Game Title: Slain: Back From Hell
Genre: Action Puzzle Platformer
Platforms: PC: Out Now, PS4: September 13th, Xbox One: October 5th
Price: Currently $8.70 on Steam
Why You Should Get It
I think the easiest way to describe Slain is if an 80's Metal bands album art became a video game. If you're someone who enjoys the genre of Metal, that isn't at all a bad thing! Even if the genre of music isn't your biggest jam there's still plenty of fun to be found in this retro homage to the action puzzle platformer.
In Slain, you play Bathoryn who is awakened from his slumber to rid the gothic world of demons. You have a sword, the ability to shoot magical spirits from your body, and a penchant for kicking ass...
As you'll see from the gameplay video, whether from monsters or your own impatience and stupidity, you'll die a lot in this game. Typically, that's something that pisses me off, but Slain does a good job at finding the balance in difficult and "f*** this game I'm done". Although I've died a lot in my experience so far, I've never felt trapped or upset enough to walk away from it. This is due in large part to the amount of check points the game sprawls out between it's 6 cursed realms. Even if you die at the end of the level, at worst it'll take you 3 minutes to reach that point again.
Ultimately, that's my favorite part of this game. There's a lot of games that focus too much on being hard to conquer and forget that sometimes being a middle of the road difficult game is completely fine...and more often more fun.
While this game has many homages to the 16 bit era (including the option to play with a CRT monitor looking display) there are plenty of aesthetics to be enjoyed in this game. As you'll see from the pictures (below), there's a lot of work put into this game's art. Each new area brings new scenery which is grotesquely beautiful in that old Gothic charm...
With all it's traps and monsters the level-based gameplay can be daunting, but damn the boss battles are downright stressful! Just so you know the below fight was my fifth attempt on the boss and the final 2 minutes I was one hit away from death. It's tough but it's so rewarding when you finally beat these guys...
Even if you aren't a fan of Metal, the soundtrack to this game is pretty awesome. It never gets repetitive and with each new level comes a great new riff to slay demons with.
Finally, the most attractive thing about this game is price. You can pick it up on Steam right now for under $9.00.
Slain: Back From Hell is hard, but not so hard you're going to throw your controller. It has a great retro feel with awesome art and a kick ass metal soundtrack. Also it's $9.00.