PSX 2015: Severed will make you squirm

Severed Demo WrapUp Screen

You may know Drinkbox Studios for their hit indie game, Guacamelee!, which featured a spunky art-style complete with comedic dialogue and zany characters. Their next title, Severed, takes a slight turn from that, and by slight turn, I mean a full 180. Exclusively for PlayStation Vita, Severed tells the story of Sasha, a young woman who wakes up in a nightmare world with her left arm cut off and her family missing. With the help of a living sword, she must find her family and escape this hell she’s found herself in.

Severed is a first-person action-adventure with light RPG elements. The reason this game is on the Vita is because it relies heavily on the touchscreen. The control sticks are there to move Sasha around and pan the camera, but the screen can be used exclusively throughout the entire playthrough by tapping the screen to move to the next room. Using the sword is as simple as a swipe and can be used to solve environmental puzzles and of course, defeat enemies. When the meter pictured below fills up, the enemy begins their attack and you swipe towards where the attack is coming from to deflect it; this leaves a window of opportunity to slash them for as long as you can. These monsters can also attack you from four different angles, forcing you to be wary of their meters that display on the bottom. If you’ve filled up the Severed meter during battle, the screen will go into Severed Mode right before the enemy falls so you can slice the displayed areas to cut off their limbs. The body parts they leave behind after defeat can be used to upgrade Sasha and give her new powers.

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Did I mention these creatures are the stuff of nightmares? The boss in the demo I played was a three-eyed brute made up of a horde of ravens. After successfully beating it, I was rewarded with a mask that Sasha is wearing in the picture on top. Turns out, each and every boss leaves behind a body part that Sasha will wear to assist her on her perilous journey.

It was after this demo that one of the developers took me further into the game to get a look at how complicated Severed gets further on. The enemies get special skills later on and Sasha also gets a power to absorb any one of their skills to use against them. Since the game can also be classified as a dungeon-crawler, the areas get more complex as you move on, relying heavily on exploration and puzzle-solving. One of these puzzles involved finding a note telling you to walk around a square hallway clockwise 4 times in order to reveal a hidden door. The folks at Drinkbox Studios are no strangers to Metroidvania and it’s nice to see them take it to a new level with a first-person perspective.

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Check out the official trailer below to see more of Severed launching for PlayStation Vita in Spring 2016.

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Joey Ferris
Joey Ferris 260 posts

l love to play games and write stuff about them. I can't play something and not tell anyone how I feel about it. Call it a sickness, because it is.