Rogue Legacy 2 is bigger, brighter and better than its predecessor

When the first game is considered one of the all-time great roguelites, how are you meant to follow it?

Rogue Legacy 2 had its work cut out for it, no doubt, and to try and strike that balance Cellar Door Games kept the game in early access for several years to figure out what people wanted while making the best game they could.

Now it’s finally here on PlayStation in its final, finished form and I’m delighted to say they nailed it. This was worth the wait. I’ve fallen for Rogue Legacy 2 harder than I ever did the first and that is no mean feat.

I know marketing slogans for these games often go something like ‘just one more turn’ because that’s what you’re expected to do to progress and get your full enjoyment. But I genuinely didn’t even know I was taking turn after turn. I barely stopped to think before I was selecting another hero and diving right in. The only pause was choosing which hero to go with.

Before a run, you’ll get a choice of three heir-oes, usually different classes and each one has their own individual makeup and quirks, whether they’re colour-blind, or they’re walking around with a permanent spotlight around them. Or they can be killed in a single hit. Really!

Hours after putting it on, I look up and it’s midnight. I’ve really built out my base, unlocked classes, done a ton of exploring and beaten bosses. I have to physically force myself to stop, and I cannot remember the last time a game made me do that.

Cellar Door are clearly doing something right. From the beautiful visuals which look gorgeous in motion, to the varied attacks each character has – assassins can slash multiple times with daggers, whereas archers have a curved, long range arrow they can fire – you have to think carefully about your approach, take one room at a time and be prepared for just about anything.

Rogue Legacy 2 is basically the original expanded. There’s the obvious things like new monsters, classes, traps, environments and layouts. And as mentioned the all-new, cel-shaded, more animated look which is a big upgrade from the original’s more pixelated style.

But there’s quite a few differences that build out the content from the first game, freshening things up while developing things in some areas and adding brand new ways to play in others.

The game sees you and your extended family take on a series of monster-filled encounters in procedurally generated areas, collecting as much treasure and relics as you can. You’ll be dodging projectiles, unlocking unique chests by fulfilling set criteria and gaining permanent new abilities which help you get around later worlds and interact with new NPCs and characters.

For instance, you can sail across the skies with a dash or you can fly. But that’s just scratching the surface.

However you choose to get around, Rogue Legacy 2 feels crisp to control. The flow and motion of the game is wonderfully refined, with enemies having logical, interpretable patterns which you predict and pre-empt. Even still, they’ll still catch you out, particularly when the room is full to the brim with various types.

But regardless, you’ll always feel in control of the situation and every mistake made, for the most part, is on you. In fact, I found my experience pretty much bug free. Cellar Door have expertly put polish on top of polish to keep this game feeling responsive, fresh, and mostly squeaky clean.

This can be a tricky game to sink your teeth into early, though. And there’ll be a lot of death from the outset as you build up your base, work out which classes you favor and, depending on your luck, what kind of procedurally generated environment you end up in. The challenge starts out of the gate, and so you have to be prepared to experiment, to adapt and be open to learning.

But later on you’ll be able to buy new armor and weapons, and improve your damage output, max health, dexterity, so you can gradually grow. You’ll feel your character getting stronger, better, harder to kill the more you play  and before long you’ll be one-shotting enemies that used to plague you and flow through levels at a breakneck pace.

Rogue Legacy 2 is also more fleshed out than the original in terms of the challenges you can take on, the optional quests to unlock, the NPCs you can speak with and the way the base is built out and customised around the play experience you want.

Familiar tropes still remain, like anchoring the same world you’ve just replayed with the Architect and paying a fine to Charon, but even this has had some tweaks. For instance, there’s now a bank system where you can earn some money back from the toll you pay and the money you give Charon actually contributes to unique buffs you start your run with.

Rogue Legacy 2 just feels bigger, brighter and better than its predecessor, but with the same catchy, enjoyable core loop that kept me coming back again and again all those years ago. If you can get through the weighty, tricky opening and stick with it, you’ll have a gaming experience to remember and one you’ll find almost impossible to put down.


Rogue Legacy 2 is everything you loved about the first game and thensome. It’s the most satisfying roguelite since Dead Cells and a game you’ll just keep coming back to again and again. Even if the original wasn’t your cup of tea, Rogue Legacy 2 does enough different to be worth a second look, though you will need patience to contend with its early stages. Stick with it and you’ll be heavily rewarded with refreshing content, a great challenge and some truly wonderful moments


+ Just about everything has been expanded and developed from Rogue Legacy
+ Animated art style is beautiful in motion
+ A good, solid challenge where you can feel and see your progress
+ So hard to put down


– Early stages might be offputting for some players

Rogue Legacy 2 is out now on PC, PlayStation, Switch and Xbox 

Code Kindly Provided by Cellar Door Studios for review purposes

Played on PS5

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