Sundered (PlayStation 4) Review

By Eric Ace 27.07.2017

Review for Sundered on PlayStation 4

Sundered is a platformer set in the vein of Metroidvania types of exploring around a huge world and collecting power-ups. Unlike the fixed world, this one changes every time the player dies, leading to a new exploration fairly often. The game is set in a mix of sci-fi and Lovecraftian horror, as the general premise is trying to figure out what happened to the world you find yourself in.

Sundered goes in a different direction to show itself off against the recently-revitalised genre. The major gimmick here is the roguelike constant deaths and slowly powering up. The player finds themselves in a foreign, alien world with little story to start. It all seems peaceful if eerie, before the first wave of enemies comes and likely kills the player, resetting them - and the dungeon - back to the start.

The way the random dungeon works is that major landmarks are always in the general same spots, like the lab will always be to the left, but the rooms getting there will be slightly different. Thankfully, the map will help, so there is not a feeling of being lost.

Screenshot for Sundered on PlayStation 4

At the start, the character can do very little. Before long, some power-ups will come their way, such as an energy shield, or the ability to jump twice. It is rewarding, as, in general, with how weak the character feels, any little bit helps. Each of these then opens up new areas to explore. After each death, the player can level up on a skill tree-like system to boost stats of their choice, which makes it a little easier each time.

Exploring is by far the best part of Sundered. The backgrounds look great (oddly, the main character is probably one of the worst looking things in the game) and really add to the alien feeling. Whether it is a huge statue holding alien heads in its hands, or a mechanical lab that looks strangely human, each new area is fun to see.

Screenshot for Sundered on PlayStation 4

Unfortunately, the controls for exploring are not the greatest. There are two major problems. The first is that the camera has a really weird "leading" aspect to it, where, depending on the direction of facing or travel, it will try to guess where to focus instead of simply staying on the character. This is problematic, as it is compounded by somewhat bad controls. It leads to a feeling of slipperiness, where the jumps are never crisp and the amount of mis-jumps are high.

The controls and combat are another issue that detracts from the game overall. There are very few moves to do: simply run, jump, dodge and attack. Despite this, it is still hard to go where you want to go. A mix of being too floaty, yet not jumping high enough leads to a frustration of trying to climb simple platforms and constantly missing the jump. There is a way to get higher jumps using the up-attack at the right time, but the coordination required to pull this off often exceeds what is likely expected in a game like this.

Screenshot for Sundered on PlayStation 4

As the player explores the eerie world, they will suddenly be flooded by enemies. In a true "wave" fashion, the groups will grow ever larger, and only a few hours in it is easy to have over fifty enemies on the screen. The character cannot fight very effectively (mostly due to controls), so this is often a matter of luck coming out alive, as the enemies are incredibly cheap. Flying through walls, shooting through walls while off screen, and so on, are a good sample. It is a little unfortunate the developers went with quantity over quality, as the designs of them can be scary, but the mob aspect takes a little of this away.

These issues drag down what is otherwise actually a pretty fun game. It is really cool getting to new areas, or having to beat tons of enemies down and levelling up various stats. The RPG element is much larger than the genre typically has, and it mostly works. When everything comes together, it can be an enjoyable experience of running from a huge group of enemies, or trying to puzzle together the world the player is in. The issues mentioned above hurt the game, but overall there is enough of a "game" here that is still worth checking out for fans of the genre.

Screenshot for Sundered on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The RPG aspects as well as the general atmosphere of Sundered are strengths that stand out against a largely mediocre platforming experience. The camera is wonky, the controls feel slippery, and the sudden waves of enemies can be very frustrating, but despite these negatives, the core of the game is intriguing. The desire to get just a little further is alive and well, and the mix of sci-fi and horror is unique in the genre. While not the best for platforming, those looking for a different offering will find one here.

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   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, Ofisil

There are 2 members online at the moment.