Huve Jansen, Is this your game?
Recently I wrote about Pyre , and after passing Sundered , I thought that the authors of this "metro-dating" (before they released Jotun ) and Supergiant Games have a lot in common: both of them are betting on an unusual, a mysterious plot, a recognizable style, a dense atmosphere and an absolutely brilliant picture. But why do the developers Pyre , Transistor and Bastion break off a stormy ovation, and the work of Thunder Lotus Games deserve a more modest applause, interrupted by sharp questions from the audience?
No, Jotun , of course, was good - atmospheric, saturated with northern winds and Scandinavian myths, Tor's approved pictorial action-adventure game, in which we, trying to impress the gods and finally get to Valhalla, fought with big, well, very big "bosses" . The authors did not hide that they were inspired by Shadow of the Colossus and Dark Souls . And yet Jotun, in comparison with the games of the same Supergiant Games, lacked any integrity and variety.
In Sunderedwith this, too, there are problems - but not only with this. Here the authors clearly drew inspiration from the two-dimensional "metro-types" - with action, "pumping", traps and elements of the platformer. We again take on the role of the girl: this time her name is Ash, and she was underground in a certain temple, where with her in an unknown language (in Jotun everything, I will recall, voiced in Icelandic), the strange mineral Tetrahexaedr began to speak. He promises to help get out, and for this he asks for his instructions, obviously hiding his own motives.
Someone will say that the plot is given enigmatically and intriguingly, someone - that is sparingly and nothing really is clear. Gradually it becomes clear that people here have excavated and desecrated the sanctuaries, and the main thread is twisted around the confrontation of the gods, nature, elements on the one hand and technology on the other.
The authors of Sundered follow carefully the many laws of "metro-sortings". Ash fights (including, of course, with the "bosses"), jumps on platforms, overcomes traps and looks lustily at the doors locked for the time being. First she needs to learn new skills to return and gain access to previously closed locations, secret rooms, sanctuaries of abilities and other sources of rewards - for example, a cannon, a shot from which activates energy sources and opens something; double jump; the ability to break doors and so on.
Out of defeated enemies, not only elixirs of health fall out, but also crystals for which in the shelter (we get there every time after another death of the character, but are allowed to return at any time and at will), we can improve various parameters - increase the damage or reduce the damage , raise the level of health, the power of the energy shield and the like.
Parameters and branches of skills are many - here there is where to go for a walk and where to "pumping". In addition, periodically Ash finds special bonuses, amulets, which in Sundered play the role of "perks" with their pros and cons - for example, the amulet of health increases the chance of healing elixirs, but reduces the number of remaining after the enemies of crystals.
Finally, Ash collects the so-called fragments of the Ancients all the way, and collects, decides what to do with them - destroy and get many crystals for "pumping" or use them to modify (distort) their basic abilities, gaining, for example, that time in the form of a black winged creature. And this is connected with the now fashionable variation of moral choice - the more Ash uses fragments, the more she becomes a monster, and destroying them, she retains her human essence. This, of course, affects the ending of this whole strange story.
That is all like in Sundered is, including monstrous "bosses", the design of which would be envied even by the creators of Silent Hill . And all this is framed by atmospheric music and really brilliantly drawn picture, where, like in Jotun and The Banner Saga , much is built on a rich color scheme, careful drawing of details, and also on the contrast between a small figure of the heroine and huge, majestic figures of "bosses" ", Some sculptures, figures and strange structures.
However, Sunderedthere are many questions. The world is empty, no mysteries, interesting characters, too. Only enemies who are constantly "spawned" by waves directly from the air. The authors claim that they implemented a special mechanics - the longer you stay somewhere in one place, the faster and more enemies attack, but in fact they attack almost constantly.
And after death you always revive in a refuge, where you then need to run for half an hour back, breaking through the crowds of monsters. The declared procedural level generation friv http://www.friv4online.com/ games thus creates almost identical locations (as a rule, only the layout of the doors changes), and the combat system is primitive enough - you can beat forward, up, down, cut into a jump, shoot a cannon, but you will always be tireless rub the same one or two buttons.
And in the fights with the "bosses", you almost always need to split the fragments of the Ancients, which are enclosed in their bodies, according to one scheme. In the end, all this starts to tire - even though the enemies here really behave differently in battle, demanding a special approach to themselves.
Sundered - the game is stylish, beautiful, atmospheric and hardcore. It is able to interest and captivate. Especially at first, especially those who like high complexity, constant "pumping" and constant challenge. But those who expected more diversity, riddles and opportunities for an interested study of the world from "metro-dating" are likely to be disappointed. As a representative of this genre Sundered inferior and Ori and the Blind Forest , and Child of Light .
Pros: rich opportunities for character development; many different enemies; convenient management; excellent design of "bosses"; unmatched visual and sound design; unique style and atmosphere.
Minuses:inarticulate plot; unpretentious combat system; there are practically no interesting puzzles and characters; often it seems that the enemies are too many, and constant fights and half-hour runs from the shelter get bored.