extra abilities.
Early on, I’ve only completed the one that gives you the much-needed air dash. To claim it, I had to get through a series of rooms that were puzzle-like in nature. It’s not just about murdering every enemy in a room. You have to carefully consider how to make it through each scenario. It’s a nice change of pace from the standard gameplay.
Even though I’m still pretty early on (I’ve yet to beat the first boss), I think I can wholeheartedly recommend Rogue Legacy 2. Like the original, it controls like a dream, especially once you get access to the air dash. And everything they’ve added only improves the experience. Personally, I’ll probably wait until full release to play much more. I’d rather have the full game to dive into, but that’s just me.
By the way, it’s important to remember the game is just now in early access. The team has plans to add tons more to the game. If they can match the creativity they’ve already shown off in the early build, Rogue Legacy 2 is going to be something special. If you’re a fan of roguelikes or Metroidvania games, Cellar Door’s latest is something you have to check out.