Scourgebringer is a rouge-lite that’s fast-paced, full of action and challenge. It’s tough, quick and grabbed my attention immediately.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world some kind of mysterious entity has wreaked havoc on humanity and it’s your job as Kyhra, the deadliest warrior in her clan to explore and hack n slash her way through the ancient machines guarding the seal of her past… and perhaps save humanity.
This has been an alpha up until 6th February 2020 where it’s being released in Early Access via Steam. It’s got some nice features including Metroidvania elements where you can get power-ups and explore, it’s got a lightening feel to it, you can pull of combo attacks as well as jump around. It’s part platformer, rouge-lite and shooter all in one. It’s frantic, but definitely immediate fun.
It’s also pretty hard. You only get a few hits before you’re dead so try not to get hit in the early parts of your combat otherwise you’re going to be at a disadvantage going into the boss fights. There’s a variety of enemies from small slugs to other dynamic enemies who either rush you or shoot projectiles. They don’t really take any prisoners. There’s also your tanks, which can take a bit of a beating, and mini-bosses.
The rouge-lite elements come into play with the ever-changing dungeon. When you die you’re taken to the hub world, similar to Dead Cells where you can check your skill tree and a mysterious old man who mumbles Pizza at you. Pizza and Cucumber actually. The power-ups and skill tree is pretty in-depth and will take you some time to unlock and there’s plenty of secrets in the game.
Scourgebringer feels instantly fun. But, if you’re anything like me then you’re going to die a lot. But as with many games before this, treat this as a learning experience. Much more stick than carrot. It’s going to take some time to learn the attack patterns of enemies and how your skills can fend off the beasts trying to kill you.
You have plenty of attacks from a simple sword swipe, a heavy attack which can repel/stun enemies, a ranged projectile attack and a special attack which kills everyone on screen. You can fly through the air and combo moves together so you’ll end up juggling a few enemies flying this way and that from one attack to another. It feels responsive and fluid. There are various combo’s like stun locking enemies which can be discovered and no doubt specialised skills through the skill tree await me later. For now, I’m content flying around the screen using the attacks I have, and I want to get better.
As you explore the area you come across a shopkeeper called Greed. He’s got some power-ups for you that will no doubt come in handy on your journey to save humanity, however, their objectives aren’t really explained. Items also drop from some bosses. For example, I picked up a random eye from an enemy and it would just float around Kyhra, again not really explained. I’m sure in the full game all this will become clear. For now, it’s bizarre and I don’t mind a bit.
Scourgebringer been described as Celeste mashed together with Dead Cells. I’d thrown in there a sprinkling of Katana Zero. Whatever the ingredients, this game feels good and the development team are really open and actively looking for feedback and working with the community. As the game goes into Early Access proper today means they will get more eyes on it, and more feedback.
The art style is pixel art, which instantly makes me like it about 10% more without having to do anything. The environments are fairly simple, but effective. It reminded me of Super Metroid with the sliding metal doors and terrain. The only thing that I wasn’t too keen on was the heavy metal each time I started fighting. Don’t get me wrong, I like metal, but this felt repetitive and would really be my only negative feedback on the alpha.
Currently, the game feels really good. The fluid and fast movement combined with the visual and auditory feedback from the slashes and the smacks adds up to instant-fun experience. That combined with the rhythm of the game of rushing in, smashing up the enemies (hopefully without getting hit) and then moving on.
As early impressions go I’m impressed. I’d say definitely check it out if you like action rogue-lite. It’s a lot of fun.