Welcome to the world of ScourgeBringer, a roguevania game with gameplay that flows so well, you will not want to stop playing. Unless you die, over and over, that is.
Disclaimer: This article is somewhat of a Preview and a Review of the game. Since the game is still in Early Access, it would be remiss of me (or anyone really) to judge it for what it is at its current state. It is very important to mention that, it was recently announced that the game will be fully launching #soon (not clear when just yet) and I am most certainly eager to see how the final product will look and feel.
ScourgeBringer is a roguevania game (which means metroidvania style married with roguelike elements) that relies heavily on its procedural map generation. A 2D platformer and slasher where you control Kyhra, a deadly warrior who wishes to explore the vast unknown. You basically have to slash your way through a very unique looking array of enemies and find as much as you can to “redeem humanity” (as we are told by the game’s own description.)
There’s a lot to be said about titles like ScourgeBringer and most of it has to do with the gameplay. As good as the game may look, which in this title’s case it is most certainly a 10/10 with its beautifully animated pixel art, the title still needs to be able to keep the player interested and willing to keep going. The fact that you die again and again with your only ally being the few upgrades you get in between each run, is something that may discourage a lot of players if the gameplay does not have a good enough flow. If the controls are clunky and you end up dying because you just cannot get used to the controls, then you are most certainly going to drop the game before you even see half of its content.
ScourgeBringer is not that game. ScourgeBringer is actually fun.
From the creators of NeuroVoider and Greedy Kid (which we will cover as well sometime soon), Flying Oak Games, brings us a title filled with slashing goodness. ScourgeBringer not only has a very well placed palette of colors that keeps the retro metroidvania game vibe going but also has enough content to back its promises of “you will get rewarded for going again” after every time you die.
The game is still in its Early Access stage with the developers putting a lot of work into improving bits and bytes of it as they get continuous feedback from their current player base through the Discord channel.If you are considering joining the studio’s Discord channel, you should most definitely do it since it seems to be quite a nice little lively community going on there.
A detail to mention is that, the music and the sounds are not something that stands out but they do honestly fit the game and its general atmosphere. The controller vibrations can be quite annoying with the low-health vibration indication becoming quite tiring, quite fast. Other than that, not much need be said about the title and considering the fact that it is still in its Early Access stage, quite a few things might still change, so it most certainly isn’t easy to judge it just yet.
My main takeaway of course was that I was sort of bored of going back in the dungeon to do exactly the same thing, only the second time, I was trying to be careful with my HP so that I can make it further. An hour into the game though, with a few upgrades now purchased from the upgrade tree (it is literally a tree by the way), going back into the “unknown” felt much better and far more interesting than it initially did. The game did its roguelike stamp justice by proving that the more you play it, the better you will get in both skill and in-game powers.
The developers tried to play around with the story around the game as well and it is quite clear that there is little to no consistency when it comes to the game’s lore. Reading through some of the studio’s announcements though, I saw that they now have a narrative writer and an effort is being made in order to have things make sense. A smart move in my opinion since a game can only become better by adding some narrative and general sense to it. As enjoyable as it may be slashing things without purpose, having even the tiniest speck of purpose can only make it better. Let’s just hope the narrative writer is worth their salt and we won’t end up seeing some completely obscure background with no relevance to what the gameplay is all about (which again, is all about slashing things.)
All in all, I cannot help but only be excited for ScourgeBringer and what it is going to “bring” with its full and imminent release. Definitely one to watch out for if you are a fun of 2D hack’n’slash games or generally a fan of metroidvania games. Despite its repetitive gameplay due to the roguelike aspect, the game can deliver a lot for fans of the genre.
~ Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis
We here at Hyper Light Up have decided to stop giving scores, because scores are completely subjective and we feel like they do not really make much sense. We only wish to provide an opinion on the games we are given the amazing opportunity to try. It is in our opinion the most honest thing we can do when we are trusted with something that a developer/studio has spent hours/days/months/years to create. A number on a review would only do the game injustice.