Evil Genome (PC) Review

By Athanasios 04.02.2020 2

Review for Evil Genome on PC

The thing about metroidvanias is that they have to follow a fairly simple, sure-win formula, which is the reason why the vast majority of games that belong in the "genre" rarely fail to be enjoyable, even when they could certainly do with some refining here and there, with some examples being Minoria, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and Sundered. Following a set of "guidelines," however, isn't always enough, with the perfect example being the Chinese-born Evil Genome, where developer Crystal Depths Studio ticks a couple of them right boxes, but misses some important marks.

Structurally, Evil Genome is metroidvania 101. The protagonist, a lookalike of Dino Crisis’ Regina, runs around a vast, open-ended world, exploring room after room, and corridor after corridor, trying to find useful stuff, and then use said stuff to go deeper into the labyrinth, while also getting stronger as a fighter. Finally, there’s some platforming to be done, as well as some boss fights included that break the usual gameplay loop, which is about hacking, slashing, and shooting at normal enemies. Yes, what Evil Genome has on offer is what most expect to see from a title that’s supposed to be a metroivania. Sadly, this is far from an enjoyable take on the genre.

Note that this is mostly a case of many small flaws ruining the whole, rather than a bunch of big ones breaking the game; a game that could actually be good if it weren’t for its many issues, with the first one being its terrible localisation. Maybe because of it, or simply a - bad - artistic choice, there’s plenty of leftover Chinese text in the UI, which ruins how everything looks, especially in the beginning of the adventure, where you try to understand what the heck ‘this’ and ‘that’ does, as the subpar translation has also marred the tutorials, as well as the skill tree explanations.

...And then there’s the - pardon the term - completely lame story, which, using the amnesia trope, tells the tale of the heroine Lachesis, who along with her AI buddy is forced to explore the mysterious world she was forced to land on, and learn about her forgettable backstory while at it. Presentation-wise, apart from Lachesis herself, as well as the rare pretty sight, this looks like something stuck in its early stage of development. Oh, and add to that a voice acting that sounds laughably robotic and detached from what is going on.

Screenshot for Evil Genome on PC

It’s not easy to accept an action-adventure with a mediocre story and/or atmosphere - especially if the game that comes along with it just isn’t fun to play. As mentioned before, the problem here is that there are lots of smaller problems. To give some examples, fighting with mobs (definitely the bulk of the experience) is not painfully bad, but it surely lacks finesse. All moves, and especially the dodge move, are quite clunky, and enemies are bullet sponges (and thus boring to fight with) whose hitboxes are mostly badly implemented.

Generally, the rough edges at hand are very rough, and going deeper into this half-baked world it becomes crystal clear that the developer hasn’t grasp the biggest strength of a good metroidvania: the exploration bit, with the wastelands and caves that you’ll have to brave being metroidvania… ish - in other words way too simple in design, with a surprisingly low amount of content. Hungry for a sprawling maze that will challenge you? Look elsewhere…

Evil Genome also has plenty of technical flaws, like frequent frame-rate dives, bugs, and glitches, as well as some mind-numbingly long loading times, in a genre where loading has almost completely disappeared. All these combined makes it really hard to recommend a metroidvania that, even without its many problems, would be just an “okay” representative of the genre, and in an era where these are getting better and better, which each one having its own distinct feel and mechanics. Don’t buy.

Screenshot for Evil Genome on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Technical issues, and lack of polish put aside, Evil Genome is just a mediocre action-adventure, that only metroidvania aficionados can manage to enjoy for more than an hour. Bring its many problems back in, and what you get is a bargain bin metroidvania that simply isn't worth the trouble... fan or not.

Developer

Crystal Depths Studio

Publisher

FHYX

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

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   

Comments

Is this the thing that some patches would fix, or is it too deep?

Dragon0085 said:
Is this the thing that some patches would fix, or is it too deep?

A HEAVY dose of patching could make things better... but this has been long abandoned.

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

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