Developer: Thomas Happ Games
Price: $19.00 – €17.99
(10% off for Playstation Plus members)
Release Date: US – March 31st Europe – April – 1st
Set in a dark cyber punk world axiom verge is a retro inspired 2D action/exploration (metroid-vania) game that brings some new and refreshing ideas to the genre.
What’s most impressive about this offering however is that it was completely developed by one person, Tom Happ.
You take control of the control of Trace a scientist who awakes in a mysterious alien world after an experiment goes wrong. Trace is guided through the world by the mysterious figure elsenova, who tasks trace with restoring balance to the world by killing the Athetos, who has infected the inhabitants of the planet, taking them over and turning them into your adversaries. This unique concept has you questioning the true moral nature of your quest which only becomes more unclear as the story continues
The Gameplay will feel immediately familiar to retro enthusiasts, feeling like a cross between Megaman and Metroid. You can jump, duck and shoot in eight directions to begin with but as you go on you begin to unlock other upgrades that allow you to move and progress through the game. In typical metroid-vania fashion the upgrades that you find throughout the world allow you to progress further through the world map; there’s the laser drill that allows you to break though certain blocks, there’s a grapple hook that allows you grapple onto platforms above you. There are also some more unique upgrades such as the lab coat that allows you to teleport through walls which gets upgraded to increase your mobility, the remote drone a small creature that you take control of granting you access to areas hidden behind small openings and also the address disruptor that allows you to glitch parts of the world as well as enemies, which can lead to some interesting results.
Alongside the necessary upgrades there are also a number of optional grades that can improve your health, weapon range, and weapon strength. On top of this there are a 24 of different weapon types you can unlock that all have unique characteristics that might make them more suited to certain situations, whether it be the Kilver’s short rang blast of lightning, or the long expanding rays of the Voranj.
The Upgrades are extremely well hidden and you will definitely have to have to experiment with the games various mechanics to get to them.
Axiom verge has a very striking visual style, which can vary from a dark gruesome feeling cavern into an open colourful landscape. Game’s 8-bit visuals does a great job of conveying the numerous unique enemies and characters that are a combination of flesh and machine, that echoes the work of H.R. Giger.
The Audio of axiom verge is also excellent with the sounds of all the weapons and enemies feeling appropriately bit crushed and unique. The real stand out however is the music, every track feels completely different from one another and sets the tone for each different area of the game.
Overall axiom verge is a game that embodies the spirit of retro games excellently, it doesn’t hold your hand and tell you where to go, however it’s not too unforgiving as, when you die, you will respawn at your last save point with all of the upgrades you collected in tact; even if you haven’t saved since you picked them up. This strikes the right balance for a retro game, welcoming to veterans and newcomers.
Overall the game can last you around 8 hours without exploring, 10 hours plus if you’re actively trying to complete it, 100%. By the end of our first run through it took us 13 hours and we’re missing 10%, so if you enjoy exploration and a challenge this game has you covered.
If you’re a fan of retro inspired games, and enjoy games such as Castlevania and Metroid then we encourage you to try this game as it definitely puts its own spin on the genre, it’s well crafted and is not afraid to try new things!
Axiom Verge Will Release on 31/03 in the US and 01/04 in the EU
There is also a PC and playstion vita version currently in development and the Vita version will support cross buy