By David Chapman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Horror themed strategy is a Devil's playground of fun.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players take on the role of the Devil, commanding forces made up of some of the most evil characters in myth and legend. The players' main focus is to spread terror throughout the land by collecting souls, killing the opposition, and otherwise tormenting people. Cheating, via use of "Diabolic Essence," isn't just allowed, it's expected and encouraged.
Positive Role Models
There are no positive forces at work in the game. The player is the embodiment of evil as the Devil and his disciples are dark characters as well. Even the Demon Hunter forces are a different type of evil, masquerading as good under the guise of a newly established religion.
Players recruit from a select group of evil entities from myth and fiction. Most are European in origin, but some, such as Baron Samedi, are from other culture's beliefs.
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Ease of Play
Each map is randomly generated, leading to a variety of ever-changing options to choose from. The game gets more difficult, with more powerful enemies, as players press on. Frustratingly, defeat means starting over from scratch, losing all character progress.
Violence & Scariness
The game features a clean, crisp stylized look, much like a cartoon. Still, there's a lot of violent imagery. Huge splashes of blood appear onscreen and certain characters' designs feature twisted and mangled bodies or exposed brains. Defeated enemies have short death animations before disappearing form the screen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some characters, such as Lilith, are designed in a suggestive way, and there are some occasional comments and innuendos in the dialogue and text. One character's history references working in a brothel.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the chararacters is regularly shown smoking, and the dialogue makes regular mention of alcohol and getting drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rogue Lords is a downloadable turn-based strategic role-playing game available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and Windows based PCs. The player takes on the role of the Devil, as he commands a party of Disciples made up of some of the most notoriously evil characters in myth and legend. The Devil's goal is to terrorize the villagers, recover a set of ancient and powerful relics, and to gain revenge on the Demon Hunters that cast him from the mortal realm. Combat is a steady occurrence, with plenty of blood splashes and violence shown onscreen. But the game has a stylized and cartoonish look that reduces the impact of that violence, plus enemies simply collapse and vanish when defeated. Parents should also note that the game does feature some occasional sexual innuendo in the dialogue, as well as references to alcohol and tobacco use.
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What’s It About?
In ROGUE LORDS, the Devil is in the details and there's going to be Hell to pay. After being banished from the mortal realm by a powerful cadre of Demon Hunters, the time has come for you to make your return from Hell, gaining a measure of revenge against those self-righteous Demon Hunters and their ilk. To assist you in your resurrection, you've brought forth some of the most diabolical Disciples to ever swear allegiance to your cause. You'll call upon the likes of Hecate, the Headless Horseman, Baron Samedi, Bloody Mary, and more, utilizing their unique powers and abilities to spread terror throughout the land. Of course, being the Devil means that things like "fair play" and "rules" are little more than mere suggestions. You'll use your dark powers to manipulate the game more to your favor, increasing the odds of a preferred outcome, shifting the health bars of your Disciples and your foes, and opening portals to instantly move your forces around the map. Give the people something to fear and remind them what the true face of evil looks like.
Is It Any Good?
Sometimes it really is good to be the bad guy, and when it comes to bad guys, it's hard to get any more "bad" than Old Scratch himself: the Devil. Rogue Lords doesn't make any attempt to dilute this with pesky things like redemption or morals. There's an interesting twist in which the Demon Hunters have created their own religion, but seem to be a different brand of evil in the guise of doing good. As such, they've got their own devoted and demented followers, many of which are twisted monstrosities in their own right. There's nothing bright or cheery here, but it's all done in a crisp, clean cartoonish art style with fluid animations that make the game look like it's just begging to be turned into a gothic horror anime series.
Gameplay in Rogue Lords initially feels like your standard cut-and-dried turn-based role-playing game. You start off choosing three Disciples out of the eight available (technically nine if you count Frankenstein's Creature as a separate character). Each has a small selection of abilities, which quickly grows and evolves as the game progresses. Players need to make the most of what they have too, as Action Points are shared amongst the party and, once used, abilities have to be recharged manually. It's here where some players, especially those on consoles, may find themselves lost diving through the significant numbers of menus that pop up to control Disciples. It's not a big problem, but it can slow things down. But where the game really stands out is the "Diabolic Essence." This is the Devil's power, which can be used to influence and alter the gameplay in multiple ways. Cashing in Essence allows everything from altering characters' life bars to changing the odds of success in events and more. Basically, it lets you cheat the system. This is a finite resource though, and difficult to refill. Run out and it's game over. But in Rogue Lords, each ending is just another beginning, as you restart your quest once again to ensure the Devil gets his due.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the different types of "evil." What defines evil or makes a person a villain? Is it always something blatant and obvious? How do some people commit evil acts under the guise of doing good?
What are some of the ways that myths and stories from the past are used to inspire modern storytelling?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Nacon
- Release date: April 28, 2022
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Book Characters, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Blood, Suggestive Themes, Alcohol Reference, Use of Tobacco
- Last updated: May 11, 2022
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