Slain: Back from Hell review – Retro platforming with a Metal twist

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Have you ever once thought to yourself: “Wow, games these days are just too darn easy!” If so, you have three different options:

1. Play the Souls games.
2. Play the games from the NES era.
3. Look at the indie scene.

Whether or not you play them, it is important that we all appreciate the indie scene. Not all of the games may be masterpieces, but there are definitely ones from THOUSANDS of independent developers that may tickle your fancy.

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One of these titles, Slain: Back from Hell, lends itself to a retro design, not just in art style, but gameplay as well. You play as Bathoryn, a hero sporting a giant sword, long grey beard, and magic as he must save the Gothic world he is in from evil and tyranny. The game doesn’t focus too much on the story, but it presents itself in classic NES fashion with text boxes and corny dialogue between hero and villains. The classic presentation is probably the most perfectly executed element of the game, sporting detailed pixel art on not just the player and NPCs, but the backgrounds as well.

Slain mixes a retro look with a metal soundtrack; I’m no expert on metal, but I found the riffs and drums of the background music to be no more than exceptional. Adding to the metal is guts and gore of all kinds! This game may be reminiscent of ones you played as a kid; however, I wouldn’t recommend having YOUR kid play it (unless you think they can handle it, I won’t judge). You can give the enemies a bloody beating of gory proportions, and on top of that, get yourself killed in a variety of bloody ways.

I don’t recommend you kill yourself in the game, but it’s going to happen. A lot.

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Slain: Back from Hell does not mess around. In the vein of games such as the first Castlevania and Ghosts and Goblins, the difficulty is monstrous. Unfortunately, this is kind of a flaw. On a side-note, I enjoy the Souls games. Sure, they’re ridiculously hard, but I always feel like the games push me to keep going in a positive way. Slain does not do that. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been killed on the same checkpoint while the next one wasn’t so far away. It makes sense now knowing why the levels seem to be designed so small, because you’re going to be having a tough time getting from point A to point B. To top it all off, the boss battles are on a whole other level of brutality. It’s insane how many insta-kill moves some of these demons have.

However, I acknowledge that there is a large fanbase for this type of game. These gamers have unlimited patience and are willing to get past the toughest of ventures for that immense feeling of satisfaction. And for that, I admire them.

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Final Reaction

Slain: Back from Hell is not everyone’s cup of tea. It will cater to those who wish to relive the glory days of the NES, which were full of unforgiving action-platformers, and that’s exactly what this game is. With a perfectly-done pixel-art style and metal music galore, this will appeal to only the most hardcore of gamers seeking a challenge. Slain: Back from Hell was just released on PS4 or you can get the Steam version on Windows.

Rating: 3/5 Atoms

NR 3 Atoms - C

This game was reviewed using a retail code provided by Digerati Distribution.

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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.