Welcome back to our fourth edition of A Roll of the Dice with me, Adam. This week we have the amazing ability to be reviewing our first video game, provided by Ivent Games. This game started as a PS3 exclusive, but now is available on Windows, Linux, PS4, Wii U, and PS Vita, so they have really branched the system out to make it more available for people to try.
Now of course, I feel the need to say I started this game feeling like I was being set-up for a massive headache, because I am very biased about my dislike of hack and slash games. I feel that most hack and slash end up being a button mashing of attack buttons, with extremely linear game play. So, when I realized this was a hack and slash, I almost put blinders on, but I have never been more pleasantly surprised in my life. Let’s dive in and see what I thought about the game overall.
Design : 9
The game has a really unique style to it, all of which is most prevalent in the first thirty seconds of turning the game on. It starts with a completely visual story in the opening, which tells the story of the world. I do not want to give much away, but the gods did create Strahil, a robot with the ability to cut demons down with his sword skills. I felt the story was very straight forward, and actually love that they were able to get it across without speaking or subtitles. I enjoyed the opening a lot, and actually restarted to watch it a second time.
The opening was good, but did not prepare me for the graphics once I was in the game. Now for an indie game, you can tell they put a lot of work, and love, into the design of the game. It has such a unique look to it, and they even made Goblins seem bad-ass. The angles they use, mixed with the background art, actually adds a level of visuals that I am not used to seeing in an indie game. Overall, I love the feel of the game, and they nailed it for what they were trying to do.
Replay Value : 9
I feel the need to start this one off with saying that I have never felt so much frustration, but also accomplishment from playing a game in my life. The reason the replay value is so high, would be because you are constantly needing to restart the game just to make it past the first level. Now again, I am not a big player of hack and slash games, so it could just be that I am terrible, but it took me four times to complete the first level. The best part is that it didn’t frustrate me as much as I thought it would. It just really made me focus on trying even harder to make it through.
The game itself evolves so much, that I felt the need to play through, then replay with different tactics to see how the AI would react. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. The AI was evolving, but we will dive more into that in our fun factor. The game evolves at such a rate that you need to keep replaying just to survive, but also to build a proper survival technique.
Fun Factor : 9
This is the part of the review I really wanted to spend the most time talking about, because above everything else, the fun factor was absolutely amazing. This game is exactly what I have always wanted hack and slash games to be, and manages to bring a new style to the genre. You CAN NOT just play this game by constantly attacking and mashing buttons, as the AI will actually learn from you. It learns how to block anything you send at it, but only to get you thinking about how to attack a different way. In the very first level, it gives you a tutorial to help learn the game and controls, and yet I still managed to die four or five times completing it. The AI will grow from your tendencies. If all you do is attack, it will learn to counter, if all you do is block, it will heavy hit to break the block, so the game will show you who the real boss is. This is one of the main reasons I love it.
Another good reason it is amazingly fun, is that it is a steampunk robot with a sword, cutting down the demons trying to take over the kingdom. Now really, what part of that sentence made you NOT want to try the game? It all just sounds like the perfect mixture needed to make an amazing game, and in fact, it is. As the game progresses, the difficulty also increases on its own, as it forces you to keep evolving you style of play. Any game that adds action, with amazing visuals, and dynamic game play is a game I will always recommend.
Overall I had a lot of fun, a lot of frustration, and a lot of restarting all through the game, but shockingly, never wanted to quit. It gave the right amount of challenge, with the best amount of reward. Please head over to their kickstarter to see their art style, and also get details on their new game Strength of the SWORD ULTIMATE. A review for that one will be coming up in the future as it is still in development at this time. I will go out on a limb and say that Ivent is a company to watch out for, they seem to be bringing a new idea to an already swamped market.