Legend of Keepers in the test: how good is the rogue-like?

Legend of Keepers in the test: how good is the rogue-like?

Legend of Keepers in the test

Legend of Keepers has left Early Access and the game was released for the Switch at the same time. Our first test, on the early version of the game, was quite positive. In this test, we will take a closer look at whether the developers have turned the necessary screws and ironed out old weaknesses after a year of Early Access.

Table of contents

1 Of monsters and heroes 2 It's nice to be bad 3 Time heals all wounds 4 The moral of the story 5 The magic number three 6 Sometimes it brings a change of perspective

Of monsters and heroes

First of all, Legend of Keepers is a mixture of Darkest Dungeon and Dungeon Keeper. The clue here, however, is that you don't play the heroes, but take control of the nasty creatures of the dungeon. You can choose one of three dungeon masters. May I introduce: Maug a centaur, 54 years old, loves human flesh and always has his whip with him. Next up, Sarel, a dryad, old and wise, leader of the ecoterrorists and willing to destroy humanity. Finally, Lira, an unauthorized experiment, astute and subtle, has the ability to create death machines. You work as one of the three for the so-called Dungeon Company and get jobs in which you are supposed to prevent heroes from reaching the sacred halls of the dungeon masters in different dungeons. The story is told quickly and you are introduced to the game's techniques through missions. An administrator from the Dungeon Company is at your side. Since the dungeon masters differ immensely not only outwardly but also in terms of play, each of the three has their own short campaign. The story is nevertheless very banal and is nothing more than a tutorial. The tricky part only starts after this relatively long introduction.

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It's nice to be bad

The aim of the game is not to be taken by surprise by the heroes. To keep them from advancing in the dungeon, we set up traps and place monsters on the way. A dungeon always consists of two trap and two monster rooms, as well as a magic room and the master’s chambers at the end of the dungeon. There is also a special room that differs depending on the dungeon master. In the said room, you can choose one of three spells with which you simply cause damage or have other negative effects on heroes. For example, increased susceptibility to traps.

From time to time dungeons also have additional rooms in which you can choose a variant from three traps and spells specific to the dungeon. However, the dungeons also have rooms in which the heroes can gain advantages. For example, wells can heal the heroes or a campfire strengthens their morale.

We can place three monsters in each of the monster rooms. In the ice dungeon we can surprise the heroes with falling stalagmites. Source: PC Games When the heroes enter one of these rooms, the battles are fought on a turn-based basis. As in other games, you have to pay attention to attack patterns and damage types. Attacks and abilities hit in given areas. Ranged fighters attack characters at the rear, while melee fighters are deployed on the front lines. In addition to normal and elemental attacks, there are also status effects that cause damage over time.

If you plan well in advance and place your monsters intelligently, you can direct the action in favor of your own troops. The monsters come in different genera and degrees of rarity. Depending on which dungeon master you have chosen, you get access to unique creatures that can only be used with the respective master. You get particularly powerful monsters when you defeat the strongest of all heroes, the champions. You will also need this to win the decisive battle at the end of the dungeon. With this trap we unleash a poisonous cloud of death and ruin on our adversaries. Source: PC Games

Time heals all wounds

As in other rogue-like games, you have to make decisions before you even get to the final fight. These have an impact on the further course of the game and determine success or failure. In Legend of Keepers you can also regularly choose from different events apart from the battles. Do you want to send your monsters on a training course, order your dungeon master to work out or upgrade your traps? You are spoiled for choice. But it should be strategically well considered, because the events offer certain advantages and disadvantages. Use your time wisely, because after a short break, another group of heroes will come to conquer your dungeon. Hopefully you are well prepared and successfully stop the intruders. Interestingly, before the heroes knock on your door, you can choose which squad will attack your dungeon. Depending on the difficulty level of the heroes, you can expect differently strong rewards.

The aim is to increase your wealth with the help of events and defeated heroes, to acquire artifacts, to improve monsters and dungeon masters in order to meet the ever stronger opponents and in the end victoriously fend off the definitely emerging champion.

