Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Game Developer: Still Running
Game Publisher: Merge Games Ltd
Review Platform: PC
Release Date: 3rd December
Genres: Action, Adventure, RPG
"A bloody beautiful, beast slayer, Dark Souls inspired, with a pixelated twist"
Right off the starting line, my guilty pleasure is games created around this genre. Anything Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Demon Souls inspired has my attention. With Still Running they have given us just this but with a pixelated aesthetic. Dark and Horror related games for me are something to admire, to create an atmosphere that is not only mysteriously beautiful but disturbingly brilliant. To pull this off with a pixel orientated twist is something I was keen to see if it would work. They have done it! The details they have created, the landscapes, even down to the blood splatters from ferociously swinging that sword in frustration from your last death. It is very pleasing to the eye, this sets the right mood for the journey ahead.
You are a Striver, the last of your kind of Dibrom. You are tasked with defeating the Seven Acolytes and freeing the Kingdom. On this journey you will meet a lot of interesting characters, beginning with Thalas: The Last Monk of Magrathen in Haven of Solya. The game has a surprising deep lore, with a lot to learn and decipher. But this makes it more immersive and intriguing with more depth.
You gain XP from killing the vast spread of disgustingly creative enemies and you have to fill your brain meter to unlock skill points used to build your character in several ways using the leveling system. This is where stats come in to play, this game is pretty tough with some extremely nasty boss battles. So your path is your decision.
Your health, stamina and sanity have to be maintained and controlled to continue traversing the diverse array of environments in Mornia. On death, you will return to the last shrine you meditated at, but do not lose your items in Souls style. So this makes it a little more welcoming for people new to the genre.
The game features an array of weapons ranging from swords, Axes to Pistols and Shotguns. This brings me onto the controls, it is playable on Keyboard and Mouse but I thoroughly recommend controller. This makes it a lot easier when using guns to slay them beasts! This can be a little unusual at times to get use to in general due to limitations of the camera style, making your movements on attacks seem closer than they are or not at the correct angle. But this is only negative thing I have to offer and is easily learnt and moved on from.
The game also features a fully orchestrated soundtrack of 18 songs.
Overall the game plays well, it is very well made and a lot of work has gone into the detail and presentation of all the elements that make this title the bloody beauty it is.
Score: 8.5 / 10
Wishlist Morbid: The Seven Acolytes here.
About Merge Games
Merge is an independent video game publisher based in Manchester, UK. The company publishes interactive software worldwide for personal computers and video game consoles.Merge also specializes in publishing collectible games for retail for independent developers. More information about Merge products can be found at www.mergegames.com
About Still Running
Still Running (Est. 2014) is an independent game studio based in Helsinki, Finland. Our dynamic multinational team consists of six talented people, each with their respective field of expertise. We aim to provide unforgettable gaming experiences, by developing outstanding games for all major platforms. We are all about creating fun, and having fun creating. Learn more and stay tuned by following us on social media, or visit www.stillrunning.fi