What can I say about Ziggurat, one of many recent rogue-lites released on Steam? Well, for one thing, it's actually pretty good. In fact, I would go as far as saying that it's one of the best rogue-lites that you can buy on Steam. Though it borrows a lot from other rogue-lites (which in turn borrow a number of key concepts from actual rogue-likes), it also has some Heretic and Hexen thrown in, and not just in terms of visuals, but also in terms of gameplay.
The gameplay of Ziggurat is quite simple. It's a combination of a rogue-like dungeon crawl mixed in with an FPS. Along the way, you will be leveling up your character, dying from enemy fire, unlocking new perks and weapons (as well as the occasional character), and starting from ground zero all over again. When it comes to basic FPS mechanics, the game does everything correctly, and the controls are also well tuned. The perks in this game range from your basic "magic meter increase" and "better healing" to perks that can negatively impact one aspect of your character while improving another aspect of your character, which may or may not ♥♥♥♥ your ♥♥♥♥ up. In addition to these perks, there are also rooms your character can pray at to gain temporary and permanent perks in the form of "divine blessings", although these same statues can also give you "divine punishment", which affects your character negatively, or a divine indifference, which affects you in both a positive and negative way. These statues can also refill your health or mana meters and give you new items. Although you will probably never be able to use or find all the weapons in the game in a single playthrough (assuming you managed to unlock all the weapons in the game), I was quite surprised over how many weapons there are in the game. There are four primary weapon types, and although the usefulness of some of these weapons is debatable, most of the weapons I have used have helped me in my playthroughs in one way or another. As far as characters go, you only have one to play with in the beginning, though you unlock more as you complete certain prerequisites. Each character has some variation in between then, with one character being the "balanced" type, while another character being the "speed demon" type, and some characters might be proficient in either one or more magic types. However, the gameplay still remains very similar even when playing other characters. The level system in this game is pretty basic, as it increases your mana pool and your HP and then has you chose a perk. Of course, there is an aspect to it that irks me, and that aspect is not being able to directly chose what perks you want. In fact, each time you upgrade a character, you have two perks to chose from (three with the help of an unlockable perk), and those perks are randomly chosen. Why does this irk me? Well, its probably because it doesn't allow for total control of your character in terms of character progression. I understand that rogue-likes certainly have a luck factor, and I also understand how some of that luck factor carries over into rogue-lites. However, contrary to popular belief, not every factor in a rogue-like is based on luck, and yes, that includes character building (assuming the rogue-like lets you control what your stat points and/or skill points go into, which a lot of rogue-likes do). This to me feels like a half-♥♥♥♥♥ attempt at character building with player input. Either give me full control of what perks and skills I can learn and/or give me full control of where I can put my stat points into, or don't give me full control of those options at all. Also, the traps are kinda lame, as they are not that difficult to pass through once you get their patterns down.
In terms of presentation, optimization and sound, Ziggurat is mostly good. The graphics are very solid, and most of the character models are pleasant to look at. The game also manages to be pretty well optimized, and has some essential settings. The only thing that I didn't like too much in this category is the sound, as the music is quite meh.
Even though the game has a number of quirks, Ziggurat is a well put-together rogue-lite that is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a very good rogue-lite fix, and fans of FPS games and actual rogue-likes might enjoy this as well.