Opinion: "Surprises often come in small packages"

Rogue Legacy has made me care about the bloodline of Sir Taco. Introduced during one of my many playthroughs, his ridiculous name clicked with me, ensuring that any subsequent ancestors got thrown straight back into the battle… and then were swiftly killed. This is why one of PS Plus’ more recent offerings is so damned good.

The holy grail for any game (mostly) is to hook its claws into you and ensure you don’t want to put your controller down. Many triple-A titles try this with drawn out narratives or just an insane amount of different features, and yet Rogue Legacy achieves this better than most by simply putting a small morsel of power into your hands.

Cellar Door Games’ side-scroller is painfully simple in what it sets out to do. In the same way I’m desperate for Daniel Bryan to be involved in the main event at WrestleMania, though, I’m obsessed with setting my own goals and then achieving them during individual runs. On this attempt I need to get more gold; on this attempt I need to get a new blueprint; on this attempt I’ll stab myself in the head if I don’t end that boss…

Each successful attempt is met by a growing sense of satisfaction, an emotion that increases as you realise that Rogue Legacy serves as a genuine gaming educator. While the likes of Dark Souls have long claimed – and in many cases succeeded – to be the ultimate in such a process, Rogue Legacy has got that formula down with ease. Starting as something I intended to spend five minutes with before abandoning in an ever-growing pile of shame, it’s become an addictive fix that’s constantly demanding more.

A fair feat for any game, but even more so when its core ideals barely change. Even the castle you start in is essentially the same. The only real shifts are the targets you set for yourself. Yet more evidence that PS Plus has become an essential subscription service, Rogue Legacy is a stark reminder that it’s not only tentpole releases that we should be pumped for. Surprises often come in small packages.

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