With Halloween just around the corner its always a good time for creepy and wild looking monsters. If you have ever played a Drinkbox game, such as Guacamelee, you should already know that Severed is something that you need to behold and drink in (pun intended).

Drinkbox has a unique artistic flare that is prominent throughout all of their games and Severed is no exception. Severed is a call back to those classic first-person dungeon crawlers, and yet the simple adding of the touch-screen and sharp, colorful graphics mask an incredibly, gooey, dark story.

3054102-severed_screenshot_06

The Story

Severed places you in the role of Sasha, our badass and thoroughly capable heroine. With her home burned, her family taken, and her left-arm severed (omg he said it!), she wakes up to find everything she cares about destroyed and smoking. Then in a truly creepy intro, a mysterious vision gives her a living sword that eats up power by severing limbs. By now you should see the full connection. However, Sasha ventures forth into a nightmarish maze in search of answers and vengeance.

The story is well told, frightfully graphic, and wonderfully heartbreaking. It was amazing I was able to keep my eyes dry at times. Sasha is truly a fantastic character and written as a strong female lead. Sasha is a character that audiences can connect with. As her journey goes on, you’ll unlock new abilities that will help Sasha through the mysteries of this dark universe.

Gameplay

While Severed is heavily influenced by classic dungeon crawlers, it takes a new spin on the classic RPG. Sasha might not have traditional stats that increase throughout the game, but she does use the body parts collected during combat and found strewn about as a sort of currency to buy or upgrade new abilities. Which, very much like most RPGs increase Sasha’s damage and health, the ability to leech health from enemies, or a longer window of time to sever limbs during combat.

What is really clever is that each new ability and piece of armor Sasha earns by killing a boss has its own upgrade tree, so fans of customization will have a blast with this system overall. If you aren’t used to the gameplay you may focus on straightforward sword-slashing or you can focus heavily on that skill tree, however, there is plenty of room later on to experiment with Sasha’s vast arsenal of equipment and abilities.

1463174719737

Since this review was played on 3DS the fighting consisted of swiping over enemies to attack or to parry incoming attacks in real time. This is something I had trouble with at first. I am someone that is terrible are parrying in games and prefer a better blocking system, however, as time went on I became more and more used to it. Even though the enemies became harder to judge and it always felt like a challenge I made myself get better to take less and less damage each time.

Monsters’ attacks are tied to a cool down timer, and you can successfully counter them by swiping toward an attacking appendage. If the monster is attacking down and to the left, you swipe up and to the right to counter. This leaves them open for  many consecutive attack. Now while this may seem easy enough, this is only while facing a monster one-on-one. Severed does not always  make it that easy though. Sasha will frequently go up against three or four monsters coming at you at once from all four sides of the map. Players need to keep a close watch on on each ‘monster timer’ and shift your focus accordingly in order to attack and defend at the right time.

Timing is literally everything in Severed. The only way to collect body parts, new gear and abilities, players need to fill their sever meter by consistently attacking without being blocked, and also by parrying incoming attacks. If you screw up the timing or the angle of your swipe it may lead to a blocked attack, which unfortunately prevents your meter from filling up.

severedgif

This may cause you to still win the fight, but will also cause Sasha to walk away empty-handed. Combat can quickly become a hectic and extremely stressful. Thankfully, there are no random encounters in the game. Severed lets players know in advance where the monsters are, they do this with a glowing flame in the room ahead. There’s also no real penalty to dying in the normal difficulty level either. This will keep most people from anxious while playing.

Maps and Artwork

Severed‘s map has a pretty close resemblance to Matroid-Style games just in first-person view. The overall world is actually pretty big and straight forward, but like Metriod most of the game is trying to figure out how to reach each new or tucked away area. Most of the time this is usually done by defeating an area’s boss and earning a new ability but not always, so be sure to keep your eye open while exploring. As time goes on this will become more obvious. As Sasha learns new abilities, for example, she can learn how to change the land from day to night and back again to open special doors. This is definitely a mechanic that Drinkbox is fond of and it works so well.

As most fans of Drinkbox knows, the artwork is almost the one reason to play Severed. The game is beautifully told but the artwork blows it away. It is a fun use of colors and lines. The game feels like an animated, fevered dream of Guillermo del Toro. The monsters are all grotesque and feel like they are right out of a little kids nightmare, but considering the main character this probably was planned to be just that. Check out more of the monsters below in the gallery to experience what I mean.

Sasha’s new nightmarish world takes you through spooky forests, forgotten temples, fiery wastelands, and so much more and each one is designed so well and so colorful you really believe you were transported there. The attention to detail is really where the art shines too, from the random skulls, the weird plant live, the toothy grin of monsters, the armor sets that Sasha can wear, to even the effects like fire and toxic gas.

Overall

Although Severed isn’t a new game, Severed is a game that you should play. It can be found on a number of platforms. I played on 3DS and had a blast. Again there was a pretty steep difficultly curve for me because I suck at parrying in any game I have ever played. However, if you have played and liked any other Drinkbox games, Severed should definitely be on your list.

Severed Review
The Good
  • The Amazing Artwork and Music
  • Fun and Challenging Gameplay
  • Wonderful Story and Sasha Is A Total Badass
The Bad
  • Learning Fighting style takes more time than desired
9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

John D
Chief Operating Officer

I have worked hard to become the COO here at GAW and I love it. I write and stream here and I couldn't be happier. I once had a show that I produced, wrote, and co-hosted called the Wide World of Games. I also co-host a podcast called Party Up! I'm an Action-Adventurer, platformer, RPGer, and FPS kind of gamer. Quick to play any game that has magic, swordplay, and/or stealthy elements. If you can customize a character I'm in it for the long haul. Or just give me your 2D platform and I'm a happy camper. What else do you expect from a gamer with a beard and a bow tie tattoo? Seriously.