The deadliest warrior of her clan: Khyra needs help finding a way to redeem the humanity, you help her slash her way through ancient machines that guard the seal to her past as she explores the depths of the unknown. ScourgeBringer is a fast-paced free-moving rougelite platformer that gives the raw feeling of a metroidvania. This has some of the tightest gameplay I’ve ever played. One wrong move can mean the end.

The Story

Khyra and her tribe

What seems to be Earth is attacked by the ScourgeBringer, a monolithic structure that has spread across the planet and begins destroying humanity. Many have attempted to enter the structure but any are yet to return. The game follows Khyra, the most powerful warrior in her clan, who seen as the last hope of completing the impossible task of redeeming humanity from destruction. As she enters she is met with demonic creatures who guard the secrets hidden within and she must defeat the Judges to find the answers of the ScourgeBringer.

Gameplay

As mentioned above the game is fast and I mean stupidly fast, giving you milliseconds to think about your next attack. Each segment of the metroidvania style map is crammed together as you have a different combination of enemies every time, providing a different threat. Khyra’s range of moves; normal attack, dash attack, heavy and range attacks, means you can quickly ping around the room as you disperse her enemies quickly before moving onto the next wave. There’s no escape from her enemies as each room is locked upon entering and a number of enemies appearing. The combat is as fun and entertaining as it can be frustrating. You are often caught between the speed of your own attacks and the enemies attack, given you little time to react and creating tight gameplay. Enemy attacks are telegraphed with a yellow exclamation mark and a change in sprite, giving you several seconds to quickly respond to the new threat. There were several times using the dash attack to dodge enemy attacks which hone in onto the nearest enemy, this led to me getting caught by the initial enemy attack or another. The games pacing really put your reaction and ability to the test, as Khyra’s extensive arsenal of attacks. The second horde of enemies that appear in the room, provide the perfect opportunity as you must quickly adapt to a new combination of enemies means you can’t

Upon dying you are required to start again but this gives you the opportunity to purchase some skill upgrades with the parts collected. True to the nature of the genre, once you go through the portal you have to start the level again from scratch but there’s no routine as the enemy spawns are randomly generated, meaning you have a new challenge to attend to but this time more powerful than before. This is based on how far you get to unlock a new ability you must of at least slayed a boss in your previous attempt to gain the currency to purchase these upgrades. Each death is a like an run-through an arcade where you are given your time and points collected etc. I thought this was a real nice touch to the game giving your attempts some sort of competitiveness and could make for a nice speed-run of the game.

Khyra and the Altar of Blood

Each playthrough grants you a chance for temporary upgrades via the Altar of Blood which can range from combo bonuses to health boosts and shop discounts. On your journey you will meet a friendly face, who will claim that this is your final resting pace, they will offer you a number of objects to purchase through the drops collected from your defeated enemies.

Look and Feel

ScourgeBringer has great colour contrast means for smooth visuals and environments. Whilst the enemies coming in several forms; bugs, demonic space invaders or rocket launchers. The design of the HUD is wonderfully fit around the main piece of action, it means its not too intrusive of the gameplay but within seeing distance of the main actions, so you keep on your ammo, health etc. The HUD is complemented with darkness that really swallows the rest of the dungeon, leaving the imagination to run wild and can make you feel trapped.

The skill and speed dependent combat makes you feel like Khyra is truly one of the best of her village people, as you dart from wall to wall, slaying enemies with skilful precision and pace and is all tightly bound together with a fantastic score. Joonas Turner’s destructive but adaptive sound that really emphasises on the pace of the game. This score gives you the feeling of calmness before quickly chucking you into the heart of battle.

Final Thoughts

ScourgeBringer is a energetic title complemented well with a score and some fantasticaly tight gameplay. Flying Oak Games have really done a fantastic job here and it’s a struggle to pick any negatives out of this Early Access. The game requires to learn the enemies and their movements, like many games in the genre. The pace of the fighting may entice you to mash the buttons but as the game is attacked focused and lacks defensive mechanics, you must be careful of the combos you present as you take out your enemies and at times use the environment to your advantage. The story seems to be concise to the beginning monologues, cutscene and very rarely visited through this early access gameplay, it will interesting to see how this ends once the full game comes out. Flying Oak Games are looking for community feedback and communication and you can sign up for updates with this link.


Game Details

Developer: Flying Oak Games
Publisher: Dear Villagers
Genre: Roguelite Platformer
Players: Single Player
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch
Storefronts: Steam, PSN, Xbox Store, Xbox GamePass, Nintendo e-Shop
Release Date: TBC (Early Access: 6 February 2020)

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