Severed is a gaming title created by Drinkbox Studios. This action focused RPG will keep you in front of your screen for hours thanks to its intriguing plot and well designed gaming elements.
If that’s not enough, you’ll have the opportunity to prove your skills thanks to the above average gameplay and machinery used during the game.
After achieving huge recognition for their Guacamelee! indie hit, Drinkbox decided to move forward, almost three years after, with a totally new type of game. They had mediocre success with Castlevania and Metriod since then, but this seems to be the year where Drinkbox hits the main stage with Severed.
The main problem for the micro development team based in Canada was to create added value for their users after they experienced some unexpected success with their premier release.
It’s totally different when trying to target fans that are new to the idea of exploring your games. Drinkbox are now entering a playing field where they need to focus on the gaming experience fans already had and try to improve it, which can prove to be a demanding task.
Having this in mind, it’s not surprising to hear how Severed borrowed some crucial gameplay functionality elements from Metroidvania, which is the same stuff that made Guacamelee! so famous. This was a huge success for an action title based on touch screen commands that resembled more to Fruit Ninja than to Call of Duty.
When you start playing Severed you’ll be placed in a role of an explorer that tries to find out what happened to her during her nightmarish dream.
The girl you’ll be responsible for is called Sasha and he just lost her family, her home got destroyed, and if that wasn’t enough, her right arm fell off in the process.
That damaged arm is actually the motive behind the title of the game, but there’s also a more philosophical side to the story. While Sasha is trying to find her family, using only one arm, is she really becoming detached from humanity and will her quest have a paradox ending?
These are some questions you’ll need to answer on your own because it seems like Drinkbox Studios only set a good premise and failed to develop it to its maximal potential.
This is also a good thing, because it leaves more room for interpretation and steers Severed towards a lighter approach where you’ll have more fun destroying monsters than thinking about how this affects your character.
If on the other hand you’re more intrigued about the design side of the game, don’t worry because you’ll immediately notice how Severed uses clean cut design approach to develop simple light colored backgrounds.
The game is somewhat of a case study for all of you designing students out there. After you go through it for couple of hours, you’ll just keep getting amazed by the various yet simple designs.
Although the game has a relatively simple design it has a dark appeal to it, making it a horrifying and beautiful title at the same time.
When you mix this with the unique soundtrack handpicked by Yamantaka // Sonic Titan and Pantay that gives the overall impression of a game that was developed for years, you’ll immediately feel connected with the character you’re controlling and take everything in consideration when starting an in-game quest.
When it comes to the gameplay used with Severed we already discussed how it borrows some elements from the designing studio’s previous titles, but it’s also interesting to state how Severed represents a mix of multiple RPG action games.
If you recognize some elements and mechanics present with other games, don’t be surprised. Drinkbox tried to scale up their game for this title, and it seems like they’ve succeeded by borrowing gameplay elements from different games.
For example, Sasha is a one handed female crafty swordsman. Sounds familiar?
Once you start beating your enemies with the help of Sasha you’ll notice how there’s a certain gore aspect that Severed tries to present. This will be presented the best through the way you’re able to upgrade your character.
While beating monsters is cool and fun, it may not be so pleasant when you learn that you need to take body parts from your opponents if you want to have a more powerful character.
The only problem here is that it will be extremely easy to gather all upgrades before you even meet the main boss at the end of the level, which kind of decreases the intensity of the game.
This can be solved with some customization options added to the whole mix, but it seems like the game was developed in such a manner that won’t allow this in the future. For now, you can just enjoy the gameplay and have in mind you’ll eventually gather all necessary upgrades.
Your skill-set will always remain limited and you won’t be able to affect this because the movements is just like that and it can see no improvement, but the battle itself can be interesting even for the most experienced action RPG gamers.
The problem with battles is they remain on the same difficulty level throughout the game.
Even when you get to the last big boss, you’ll notice how easy it is to go by him once you mastered all previous levels.
People may disagree with this statement, having the opinion how a game should actually operate in this manner and that players should learn it while they play and be more compatible when the last boss comes, but on the other hand what’s the point of creating different levels when you leave the difficulty level the same throughout the plot.
All in all, Severed is a beatifully designed action RPG title that’s ready to make the switch from indie to mainstream gaming and it’s helpful that Drinkbox are a small team of developers that will always make the necessary fun inspired improvements to their biggest title till date.