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Rogue Legacy 2 Review (PS5) – Long-Awaited Sequel Has a Lasting Legacy

Rogue Legacy 2 Review (PS5) – Cellar Door Games follows up its hit Metroidvania with a sequel that sets out to re-imagine what it’s supposed to be.

Find out if it takes the throne from its predecessor in PlayStation Universe’s review of Rogue Legacy 2 on PS5.

Rogue Legacy 2 Review (PS5) – Long-Awaited Sequel Has a Lasting Legacy

The road to Rogue Legacy 2 arriving on PlayStation has been a long one. The game began its Early Access journey in 2020. Then emerged from it last year on PC and Xbox.

Now, the sequel to a firm indie favorite of the PS3/PS4/PS Vita era makes the leap across to PS5.

Once again, you control a warrior sent to unlock the mysteries of an ever-changing castle. When that character dies, their son or daughter goes in years later. This lineage goes on and on and on until all areas are unlocked and the bosses are bested.

Each new generation comes with particular classes and traits. You get three options each time.

Traits have some real-life ailments connected in a lot of cases, but they manifest themselves in useful and useless ways that spice up each run you go on.

So for instance, being near-sighted blurs the outer parts of the screen. Having a light bone structure means you take more damage but can jump much higher than most.

And being a big bulky unit of a warrior means you tend to hit hard, but are not so hard to get hit yourself.

This system was always one of the standout selling points of Rogue Legacy. In the years since that game’s release, Cellar Door has stacked additional layers and class types on top of it to create something instantly familiar, yet so much deeper in terms of play style options.

There’s a noticeable toning down of the traits as they were before, and I understand why as they can come across as mocking to people with the actual ailments and disabilities.

Having all the other stuff in there ensures it’s not all that noticeable once you get into the swing of things.

A Class Above

The new classes, unlocked through the same upgrade system as the original Rogue Legacy, really add a lot more personality and variety to the familiar structure.

On the more traditional side you have class types such as Archers that allow for ranged play, and Warriors that have big health bars and decent damage. Then you get some of the weirder ones. Bards can send out musical notes that hurt enemies and can be used to kick off to reach higher places.

Pugilists bring a flurry of blows with their oversized boxing gloves. And Chefs can heal themselves with a special soup and knock back small projectiles with their frying pan.

The selection, coupled with other factors like traits, runes, and upgraded abilities means Rogue Legacy 2 is constantly offering unique playthrough setups for far longer than its predecessor.

Each run sees your character pick up gold as they go and upon death. This gold is effectively an inheritance for the next family member to build background stats for all future characters.

The catch is you need to spend it before going on the next run or Charon, the ferryman that takes you to the castle, will take all, or nearly all of what you have left. It’s a smart way to keep choice restricted and prevent the player from getting too far ahead of themselves.

You can, with time and upgrades, keep more and more of your leftover cash, stockpiling it for later. In the meantime, you have to decide whether the next thing to spend your cash on is a new class, attack upgrade, better weaponry quality, or Runes to give you extra abilities.

Another Way

While the castle map and its various ‘biomes’ have some semblance of consistency (each area is roughly situated in the same direction every time) the layout of each can wildly differ from run to run, keeping exploration fresh.

There’s a boss room for every area that needs to be found. And special permanent abilities can be earned via challenge rooms. As with Charon’s charge, there’s a way to set the current castle layout to reappear for the next run.

Useful if you are after something specific on that version, but it comes at a cost.

The game’s combat and traversal refine what came before, but perhaps its biggest improvement is in the visual style. The pixel-style look of the original is replaced with stunning hand-drawn style characters and environments.

There’s some excellent subtle animations to background items you move past. So a sofa gently compresses when stood on. Or a curtain billows lightly as you dash past it.

Everything is made to look so smooth and satisfying in movement, and that adds to the compelling platforming and action Rogue Legacy 2 offers.

The escalation of challenge both in terms of fighting and traversal is smartly done. The opening castle area is very familiar for Rogue Legacy fans whilst softly introducing some of the newer quirks and qualities.

When you discover the new areas, and gain the abilities to actually progress in them, the game develops new layers of gameplay challenge that showcase just how much bigger and more complex Rogue Legacy 2 is when compared to its predecessor.

The Journey Home

In the last few years, I’ve put countless hours into Rogue Legacy 2 across other platforms. But having it on PlayStation feels like home for me. I remember just how obsessed I was with the original.

Especially on the PS Vita, where it became one of my most played games on Sony’s doomed handheld. Rogue Legacy 2 hasn’t shown any signs of its luster being lost.

Newcomers will have so much to enjoy in what Cellar Door Games has created. Fans of the original will discover a dream sequel.

Rogue Legacy 2 is available on PS5 and PS4 now.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

Rogue Legacy 2’s long gestation has benefitted it immensely. It comes to PS5 in the shape of its life, and it is easily among the best Metroidvania-style games on the market today.