Friday, September 18, 2015

PC Review #126: Vagante

Title: Vagante
Developer: Nuke Nine
Platforms: PC
Price: $14.99
What games belong under the roguelike umbrella is a common discussion when the term comes up, but one can't deny the appeal of roguelike (or roguelite) platformers. Spelunky is easily the poster child of the subgenre, but it's an thriving genre, from Catacomb Kids and Rogue Legacy to Cavern Kings and 20XX. Vagante is another game to add to that list, with its RPG focus and challenging gameplay.
The premise of Vagante is simple. Choose a class, venture into the waiting mouth of a dark hazard-filled cave, and survive. Treasure, traps, monsters, and loot can be found within, if you have the skill to endure the challenges of the procedurally-generated levels.

While Catacomb Kids stands out with its interlocking systems and Rogue Legacy with its generational progress and hectic gameplay, Vagante excels at blending elements of the action RPG and the roguelite platformer. Each of the three classes - Knight, Mage, and Rogue - have their own unique skills as well as stats to upgrade, and each upgrade expands your moveset with new abilities and powers. The bow-wielding Rogue can cloak himself in shadows, the Mage unlocks new spells, the Knight can unlock falling stabs, and so on.
Loot found throughout the level or bought from shops allow you to equip new gear, some imbued with special passive abilites. From helms that make your strikes freeze enemies and heavy gauntlets that knock foes backwards to scrolls and potions that provide one-use magic attacks or stat buffs, Vagante provides many ways to fight enemies.

The action is fast-paced and challenging, as you jump over projectiles and time your strikes against bats, rats, ghouls, imposing dragons, and other beasts and bosses that await. Using traps like spike pits or arrow turrets to your advantage is a valid tactic too; sometimes fleeing to gather some health, swap out weapons, or use a scroll is the best option. If the dungeon prove too challenging for a lone adventurer, you can always fight alongside three other friends in 4-player local co-op.
Vagante is currently on Steam Early Acess, and the developers are working on implementing online multiplayer. You can purchase Vagante on Steam and Humble, and follow the game's development here.

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