We recently looked at a couple of upcoming 2D Xbox One games that have plenty of potential: ' The Escapists' and 'Adventures of Pip.' The former is a distinctive sandbox game set within a series of prisons, whereas the latter is a traditional action platformer with some light puzzles and a great art style. Both games will likely turn out very well. But the 2D game that I'm most excited to see coming to Xbox One is Rogue Legacy from Toronto-based indie developer Cellar Door Games.
Rogue Legacy is an action-platformer with lots of exploration, not unlike my fellow favorites Guacamelee and Strider. The twist is the castle you're sent to explore changes every time you die, at which point you'll return as the descendant of the previous character – complete with new traits and powers.
Rogue Legacy builds on classic games like Castlevania and creates something very different and special. The Xbox One version doesn't have a release date yet, so let our detailed preview tide you over in the meantime.
Plundering the dark castle
The goal in Rogue Legacy is to fully explore a massive castle and defeat all five of the gigantic boss monsters inside. The platforming and exploration work a lot like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, with your character able to attack, jump, and cast spells to start with. But surviving the castle's perils is truly challenging, with hordes of dangerous enemies and obstacles filling practically every room. Health-replenishing food doesn't drop frequently, so your knight is bound to die eventually.
When that happens, you'll take over as the child of that fallen hero. Players can initially select from three potential descendants, each with different classes, traits, and spells. And I do mean different – the list of potential traits is enormous, many affecting gameplay is humorous or challenging ways. Your new hero might move faster thanks to ADHD, suffer from nearsightedness that makes distant objects blurry, suffer from a fear of chickens (which makes food act like an enemy!), and much more.
The castle layout shifts every time one of your heroic descendants enters it, adding even more variety and replayability. Progress would be difficult, if not for the permanent upgrades you can buy between lives. Spending the coins your fallen hero has collected on manor upgrades will allow you to permanently increase family stats, unlock new classes, and more. You can also discover equipment that boosts stats and runes that add abilities like double jumping, all of which will help your family of adventurers to make it farther and farther into the dark castle.
The slow road to Xbox One
Rogue Legacy was originally developed by a small team of eight for a paltry sum of $15,000. After launching on Steam in 2013, it became an immediate success. The next year, Cellar Door Games ported the game to Playstation 3, 4, and Vita. Yes, the Playstation crowd has been enjoying one of the finest indie games around since last year.
Thankfully, Rogue Legacy will arrive on Xbox One later this year. We'll do our best to dig up some additional details on the Xbox One version in the months to come. If you can't wait till then and you're not a Playstation gamer, check out the Steam version. When paired with an Xbox 360 controller, it offers an extremely engrossing platforming experience.
Big thanks to Koop for originally introducing me to Rogue Legacy!