Slain: Back From Hell - Switch

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Slain: Back From Hell (Switch)
Also for: PS4, PC
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Beat 'Em Up: Hack and Slash
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Wolfbrew Games Soft. Co.: Wolfbrew Games
Publishers: Merge Games (GB)
Released: 20 Jul 2018 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Features: Handheld Mode, TV Mode, Tabletop Mode


Slain is a title that harkens back to a time when split-second timing along with a careful methodical approach was required in order to get anywhere at all. Games like Shadow of the Beast and Gods both exhibited this kind of gameplay system that punished the player if they chose to rush headlong into areas without first taking in what they were about to confront. These games were not so much about dexterity as much as they were assessing the environment and reacting accordingly. Think Dark Souls, only on a 2D plane, and you're pretty much there.

Slain is presented in a series of highly detailed sprites all animated down to small pixels that, while looking like 16 bit games of old, are actually far more fluid than anything a computer/console of that era could ever hope to produce.

It is a platform as well as a combat game that requires the player to time their attacks carefully as, if they are interrupted mid-swing, they are stopped and must start the animation again.

The levels are littered with traps that will kill the player repeatedly. Thankfully Slain has a forgiving checkpoint system that allows players to restart relatively quickly.

Playing Slain, older gamers will no doubt be drawn back to those earlier, uber-punishing brawlers. The key difference here is that Slain has the added nuance of animated combat sequences that the player must time in order to make a successful hit. When this is pulled off it's very satisfying to lay waste to an area by carefully making your way along, chopping and carving up monsters as you go.

This is pure action - no laborious levelling, no grimace-inducing grinding and no wimpy crafting. It's tough as old boots though, so tread carefully...

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