Don't Shit Your Pants studio Cellar Door Games has announced an April 28 launch date for Rogue Legacy 2, a sequel to its breakout 2013 platformer roguelite. Rogue Legacy 2 has been in Early Access since August 2020, and over that time it has grown a total of 15 playable classes, and an approach to progress that shies away from rinse-and-repeat permadeath gameplay.
As far as the latter is concerned, Rogue Legacy 2 has "heirlooms" that grant the player permanent abilities and upgrades, which is an expansion on the base-building element in the original that provided a sense of overall progress, even upon death. The game's trait system is back as well, taking the form of various nerfs and buffs you'll enjoy or suffer with each run. These are part of the series' genealogical approach to its heroes: each time you die, your character's child succeeds you, with some of their inherited strengths and weaknesses. You'll also get to spend some of the money they earned kitting out the family estate.
But the first thing that stands out about Rogue Legacy 2 is how pretty it looks. The original had a decent art style as far as pixel art platformers are concerned, but Rogue Legacy 2 has a 2.5D approach that resembles old '90s cartoons. It's a real looker, and the variety of biomes (lava areas, snow areas, castle areas) is a real step up from the relatively samey original.
"We can't put into words all the emotions we're feeling now that we've gotten this far, and we know it's just the beginning," a Cellar Door spokesperson wrote on Steam, implying that the game will continue to expand after launch. In a press release, the studio wrote that "our goal for Rogue Legacy 2 was always to make 'Rogue Legacy 3' because we didn't want to settle for just more."
To celebrate, the original Rogue Legacy is free on the Epic Games Store until April 14. It's worth a play: despite the roguelite genre being a tad overcrowded these days, it holds up well.