HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewRogue Spirit Review

Rogue Spirit Review

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In a sea of roguelite games, its becoming increasingly hard to find games that truly differentiate themselves. Shared mechanics are common within the genre and even when new subgenres appear, such as deck-building roguelites, they are often quick to be copied. It comes down to how well a game manages to adopt and implement these mechanics, while managing to keep things feeling and looking good.

That is why it is so impressive to see Rogue Spirit adopting a mechanic that I really haven’t seen in roguelites before. The core gameplay loop is built around the fact that your character is a spirit with the ability to posses the bodies of warriors that have been vanquished.

rogue spirit review 1
Rogue Spirit is pretty impressive

The game begins with you being summoned to fight agents of chaos. You’re given a body, and the basics are explained to you. There are forces of evil to fight. You are the only one equipped for the job. You know, the standard speech all new heroes get.

What’s unique is that the body you receive is not the one you are forced to occupy. Each enemy you defeat can be possessed. There are a variety of different enemies too, each with their own play style. Before possessing them you will see a small pop-up that displays their stats relative to your current ones.

This is a really neat concept, but sadly the execution leaves a bit to be desired. The combat just does not feel good. Very few of the characters have movesets that I personally enjoyed, and the pool of characters I liked playing as only consisted of melee characters.

The ranged combat doesn’t have a satisfying way to aim. It mainly involves automatically locking on to an enemy and then holding the attack button until it is accurate enough to hit them. It feels more tedious than anything and it makes it hard to ever want to possess a ranged attacker.

The variety between melee attackers isn’t much better. Many of them have slow attacks and dodging only really works the way you are facing; it feels clunky to attack and then try to dodge. There is a parry mechanic, but it would be more accurate to call it a block since it doesn’t create any kind of opening like a traditional parry mechanic would. It negates damage when properly timed with normal attacks, and then can reduce or eliminate damage from charged attacks depending on how well timed it is.

rogue spirit review 2
Will you become a Rogue Spirit?

It’s not a forgiving system and the combat isn’t the smoothest to begin with. It’s made worse by the fact that the only real way to heal in Rogue Spirit during a run is by collecting spirit from defeating enemies or finding spirit wells, and then possessing a new body. It hasn’t been uncommon for me to get a good character early on in a stage, only for every enemy I encountered afterwards to have lower stats.

There are elite enemies which are much stronger than standard enemies, but even their stats are often lower than the character already in play. It makes it hard to want to engage in combat since there is often no reward for taking the risk.

During the runs you can swap between your physical and spirit form, which allows you to sneak past enemies to avoid that issue. Enemies all have a fairly narrow cone of vision which becomes visible in the ghost form. Entering that cone slowly fills their awareness and if you stay in it for too long, then you are forced back into your physical form and must fight. This is again another unique choice, but it is a fairly basic stealth system.

That’s my most recurring gripe with Rogue Spirit – there are plenty of cool mechanics but everything feels a bit simplistic. Things begin feeling redundant quickly and even after progressing through some unlocks and getting new abilities, it never quite develops into a satisfactory gameplay loop.

rogue spirit review 3
The combat isn’t the smoothest

There are few other sour notes the game hits, including the music. Each stage’s song is redundant and relentless, which makes each session feel much longer than it is. And not in a good way.

Rogue Spirit is a game that I almost enjoyed, going back and forth on how I felt throughout the game. There are a lot of cool ideas included and it is certainly a unique roguelite that offers something that hasn’t really been seen in other games. While there are several complaints, many of them are forgivable, but the combat system is what I really struggle with.

Too many of the characters are just not fun to play as, and even the ones that are decent, still never feel great. The possession system is cool, but it may put you in a position where you feel the need to play the game differently than how you want. It’s a good challenge, but not one I personally enjoyed.

That being said, if you are a fan of roguelites then don’t rule out Rogue Spirit. It’s not a game for genre newbies, but if you need something different, Rogue Spirit may be for you.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Unique possession system
  • Variety in combat and playstyle
Cons:
  • Many characters aren’t satisfying to play
  • Redundant soundtrack
  • Basic systems for stealth and combat
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - 505 Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 7 March 2023 | £15.99
Ryan Taylor
Ryan Taylor
Grew up playing the Nintendo 64 where I fell in love with the Legend of Zelda series. As I got older though my console of choice changed, first to PS2, and then finally to the Xbox 360, which I've been playing on for over a decade now. And since my first day booting up my Xbox, I've upgraded consoles and even built a gaming PC. Because at the end of the day I just love gaming.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Unique possession system<li> <li>Variety in combat and playstyle</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Many characters aren’t satisfying to play</li> <li>Redundant soundtrack</li> <li>Basic systems for stealth and combat</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - 505 Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 7 March 2023 | £15.99</li> </ul>Rogue Spirit Review
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