Sundered (Alpha) (PC) Preview

By Gabriel Jones 16.01.2017

Review for Sundered (Alpha) on PC

Humanity, as precious as it is fragile, is all Eshe has left. A vagrant in a desolate world, she seeks an end in the eldritch abominations that plague her every step. Somewhere in the darkest depths lies the answer, but it's doubtful she'll make it that far, at least not without being driven mad. Then again, perhaps it's better for someone to lose their mind, than be seduced by the powers of darkness. In Sundered, Eshe will do whatever she can to survive, even if it means surrendering everything that makes her human.

Unlike most Metroidvania games, Sundered takes a different approach. Progress is still determined by the acquisition of traversal powers, but there's also a distinct rogue-lite element. It's best to think of every life as a "run". Although the general layout of the map remains the same, the makeup of almost every room is procedurally generated. An easily accessible map provides Eshe with some direction of how to reach important objectives such as new powers or boss monsters. It's important to uncover shortcuts, because they mitigate lost progress upon death. A number of optional paths can be uncovered as well. If Eshe is willing to deal with more imposing threats, she might uncover useful perks and other treasures.

Screenshot for Sundered (Alpha) on PC

Despite her best efforts, chances are extremely high that Eshe will fail in her quest. However, death is never the end. In a way, it's actually an opportunity. At the beginning of every run, the heroine arrives near the skill tree. This is where accumulated shards can be used to increase her stats and apply perks. This is all the more reason to locate powers, because they unlock new branches in the tree. All stat upgrades are permanent, so if she's having trouble with a new area or a difficult boss, maybe the next run should be spent farming shards.

In order to obtain this valuable currency, Eshe will have to contend with Eschatons. These writhing masses of tentacles and teeth are liable to appear at any moment, as if they lived within the walls of the cave. The heroine is an exceptional fighter, and will quickly devastate fiends with melee combos or her trusty gun. She can also dodge out of the hairiest of situations, provided she has the energy for it. However, she's clearly outnumbered, so it's essential to keep moving, or find a suitable place to make a stand against hordes of minions. Whenever the music changes in tone, it represents a sharp plunge in Eshe's hopes of survival. Almost instantly, an unbelievably large swarm of Eschatons will attack. It takes an exceptional amount of skill to survive these overwhelming odds.

Screenshot for Sundered (Alpha) on PC

Final Thoughts

Sundered offers up a number of unique twists on a popular formula. The randomised levels make every run slightly different than the last, and the clearly defined objectives insure that Eshe won't be running in circles. Her manoeuvrability will prove to be her greatest asset. Though levelling up her stats can help, her survival is far more dependent on dodging attacks and avoiding danger. The controls are flexible and smooth, so the punishing difficulty never creeps into unfair territory. This game is expected to arrive this July, so keep an eye out for it.

Developer

Thunder Lotus Games

Publisher

Thunder Lotus Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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