Rogue Lords – Review
Follow Genre: Roguelike, Turn-based Strategy
Developer: Cyanide, Leikir Studio
Publisher: Nacon
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Rogue Lords – Review

Site Score
Good: Original concept, Cheating to win
Bad: Sometimes feels a bit too random
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Back in June, we had our first encounter with Rogue Lords. We enjoyed commanding a group of villains and monsters in order to make the world a darker place. During our short outing with the Beta version of the game, we could already see a lot of potential in this original turn-based strategy roguelike/roguelite title. Now, we finally have a chance to sink our fangs into the full version. Overall, we were quite entertained, even though the game itself offers not that much actual content.


The game’s offset is quite simple. You’ll be taking up arms as the Devil himself, who has been banished to the pits of hell by losing a battle against the famed Van Helsing. You need to regain your power first, but your patience grows thin, and you wish to return to the surface world sooner rather than later. You’ll task your underlings to collect souls and defeat worthy opponents; by any means necessary. The game lets you begin with famous characters under your control, such as Dracula, the Headless Horseman, and Bloody Mary. As you progress, you’ll see more and more familiar ghoulish beings join your ranks.


The graphical design of this game is still very much all over the place. We get 3D models in the overworld and battles with a fairly comic book-like design, to get 2D dialogue screens with a proper backdrop during events. The story segments are then shown via a tome with text, with a simple drawing on the right-hand side. Overall, the game tries to incorporate many different styles into the experience, and it does work. True, perhaps choosing one style might have made it a slightly better whole, but we quite enjoyed the mix of different styles.


All in all, the sound quality is quite nice. The voice acting is superbly handled and puts you in the proper mood. The limited voice lines of your characters also add a bit to the immersion, but we would have loved to see a bit more voiced dialogues between your own minions. The cinematic backdrop also suits the setting, even though there is not a huge variety in the game’s tracks. We also noticed a very annoying bug where you could hear someone scribble on paper for hours on end.


Rogue Lords is a turn-based strategy Roguelike/Roguelite title in which you’ll be playing as the Devil’s vanguard. You’ll have to play through different scenarios to reach the game’s conclusion. These scenarios have branching paths, either allowing you to dive into combat, try and clear chance-based events, purchase new skills and items, or try to restore your Devil’s essence and remove negative traits from your underlings. Everything is actually quite simple, and the game never makes things too convoluted. You’ll be able to dish out two types of damage, one affecting the health points, while the other affects the spirit points. Deplete one gauge, and execute a finishing blow with the same type of damage, and you’ll defeat the enemy in front of you. As you’re overviewing the battle as the Devil, you’ll also be able to use devilish tricks and cheat your way to victory. This is done by using your essence to heal your characters, swap buffs and debuffs between your enemies and your minions, and so on. You can even opt to use your essence on the overworld, skipping certain areas with negative effects. Be warned, your essence is limited, and refilling your gauge may be tricky.

Each of your minions has specific skill sets, and these often lean towards a certain specialty. One may deal more SP damage than HP damage, while another may shield you from damage or cast a lot of negative status effects on your opponents. These skills can be further enhanced with skill upgrades or relics. Both cost souls when buying them from the Grim Reaper himself, but you can also win these via combat or by leveling up your reputation. The skills and relics you encounter during a scenario are completely random, which means you cannot really properly plan ahead. If you die, you lose all your upgrades, and have to replay the scenario from scratch. If you complete a scenario, the next one will unlock, but you’ll also lose all your progress in terms of skill levels and relics. Of course, the game allows you to make general progress by unlocking new available skills and characters, which spices things up a little bit.

We very much enjoyed what was on offer throughout the different scenarios of Rogue Lords‘ campaign, but we also felt that the game could be a tiny bit meatier. Nonetheless, the asking price for this release is very fair, and you’ll be able to spend quite a few hours trying to beat the game. Some scenarios will be a breeze to plow through thanks to the RNG being on your side, while others will be trickier. Sometimes damage scaling of enemies is quite ridiculous, where they can kill your leveled characters in basically one or two hits.


Rogue Lords is a very appealing and accessible strategic Roguelike/Roguelite experience with a very interesting theme. We enjoyed playing the villain, and we loved making slow but certain progress. Even though the game may feel a bit random at times, and not every successful endeavor feels rewarding, we did very much enjoy the core mechanics, the atmosphere, and the overall gameplay. We loved cheating to win, even though more than often it didn’t give us such an impressive advantage. If you were on the fence for this one, we can easily recommend trying it out.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Rogue Lords - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

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