All know this game by now, but I will bite…
Best game 2018! Period!
It’s not your typical action rogue-lite platformer at all, because this game really puts an extra oomph on the action. It’s probably the most smoothest experience one can get in this large variety of gaming genres combined! Motion Twin (the developer) managed to implement unseen so far POETRY in game movement and combat mechanics. Playing this will make you feel like a god, being able to sequence tons of motions and actions in one single deeeeep breath… until you get hit… reminded that you can still die like a ***** and still… suck.
At first glance you might just think “oh another 2D side scroller platformer with rogue-lite elements”, but you can’t go more wrong than that. The last thing I will describe this game is by the “platformer” genre. It’s still there, but when you pick up the game and take a look at everything as a whole and how action packed this is you will even forget that you indeed jump to move around apart from jumping over the huge number of enemies you have to deal with.
The metroidvania implementation is really well done, even probably better than the staples in that particular genre, because it’s combined with the rogue-lite aspect. Even when you unlock all the possible means of traveling and have access to every biome (it’s how the different areas or levels are called here) you will still have endless diversity and choices why, how and where to go next in your runs. Some biomes are only accessible when you find a permanent rune unlock that will grant you a special ability. Being a straight up ability means it has tons of uses during all biomes… not just to enter the previously locked ones.
Welp, it’s Rogue-lite after all, so few deaths here and there are expected, but that’s the beauty of it and from where the great replayability comes from. One should embrace death and have fun with it, while learning bit by bit how to avoid it better in the future. This shouldn’t be off putting at all considering that a regular run (no matter the difficulty) is maximum about an hour in real life time. It’s really good to play in short seatings when not having much time and it even saves your progress if you have to get up, so you can finish your run later.
I won’t even bother to try to describe the combat and the action, because it has to be experienced by everyone that’s even slightly interested in those genres, but the vast majority of gear choices and weapons makes it even more outstanding. There are tons of items you can have fun with and I can’t stress this enough - Every item plays completely differently! Some you will love… some you will hate… some will get completely changed by the on going patching of the game (for that a bit later), but to get familiar with everything and to master it - probably more than 100 hours. I hope this puts in a perspective how much variety is there… if not - go play it and prove me wrong!
Unlocking gear and passive skills and what not is done by acquiring a particular blueprint of said item and bringing it after the level is done to one of the NPCs, which means surviving while carrying it - might not be that easy in plenty of cases. Than you need to spend one of the in game currencies called Cells to unlock the particular item. It’s really straight forward and of course all the progress is saved in between runs, but you lose your Cells if you die and haven’t spent them.
The enemy variety is pretty impressive and on top of that Motion Twin managed to make their different behaviours and attacks complimenting each other when in diverse groups. This is how they tend to control the difficulty levels in between said biomes the later the game progresses and in completely higher difficulty settings as well. Grouping particular type of enemies together can be a lot more interesting and devastating than you can imagine. You have all types of the little ******* … melee, ranged, flying, spawning, multi action ones… ability ones… whatever you can imagine ones.
There are currently 4 Bosses in the game and if you followed my drift so far - yeah… they are completely different from each other. In every playthrough you can go only for 3 of those, so the extra one is a choice matter. As far as I know there’s at least one more boss promised in the big free DLC that Motion Twin will release when ready.
The level design is done pretty well and it’s as RNG as you can get. Of course from time to time some hickups tend to happen by being completely blocked, but I think they worked a lot on this part and soon this will never be the case. It’s no secret this random level generation underlines the insane replayability value of this game, but the variety in the different biomes and their unique feel and layouts is really diverse. You have completely maze like levels, horizontal ones with vertical dungeons… mixes of both and what not. They won’t stop doing biomes for sure, but at this point I can’t imagine with what they can come up with.
Few mentions for which I don’t want nor need to go in details, but the game has: various types of Shops, challenge rooms, Secrets, Lore rooms, Cell rooms - depending on your active difficulty to help you out further, Timed Doors, Kill count without getting hit doors… and what not… I’m probably forgetting something. All those are up to find for you whenever during your explorations.
There’s full modding support and already tons of mods done out there. I have never installed a mod so far, because I don’t feel the need to, but it’s there for whoever wants that.
You even have the options to fully customize and change your runs… pick ups - everything to the smallest details right from the game menu.
Patching is going strong and constant. Motion Twin isn’t scared to experiment and completely change whatever they aren’t satisfied with. That’s proven by the recent december 1.1 patch that completely changed probably half of the game. They do listen to the community, but stay true to their concept and ideas and I can’t complain at all about that. I’m actually keen on them experimenting, because they always manage to keep the game fresh for me.
Graphics and Design
Someone might get offended, but I will go with a stereotype, because I don’t care - Motion Twin are french and it shows in the art . I can honestly say that this is the most classy pixel graphics I’ve ever seen! It’s true eye candy and how they managed to come up with this … the only thing that comes to my mind is … french people! Seriously though every detail is polished perfectly. The animations are smooth and amazing, so are all the effects. They recently even added new weapon animations and what not. The surrounding environment is gorgeous and immersive.
Sound and Music
There is no voice acting as expected from such game, but the sound effects are pretty on point and really well done. You have your sound queues and what not … I can’t say anything bad about any of this. The music for my taste is phenomenal and fits the atmosphere perfectly. I played probably 400 hours, before finally started to switch with my music.
I will just leave this here for someone interested
Well you have almost everything you can desire here from effects to separate audio sliders to in game mechanics to…even FONTS… so I will just mention the 2 things I feel the lack of. The game takes your monitor resolution when you go full screen, so this might not be optimal for every person out there. Second thing is that I’m a multi monitor person and the game automatically launches on the windows main monitor, which is something I don’t want, but there’s a work around. You have to go to windowed mode and move the game to the monitor you want and than go full screen and it’s done, but having to do this every time kinda wore me down by now.
Fully customizable as it should be for whatever you want. Sharp inputs - instant action and action cancels. It’s as fast as anything can be and really responsive. I play on DS4 controller with DS4 Windows tool - can’t complain about anything.
If I was Motion Twin I would have slapped 40$ on this without any regrets, so they are actually being really generous for what they give you. You can’t go lower than 100 hours in this and probably most people stay lot longer like me - FOR TONS OF REASONS!
Git Gud and start trying hard in it’s full meaning and potential! How can you go wrong if that’s what you seek in a game you can play over and over and over and still cherish and enjoy it?!
I have only +500 hours in this game so far and that’s why this quick review is so short and a bit of surface level… I haven’t yet reached the in depth mechanics ;]
Oh yeah… almost forgot there are Daily Runs as well… shame I barely touched those - need to work on that.