Neverinth is a soul’s game that adapts the rogue-like elements into its mix, this creates a more challenging approach to the game. Instead of finding checkpoints between areas, the player will always be reset to the start every time they die. While they lose all gear, there is a sense of progress with the totem system and the ability to get a random weapon when starting. There are unlockable in the form of achievements, this give costumes and the ability for better weapons and gear to spawn as you unlock them.
+ Good amount of choices in upgrades, weapons, and gear.
+ Mixes soul-like gameplay with rogue-like, elevating the game’s challenge.
+ Boss design is good both on visuals and gameplay, there is creativity put into their mechanics.
+ Characters with different dodge mechanics, would love to see them becoming even more unique.
+ Effects like graces are a cool addition, ranging from having clones that copy your movements to extending the range of weapons.
+ Has an exciting concept and is already right in Early Access. The final product will be a quality title if the rest of the game keeps up with what’s already done.
+/- It is an RGN base, which is both good and bad. It makes dungeons more exciting and fun with “do with what you have,” but sometimes you can get to a boss with only a throwing knife and one extra potion.
– The gameplay is a bit clunky at times, especially the camera under the first boss. It is in Early Access-Alpha, so I am pretty sure it will be addressed in the future.
-There are some balance issues both on the player and the enemies’ sides. You can get particular graces that make all enemies irrelevant save for the boss in a run. At the same time, some enemies deal severe damage while having some I-frames, encouraging them to avoid them altogether.
Neverinth is a procedurally generated dungeon, a “labyrinth that never ends.” Each time the player dies, the levels will change in layout and enemy placement. While some elements do repeat (such as the bonfire encounter), it does its job at keeping each run fresh. It is fun to see what you are going to get on any run and how to best use it since your options are limited, it encourages to bring the max potential out of items.
Daggers can do a lot of damage, unlike other souls game, to the point of one shooting enemies. This adds value to them. Explosive items can be used on enemies or walls with cracks to discover new rooms. Keys can be used to unlock doors or boost damage with specific gear, and there are snowman barrels that can freeze enemies in place when they explode. These items have a tasty variety and use in Neverinth’s environments.
The player can stagger enemies, but so can they stagger the player; this creates a perception of unfairness to both sides but also makes up with a more tactical approach than usual, sometimes. While taking on one enemy is a breeze, a couple of them or the more advanced knights’ version are dangerous if underestimated. Some enemies are resilient to stagger, requiring more hits or massive attacks.
The game has a mechanic known as “Life Debt,” by paying a portion of their life, players can execute more powerful attacks. This life will turn white and be refunded over time or if the player damages enemies. It encourages the player to make riskier, bold moves on their part and creates room for improvement and growth. How to use Life Debt and when to use it requires practice and consideration.
Finally, there is the totem system. Each time a player dies, they are rewarded with some gems; this can be fit into totems to upgrade the player stats. Totems are puzzles, you fill them with gems and make your own version of them, filling all slots will reward you with extra stats. The player will always keep all their gems and stats of totems, so they are a progression that sticks with them.
The strong points of this game are the combination and approach it takes to its gameplay. It alters the usual formula by sending the player back to the start but keeps a progression with unlockable and totems. Each time a run is finished, the player can feel how they are becoming a bit stronger passively, which will help them out in future runs. Weapons have a sort of giving and taking design, with them having stats that are both good and bad, this makes choosing which weapon to keep more important.
Enemies design and bosses’ designs, both in gameplay and visuals, are substantial. This is an early access game in its alpha and is already looking good overall. Archers have excellent precision; knights alternate between mix-ups depending on the distance between the player and them. Sorceress is an actual menace, being able to kill the player with one spell and healing enemies and so on. The first boss has poison attacks with a variety of options, while the second boss is a good challenge.
The game story is too early to say something concrete about it, but it deals with Norse mythology and figures. It features the Valkyries, which are warriors summoned by the Yggdrasill, the Tree of Life, as the last hope. The Valkyries much explore the halls, encountering all sorts of enemies. On future updates or the final product, the story will probably be more developed.
The game has some drops in frames at random times; in my experience with the game, they were not of a big issue as they sound, but sometimes, I did get hit because of them. Overall the game tends to run on 60-80 Fps on a GTX 1060, with drops of 53-40. There were also some mild stutters.
The game right now as of this review only has 2 areas, while it sounds like that’s nothing; it is the right amount of content thanks to the rogue-like integration to the game. I would say it depends on skill, but for the average player, it could take up to 10 hours or more. The amount of content it’s worth the price, even more on sale.
Rather than thinking about clearing the game or bosses, if you find yourself dying a lot, just focus on improving. Each time you will unlock better gear to be picked at dungeons, so even if you die to a boss 8 times, you are still making good progress. Neverinth is a rogue game, which means getting send back to the first area is the standard.
What Makes It Special
What makes Neverinth unique is how it takes a different approach to souls’ games. I would say it is more rogue-like. The three different characters are an excellent addition, each with their own distinctive way of dodging attacks. I would like to see them being more individual, different from one another. Maybe some stats growth or new mechanics could flesh them out even more.
I really like the design overall. Everything fits together well, fallen warriors, evil knights, abominations, it fits into the Norse mythology aspect of the game. The levels feature different layouts structures to be used on the generated runs, and there is a fair amount of exploration to do. The game makes each item weight more than what they usually would do in games of the same genre. It makes each resource valuable, and each choice important, and this makes the player more invested in playing it.
Neverinth is an excellent example of what an early access game should be. It features the right amount of content, changes a formula that’s been used before, and expands with each update. It is still too early to say how the final product will turn out, but this version of the game does meet what a quality game is, in my opinion. If you enjoy Dark souls and the such, do give Neverinth a try. With its rogue-like approach, it keeps its replayability fresh and with the alternating maps layouts, a thrill to see how it will play out.
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