Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards

Developed by Digiart Interactive, N-Fusion Interactive and Published byDigiart Interactive LLC, Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is a mythical action RPG with a similar vibe to Diablo or Torchlight. Set in South America, you are a daughter of a powerful god,as you may expect, and there is always some evil to vanquish when you involve the power of the gods.

The story is based on a comic with the same name and as mentioned before it is about Aluna, the daughter of Pachamama and goddess of the Earth who sacrificed her life to save Aluna. That makes Aluna a demigod of sorts and she bears a shard of her mother Pachamama that contains her heart which grants Aluna some special powers. But the shard Aluna has is not the only one, so Pachamama asks Aluna to find the other shards as a darkness has returned. Nagaric an evil priest desires the rest of those shards as he believes they will grant him immortality. So Nagaric and the rest of the Jivaro tribe are invading the villages close to Aluna in search of the shards and it’s up to Aluna to protect the villages and the world from Nagaric and the incoming darkness.

The game has interesting level design full of content but there is nothing jaw-dropping. The music has a steady beat that contains some animal noises from the jungle but unfortunately at some point, it tends to loop – or it feels like it loops – and starts to grate after a while. Even after a few hours in it seems the same song is looping but in a slightly different style as you progress.

The gameplay is simple and effective if you like an action RPG, but some might consider it a bit too simple. You have your standard attack button and depending on the weapon you are wielding it will either be a ranged or melee attack. As you progress by levelling up you unlock skills to use on one of three skill trees. You have a melee, ranged, and magic skill tree depending on how you prefer to play, or you could even do a combination although that wouldn’t be advisable. Usually, games like this allow you to equip both a melee and a ranged weapon and you use a button to switch them but that seems to be missing here. You can only equip one weapon at a time and you need to go into the inventory to switch them. I focused on the range skill tree as there always seemed to be large groups of enemies around every corner and I thought the hit and run approach suited best. As with these types of games, there is always loot being dropped by enemies or in nearby chests and it’s all based on luck if you find something better than what you have already.            

   

The game seems packed full of content but not in a good way. There are a lot of locations in the jungle map to trawl through but that’s what it is; a trawl. The enemies either seem a bit repetitive or farfetched.  For example, as you progress there could be groups and groups of bandits who all look the same which isn’t the end of the world but the levels can be quite lengthy and killing what seems like the same group of bandits over and over again started to kill the experience a little for me. If that wasn’t enough I mentioned some enemies were farfetched as when I got to the shore on the beachfront I was attacked by groups of crabs. The game mentions that the Jivaro tribe have been laying totems that have corrupted those nearby but there is something odd about killing waves of crabs and monkeys even if they have been corrupted.

Conclusion

Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is an uncomplicated hack’n’slash action RPG. It has enough elements to make it visually nice and simple to play, but the lengthy levels and repetition may cause you to suffer burnout pretty quickly. It can be played differently if you want to try melee, ranged or magic focused but I can’t see many wanting to revisit the game to play it a different way as it offers little replay value. But in terms of content, I can’t fault it definitely has plenty of hours worth of gameplay.

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This game was reviewed based on Xbox One review code, using an Xbox Series S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

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Good
  • Graphics look interesting
  • Plenty of loot and equipment options
  • Controls are easy to learn
Bad
  • Story seems a bit vanilla
  • The enemies are not varied enough
  • The looping music is quite tedious after a while
5.6
Average
Gameplay - 6.5
Graphics - 7
Audio - 4
Longevity - 5
Written by
Gaming, or, games in general, are in my blood. Just shy of an addiction but still an obsession. From opening my mind on the Commodore 64 I have kept up with the generations of gaming, currently residing on the Xbox One. Gamertag: Grahamreaper

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