[PS4 Metroidvania Review] Unepic
Great RPG Metroidvania Hybrid8
Unepic tells the story of Daniel who was just minding his own business as he played some D&D with a bunch of his friends, but upon using the washroom, he found himself teleported to an evil castle where he needed to survive in order to become the hero! Can you become said hero?
Daniel was just an average guy. Videogame player, big fan of sci-fi movies, and a novice RPG player. In the midst of an RPG, he was teleported to a castle. Daniel believed that he was having a massive hallucination. Eager to keep playing within the RPG to create his own adventure, he decides to go along for the ride until his delirium comes to an end.
Once inside the castle, Daniel is inhabited by a mysterious shadow. This dark spirit can communicate with Daniel, but not control him. The shadow has a simple goal: to escape from the prison of Daniel’s body. There’s a catch: the dark spirit can only escape if Daniel perishes.
Struggling against enemies in the castle, with the dark spirit attempting to murder him at every turn, Daniel finally discovers his goal: to kill Harnakon, the master of the castle, and free the Pure-Spirits who are trapped within.
UnEpic – Trailer
‘Is this world real or just in your imagination? That is the question you´ll keep asking yourself as you explore Harnakon’s Castle. The game starts off quickly with a bunch of friends around the table playing Dungeons and Dragons. You go to use the washroom, and you suddenly find yourself inside of a castle. You quickly meet a spirit who has the intention of possessing you and leading you to your death, except he can’t control you or escape its new vessel. You find a sword and set forth into the castle.
The best way to describe Unepic is a Metroidvania platformer with very strong RPG elements. You start off simply with a lighter and the ability to light up torches as you explore the castle. As you start to venture further into the area you quickly gain more weapons and powers.
You are possessed by a spirit in the game, and you will often be talking with it. He gives you information, but you need to decide whether to believe him or not. He needs you to die to escape your body, but when he realizes you’re ignoring his advice, he mixes it up with things that you might actually want to follow. Just take heed and use your instinct on what to do when you make certain choices.
The combat is in real-time and whatever weapon you have equipped is triggered by the Square button. As you will need to have many different weapons types and spells to survive in the castle, you can use shortcuts to select them with the R1, L1 or L1+R1 buttons and a face button to either switch weapons quickly, cast a spell, or use a potion or scroll. It’s a fairly unique system that works great most of the time, but every once and I while I was mixing up which shortcut I was trying to use as there are 12 options overall. I also found the jumping was not being accurate from time to time.
As mentioned earlier, you collect magic as you explore the castle, and you can buy spells from merchants. Instead of using the traditional means of mana to cast spells, you actually collect different colored essences from different characters. Each spell uses a certain number of essences so you will need to stock up and grind them if you want to be a solid mage!
Killing enemies in the castle or completing quests will net you experience points to use towards leveling up. Each level you increase you gain 5 points to dump into either your different weapons types, spells, potions, health, or armor. It’s a neat system that works well. While you will have access to most weapons right from the start, magic spells are slowly unlocked while exploring the castle. You might not seem the need to fully explore the magic, as you have been creating a melee character, but magic is a big part of this adventure, so be sure to balance things out! The other issue with the setup is that certain bosses seem as if you can only beat with one type of character. The one I’m thinking of could deflect arrows and spells sending them back at you, so you needed to rely on your melee skills. If you had built an Archer/Mage combo you would be in a lot of trouble at this point. Thankfully the game will allow you to reallocate all of your XP points and rebuild your character (but at a cost).
What works really well with the game is the exploration of the castle. For quests, you will need to visit most rooms in the game, and you want to see what’s in each room. There are lamps in each room and when you have lit them all, there will be a flash to let you know you have explored the entire room – it also lights up brighter on the map. Even though there are a ton of rooms, the game created a good way to navigate around the castle quickly using special doors.
Also, Unepic has a Platinum Trophy! It also has 1 Gold, 8 Silver, and 48 Bronze trophies. Most of them are exploration-based. You get trophies for lighting up certain sections of the castle, for finding magic types, for collecting keys, and for killing huge amounts of monsters. There are also some hidden trophies that account for special super difficult challenges to keep you on your toes. There are also trophies for hitting level 5 and level 10 with your character. I actually hit level 10 midway through the game, when I was expected that to be near the end.
Unepic is a great game that takes some RPG elements and adds them to a Metroidvania world. The game is full of humor and geek references added to the mix while also telling a great story. Were you really transported to a castle or are you just dreaming or hallucinating? The castle is fun to explore, but some bosses felt a bit unfair. Still, Unepic offers great value and is well worth playing.
This review is based on a copy provided by A Crowd of Monsters