Sundered: Eldritch Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 05.01.2019

Review for Sundered: Eldritch Edition on Nintendo Switch

Fittingly for a Nintendo console, the Switch's line-up of Metroidvania titles is growing from strength to strength. With Hollow Knight and Dead Cells leading the pack, and a steady stream hitting throughout 2018. The latest addition is Sundered: Eldritch Edition (it's initial, PC and PS4 versions reviewed here), where a mysterious warrior named Eshe finds herself at an ancient monolithic artefact known as the Trapezohedron, with the voice of a dark old god whispering in her ear, while she is trying to traverse a constantly changing labyrinth, killing cosmic horrors and tearing Elder Shards from their shadowy corpses.

Having a dark voice whispering in one's ear is rarely a good thing, but Eshe seems to take it all in stride - after all, it's helping keep her alive. From the branching doorways at the Trapezohedron, there is procedurally generated series of tunnels, all filled with shadows, tentacles, and teeth. Navigating these tunnels regularly instils a false sense of security. A handful of creatures can appear here or there, but it gives enough breathing room to explore. To check the map; to look for items to smash; to collect currency... and then, in a moment the darkness can descend.

Screenshot for Sundered: Eldritch Edition on Nintendo Switch

Hordes of enemies roam and usually when least wanted or expected this wave of monsters comes crashing down. This is frequently overwhelming, especially in the later stages. Eshe is thankfully up to the task. Lithe and agile, she whirls and slashes like a master assassin. Able to eviscerate the onslaught of nightmares - for a while, at least. When the hordes of these pretty monstrosities become too much, Eshe slips the mortal coil, and is sent back to the Trapezohedron once again. This time with some currency to spend.

The Trapezohedron holds a gargantuan Sphere Grid-style levelling system. There are a mammoth amount of nodes that when purchased increase core stats. The damage Eshe deals, the amount of health she has, the amount of her luck, and the strength of her shield. Scattered across this grid are more substantial power-ups too; permanently displaying treasure on the map, giving the dodge roll the ability to damage enemies, and many more. There are yet more layers to the abilities of Eshe too.

Screenshot for Sundered: Eldritch Edition on Nintendo Switch

Sub-bosses and hidden shrines contain perks that can be equipped that often offer significant bonuses but with a hefty cost. Ignoring enemy shields but decreasing the shields of Eshe. Having items drop more often but powering up the enemies that drop them. The most important of all though is the special abilities that are gated behind boss encounters in the classic Metroidvania way - these abilities a requirement to progress. Taking out the first boss gives a double jump to reach higher stages. Later, there is a cannon that can open doors further in. An air dash to overcome the waterfalls. Ways to climb walls.

Eshe uses these to trudge through the mysterious stages and within each there are lurking behemoths. Huge boss creatures which offer up some fantastic encounters and overcoming them rewards an Eldershard. The dark voice whispers that these should be used on the corpses of ancient Valkyrie, to corrupt them and grant new powers. But, it's not the only option. Huge forges burn that can be used to destroy the shard. Choosing to accept the voice or destroy the shards. It's a big branching decision and one that's worth replaying to experience.

Screenshot for Sundered: Eldritch Edition on Nintendo Switch

The enemies design is macabrely magnificent and true to the Lovecraftian nature of the game. From the little running creatures that look like the tip of a tentacle with legs that appear at the beginning, to the huge, hulking, hooded horrors that lash out with flaying tentacles from beneath their robes. The enemies and Eshe herself are all hand-drawn and the quality of these cannot be understated. The whole affair looks gorgeous, in a dark and twisted cosmic horror way.

The best possible version is coming to Switch, with the Magnate of the Gong DLC included. This includes the option of up to 4 player local multiplayer and a whole new level of boss encounter that dwarfs anything that came before. Whatever the preference of handheld or docked on the big screen, the game runs perfectly. Smooth and fast, looking gorgeous on both. It further shows why Switch is quickly becoming the home for these types of games.

Screenshot for Sundered: Eldritch Edition on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Switch's catalogue of top-tier Metroidvania titles just added yet another to its repertoire. Insanely addictive and a hell of a great time. The combat is fast, fluid and frantic, often requiring the better part of valour to overcome and survive the horrors. The local multiplayer and the multiple endings give it considerable replayability, too. Sundered: Eldritch Edition is one of the very best.

Developer

Thunder Lotus Games

Publisher

Thunder Lotus Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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