You control the fate of Bathoryn, a doomed hero in a Gothic world, who seeks to liberate six cursed realms from six deadly overlords.
He must battle his way through this blighted land, packed with gruesome pixel art foes before ascending (or sometimes descending) into a stronghold, all the while defeating fiendish traps and vile monsters alike.
At the heart of every domain Bathoryn will confront a mighty foe - defeat it and his quest continues to its ultimate destiny. Fail, and you’ll die gruesomely – mauled by werewolves, disintegrated by floating monstrosities, squashed by great weights or torn apart by hidden blades. And you will fail...
There are 3 key areas to be mastered in order to vanquish Slain: Back from Hell.
Accompanied by the heavy metal visuals is an even heavier metal soundtrack recorded by Curt Victor Bryant (formally of Celtic Frost).
Excellent graphics and animations Difficulty is just what you want. Hard enough to die a lot if you're 'doing it wrong' Smooth controls and fun combat mechanics (although maybe a little repetitive if you're just going for efficiency) Sick soundtrack. Although it's not a complex Dream Theater-esque musical masterpiece, the music fits the style of the game perfectly. Very short, about 5 hours Not much monster variety or character 'upgradability' Story is lacking (but are you really playing this for story?) All in all, if you're not into the slayer-style metal aesthetic, you can probably skip this, but it's definitely not a bad game at all. If you are, definitely grab this on sale. Short, sweet, and will rip your head off and shred nasty djent riff with your spine.
The challenge in this game is pretty high, though not as bad as the old Castlevania games which it is clearly inspired by. There's a pretty steep learning curve until you get good at the game. The story is weak and the soundtrack is terrible IMO, but I don't like metal music. Most others love the music in this game, so I'm definitely in the minority here. The gameplay however is very fun and challenging. You get swords and magic. The bosses are pattern based and take some getting used to so you can avoid their attacks. You die pretty fast as most enemies can drain your health bar in a couple of attacks. There's also a bunch of instant kill traps throughout the game. The checkpoints are pretty far away from one another too, so if you don't get good at this game, be prepared for a lot of repetition as you can go over 10 minutes before reaching the next checkpoint. Normally that's not a problem, but considering the death traps and how fast you can die, it really makes the game feel harder than it really is. I like the graphics and the gothic environments are really neat. Overall, I would recommend this game, but beware of the aforementioned flaws because they can ruin your experience playing this game if you don't have patience or are a casual gamer.
Slain! tries to feel like some weird mix between Castlevania and Dark Souls, combining the art style, graphics, and platforming of the former with the difficult combat of the latter. And it kinda works, but not as much as we would want it to work. Slain! is a story of missed potential. The controls are not as fluid as they should be (especially for a game with the Dark Souls-esque difficulty it is going for). There is little to nothing in the way of sound effects, which makes it extremely difficult for you to notice if you are taking damage unless you look at your health bar, which if you do in the middle of combat guarantees that you will get hit (ironic because the soundtrack is just gorgeous). Worst of all, the trailers appear to be slightly misleading, making the game look much better than it actually is, but then again that’s the purpose of trailers. Maybe with a few patches Slain! can become as great a game as it deserves to be, but for now don’t play unless you plan on making an AVGN-styled video of you playing it.
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