Monday 22 January 2018

PS Vita players should enjoy aesthetic Severed

By Chris Hayes - Game Review

Although the PlayStation Vita seems to be firmly planted on the backburner as far as Sony - and let's be honest, the rest of the world - are concerned, every now and then a title comes out on the platform that makes the little device increasingly difficult to ignore.

Following up on the incredible Guacamelee, developers DrinkBox Studios have released a game with an apparent simplicity that obscures tons of depth and content for those who scratch below the surface.

You are cast as Sasha, a one-armed woman on a quest to rescue her family from what appears to be some sort of purgatory.

Though the young warrior may be missing a hand, she is far from vulnerable. She defends herself with a large blade controlled via swipes of the screen.

This may sounds like the domain of identikit iOS games, but severed carefully and wonderfully layers on new mechanics until it displays a level of depth that most action games can only aspire to.

Thankfully, Severed looks beautiful - just like Guacamelee before it. Neon accents and high contrast colours totally saturate this game, which is nice because the action exploration is rather mundane.

While there are a couple of hidden panels and destructable barrels scattered around the labyrinthine corridors, that's about all you are going to get by way of exploration.

A worse problem is its pacing. It takes far too long to get to the good stuff with the first couple of hours a disappointingly dull adventure offering too few enemy types and mechanics to shake things up.

It's not until the upgrade system, magic spells, and buffed foes come into play that Severed really hits its stride.

Given that the entire campaign only lasts about six to eight hours, having to plow through a ponderous opening third is a big ask.

It does get there though, and when you do break through into the interesting remainder of the gameplay it does go a long, long way towards making the experience worthwhile.

Any PlayStation Vita owner should pick up this game, because it could very well be the last Vita title you will ever love.



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