This also includes putting together a suitable combination of monsters and artifacts. For example, if the number of skeletons in your team predominates, it makes sense to improve them with an artifact. Similar to genre greats Slay the Spire or Dead Cells, Legend of Keepers offers countless possible combinations and invites you to experiment. Our team of 'Mechs can defeat the champion and his companions with ease. Source: PC Games

The moral of the story

If you don't just want to defeat your adversaries by sheer force, but break their will and send them home with trembling legs in no time at all, then used you monsters and traps that weaken the morale of the heroes. Even if your goal is not to scare heroes, there are benefits in lowering your opponent's morale. For example, some monsters cause more damage or receive other bonuses.

But not only the morale of the enemy can crumble, your subordinates also become more motivated or demotivated during the fight, depending on whether they win or lose. So you should always keep an eye on the morale of your servants. If they are too demotivated, they boycott the work and can no longer be used in the dungeon. Only after some time do they slowly recover and can be sent back into battle. A simple pat on the back is not enough. To increase morale, you give them a break, promote them or provide them with special tasks. The union makes its demands. If we go into this, it costs us 50 gold, but it motivates our monsters. Source: PC Games

The magic number three

Maug the slave owner can break the heroes' morale and force them to retreat. Source: PC Games You could think that the creators of the game acted according to the wisdom that all good things come in threes. We each have three monsters, three spell choices, three heroes and, last but not least, three dungeon masters. The differences between the three masters are not noticeable at first. But if you spend a long time with one of the three, you will recognize new ways to master the dungeons successfully. The sorceress shines like no other hero with exploiting elementary weaknesses of the opponent and applying status effects to heroes. Maug, on the other hand, is trimmed for pure physical strength and intimidation and knows how to make his opponents bleed. As the name suggests, the trapper is skilled at throwing lots of stumbling blocks in the way of the heroes. But it also has a number of buffs ready for its own monsters, the mechs. Once you have completed a level and defeated the last champion, you will receive experience points to unlock the masters' passive abilities.

The masters are well designed for their part, and the rest of the game also has a visually appealing pixel look. The design of the dungeons offers a lot of variety and the soundtrack is just great. When a champion enters a dungeon, the soundscape gives you the feeling that you are facing a threat. Even if you've heard every track quickly, the soundtrack is quite impressive. Heroes, monsters and masters have their own battle cry, which adds mood to the overall picture. The dungeon manager who guides you through the first level is fully set to music, but only in English. Otherwise, the menus and explanations are all in German. The world of Legend of Keepers is very big. Unfortunately, we don't get anything from the world outside of the dungeons. Source: PC Games

Sometimes it brings a change of perspective

With its opposite structure, Legend of Keepers brings a breath of fresh air to the genre. Being evil is just fun and the feeling of preventing someone from advancing instead of fighting your way through hordes of enemies feels wonderfully fresh. In spite of new monsters, artifacts and talents, your dungeon master will not become the ultimate fighting machine in no time at all and therefore later runs retain a certain degree of challenge.

In the previous test of the Early Access version of the game, we have a few small flaw noticed. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the developers had made a few changes over the past few months. For example, in the Early Access version of the game we could only play two Dungeon Masters. The trapper came with it later. The dungeon masters are very different from each other and offer a good variety.

Our biggest criticism was that the gameplay was too random. But here, too, a lot has happened. So we can see possible rewards in advance, put together some starting conditions independently and choose our favorites from monsters and traps. This enables us to set the course for a successful run in advance by tinkering with a promising strategy. The random factor obviously cannot be left out entirely as it is a fundamental part of the genre, even if it can be frustrating at times. In addition, it ultimately ensures that every run is interesting and motivates you to play again.

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My opinion

By Paul Albert

Author Interesting concept, plays surprisingly well and brings a breath of fresh air into the rogue-like genre As a big fan of rogue -like genres I've been looking for a fresh, unused backdrop for a long time. Many genre representatives only try to copy the successful games and do little new. Legend of Keeper, on the other hand, shows that it can make sense to simply turn existing concepts around . Although the game mechanics are very similar to what already exists, the setting makes them seem unspent. A really successful genre adaptation. Legend of Keepers (PC) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Legend of Keepers (NSW) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons High replay value Atmospheric soundtrack & graphics Successful rogue-like elements Pleasant increase in difficulty Can sometimes frustrate Missing lore Unimportant Trendy story More pros & cons ... Conclusion Legend of Keepers brings well-known rogue-like mechanics into a relatively unspent setting and can convince almost all along the line with beautiful graphics and a good soundtrack, if only it had a better story.

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