Rogue Lords’ Devil Mode Breaks the Game in a Great Way

AbraxasOctober 6, 2021

Rogue Lords has a feature called Devil Mode that encourages players to tactically cheat their way through encounters — and it’s awesome.

Cheating isn’t often encouraged in games, but in Rogue Lords, it’s the only way to win. The roguelike RPG features something called “Devil Mode” that allows players to turn any obstacle they face into an opportunity. Commanding Satan’s wide assortment of Disciples is already a treat, but snatching victory away from enemies in an instant is the cherry on top. Rogue Lords‘ Devil Mode lets players break the game — and in this case, that’s perfectly fine.

Rogue Lords is a Slay the Spire-inspired roguelike that uniquely allows players to control villains. Harnessing the powers of horror icons like The Headless Horseman, Bloody Mary and Baron Samedi, players lead these Disciples as the Devil himself. When the Disciples’ powers fail, or if players want to turn a situation in their favor, they can activate Devil Mode to increase or decrease health bars, fiddle with statuses and alter the odds during events. “Cheating” is just another mechanic in Rogue Lords, and it fits the title both in theme and function.

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Rogue Lords Devil Mode Feature

Allowing a player to manipulate their odds may seem like it would give players too much power and undermine the game’s roguelike elements, but it works because there isn’t really as much power in these actions as there seems to be. Sure, players can directly increase their own HP or decrease an enemy’s, the same being true for the mana-equivalent “Spirit” bars, but health and resource conservation isn’t a focus in Rogue Lords the way it is in other roguelikes. Players regenerate HP and SP after each encounter, and some characters have abilities entirely based on riding the line between life and death. Instead of being a player’s most precious resource, health and spirit are just more tools the player has at their disposal.

Every action in Devil Mode — be it increasing an ally’s health or eliminating a chunk of an enemy’s — has a cost. This is subtracted from a much more limited resource pool called Demonic Essence. Not only does Demonic Essence fuel Devil Mode, but it’s also used when a Disciple falls, bringing the Disciple back from the grave for a fee. There are a few ways to regain Demonic Essence, but once a player runs out, it’s game over. Players have to decide how often they use Devil Mode, ensuring they always have enough Demonic Essence available in case of an emergency.

Devil Mode is a perfect fit for Rogue Lords. With players taking the role of the Devil, it’s a perfect way to convey a sense of the terrible power. What better way to let players feel like the Lord of Lies than allowing them to cheat at a whim? Devil Mode is a fun mechanic that encourages players to think out of the box when they’re presented with a challenge — even if that means cheating around it.

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