Slain: Back From Hell! Review
Slain follows the adventure of a Bathoryn, a doomed hero, who wishes nothing more than to sleep. Unfortunately for Bathoryn, duty calls and he must wake up from what seemed to be like a very long nap to cleanse six different lands from demons, monsters, and the living dead.
Within the first few minutes of Slain, I died, and then I died again, and then I died again. If Slain’s objective was to die over and over, I would be the grand master of Slain. Luckily, the checkpoints are so frequent that you never get stuck anywhere for too long. There were plenty of times where I had killed all of the enemies, only to be killed by a trap, causing me to completely redo the part that I had just finished. I really only have myself to blame for constantly underestimating the world of Slain. There is never a moment that just lets you breathe. Whether it’s a group of enemies or a boss fight, you’re going to experience your fair share of deaths.
Most of my early deaths could have been prevented if I would have taken a step back from trying to murder everything and embrace the complexities of the combat. One of the main features of Slain is the ability to reflect almost every projectile - and there are a ton of enemies who shoot different types of projectiles. There is also a parry system that allows you to time your blocks and then land critical hits. Parrying enemies is the best way to get through difficult encounters.
Overall, there is a decent variety of enemies. There are a few reskins, but their difficulty has been increased. I never got to the point I felt that I saw the same enemy too much. Because Slain has such a wide variety of enemies I always felt that I had to stay on top of my combat game. The game even introduces new enemies right before the final the boss fight.
The boss fights in Slain are all intense. They use every aspect of the game’s combat mechanics which makes it critical that you never let up. One constant throughout the game is that once the boss starts to lose health they start to speed up their attacks making you have to work even harder. There were plenty of times that I felt that I was about to execute the boss only to get them down to a quarter of their health and die.
Slain's biggest issue is that there is a lack of any sort of upgrades. The health and mana you start with are the same that you end with. Eventually, you're able to switch your regular weapon to fire or ice, but it doesn't feel like much of an upgrade. I find myself torn if this is a major issue or if it's just something that I'm not used to. Traditionally, games will have an upgrade system, so when you run into one that doesn't have one it's kind of odd. In the end, this was okay for me, but other gamers may find this to be an issue.
I had a great time playing through Slain: Back From Hell. It took me roughly about 7 hours to finish which is a great length. If you like difficult games, heavy metal, and tons of gore, then this game is right up your alley!
4.25 out of 5 stars
Thank you to Wolf Brew Games for providing the code.