What happens when you mix a side scrolling platformer with Souls style game play? Absolute carnage, that’s what. Welcome to Valfaris, the second title from the madmen behind Slain: Back from Hell. Another over the top massacre of a game with more blood than you could imagine, but also a heavy metal based music theme mixed in to compliment the carnage. Will this game be too much for people to handle or will others find it to be a walk in the park?
Valfaris is a fortress in space -well, more like a planet – that disappeared a while ago with no clear answer as to why. It has suddenly reappeared and it doesn’t look anything like it once did; it has now become a breeding ground for the darkness and corruption. Therion is your name, and you’re armed to the teeth with guns and weapons to destroy all the darkness around. Expect to see blood and more when exploring the giant space planet of Valfaris . There’s not a lot in the way of story, but once the initial opening scene is over you’re left to reek havoc on the battlefield and torment the evil which trying to take you out.
When it comes to the gameplay, the developers keep fairly true to the Slain formula; hordes and hordes of enemies in all shapes and sizes will be coming for your blood. It’s good to have a solid arsenal of weapons at your disposal to use against the enemy. Starting with a laser pistol and a sword – which is a pretty nifty set up – you will have no issues taking on the enemy with both of these weapons, but you will unlock more powerful and larger weapons as you progress. When not shooting and killing you will be defending yourself using your shield and this has two great jobs. Firstly, to protect you from projectiles and secondly, if you can time it just right and you will be able to catch missiles that are shot at you and shoot them back. This is a great move to use, especially against some bosses, but you will need to keep refilling your shield ability by killing enemies and earning blue orbs. Oh, and the big kicker is you are unable to move while using your shield, so you best be sure you don’t get blindsided in the process.
As you progress through each level you will come across some glowing green crystals. Now, these will be almost always in your sights as you will need these to unlock your check points. You can continue past the checkpoints and earn greater rewards but I hit every check point as the games hardcore hard, and what with 2 or so bosses each in area, it is wise to take your time and save at checkpoints especially when starting out. Perhaps people who will run it multiple times can leave some checkpoints behind, but I was dead certain to never leave one behind.
The visuals in the game are great in their pixelated, lovely goriness, but what’s awesome is the sound track. This is some awesome heavy metal music which just amps up the game and makes it feel epic, and that’s honestly what drew me to this game. The general rock and death atmosphere is amazingly entertaining.
Valfaris isn’t so much full of surprises as much as full of bad guys. No matter which way you face you will have some enemies coming at you – though you’l also have piles of enemies at your feet before too long! I did however find it really tough, it’s punishing difficulty almost too much at times. If you like a challenge then you’ll be right at home here, but those after a more serene experience will do good to look elsewhere.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.