Imagine playing Rogue Legacy but with multiplayer, and you’ve got some idea of the allure of Bravery & Greed.
True, it doesn’t have the intricate family tier system and the experience doesn’t vary quite as widely with each different character, but there is a lot of enemies to kill, loot to gather and bosses to fight in procedurally generated dungeons which might sound quite familiar.
Rekka Games have even got a respectful, considered retro aesthetic going on here with Bravery & Greed, going as far as to adding scanlines in the options to really give off that old-school 16-Bit feel. The pixel art style still manages to look modern with glistening torches and flowing waterfalls.
The experience is seamless, fluid, with action feeling suitably fast-paced as well as considerably strategic. But it’s also familiar to those who’ve enjoyed Roguelites with your adventure changing up every time.
At summoning altars, you can gain blessings from the Gods that improve your health and healing properties, your fighting and critical strike bonuses and defense and stamina ratings. These can alter each run-through, as you focus your skills in different areas.
But you can also stumble across with storekeepers and buy different items and equipment, visit statues to permanently increase certain attributes and you can also gain additional companions to help you in battle from wolves to archers.
And yes, you can pet the wolves!
It’s a fairly standard adventure from what you’re used to, but in addition to making progress through the dungeons, defeating as many foes as you can, you’re also aiming to fill your greed bar depending on how much loot you’ve managed to collect through the dungeon, from coins to diamonds.
At the end of each run you also earn some cards depending on how you’ve fared. When you start the next one, you can select up to four different cards to further customise your run. This could be increasing follower health or killing certain creatures gives you more health.
Interestingly, though, if you decide to put more challenging cards on, you can increase your rewards for all that increased risk. It’s a smart spin on the traditional mechanics with the game really focusing on making each run different.
There’s even different fighter types if all that’s not enough, whether you fancy being a wizard, fighter, rogue or amazon. For the most part, each run is pretty enjoyable, though the game is definitely challenging enough without all the additional risk factors.
Runs do feel a bit bland at times, mostly degrading into rooms full of waves of enemies rather than focusing on varying environments, which is something I feel games like Rogue Legacy do better. The bosses are suitably epic, though, each really offering unique, difficult challenges. To the point where it feels as if the game really isn’t made for the solo player and designed for a fighting team.
Speaking of multiplayer, this is undoubtedly Bravery & Greed’s focus point. Online play opens this option up to everyone and it doesn’t just extend to PvE. There’s actually PVP and Team PVP modes where you can go against each other on a random set of maps or custom pool. You can also set up win conditions, whether you get a set kill count or are the last fighter standing.
Again, this is quite a creative approach for a roguelite dungeon brawler and actually quite ambitious, especially considering this is a two man team. It all comes together and works quite well, though, even if the difficulty curve here is overly brutal and definitely unforgiving.
Bravery & Greed is an ambitious dungeon brawler that manages to land favourably on most of its concepts despite an incredibly high bar of difficulty. Epic boss battles, varied classes and creative card systems keep the experience feeling fresh, but while each run is intended to feel different, most do tend to see you fight a huge amount of enemies in one room so it can feel a bit grindy and dull at times.
+ Cool boss battles
+ Multiplayer options make this game all the more compelling compared to others in the genre
+ Varied cards and class system keep the experience feeling fresh
– Runs tend to feel overly similar and grindy
– Difficulty is unrelenting and brutal so could be offputting.
Bravery & Greed is out now on all formats
Played on Xbox Series X
Code Kindly Provided by Team 17