Axiom Verge

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Xbox One title card.

Axiom Verge is a science fiction-themed Metroidvania video game developed entirely by Thomas Happ and published by Thomas Happ Games for PlayStation 4 on 2014-03-21, and then later ported to several other platforms. You play a scientist named Trace who, after and experiment mishap, is transported to another planet where a most of the occupants are either dead or dying because of a ruthless evil bent on taking over the universe. The game borrows heavily from the Metroid series, and other 8 and 16-bit games, but also adds a lot of content and power-ups never seen before.

Status

I own the complete Axiom Verge bundle which comes with the game, soundtrack, and commentary videos through Steam and am currently playing it.

Review

Good

  • The graphics are gorgeous. In addition to using Metroid for inspiration, the game has a lot of very attractive and intricate bosses and backgrounds.
  • The music is really nice and atmospheric, but still has enough interest to stand on its own.
  • I like the idea of a glitched reality, and the glitched animations are interesting to look at, especially the address bomb and red coat.
  • The hallucination scene is pretty great.
  • I appreciate that there is a save point outside of every boss room, and they're also scattered liberally around the map.

Bad

  • Like with Metroid before it, a lot of the hidden objects have no hints that they exist. This means, if you want to try and find them, you have to use the laser drill and teleport on pretty much every wall in the game which is a very time-consuming and boring process. Thankfully, a large amount of the hidden objects have some tells provided you pay close enough attention to the map.
  • The grappling hook power-up doesn't feel very fluid.
  • Several of the standard enemies require a lot of time to kill them for safe passage. This becomes annoying in areas where you're just traveling through because it slows down progress.
  • Like with many other Metroidvanias, without any money or random item drops, having to kill normal enemies feels wasteful and boring when you're full health, which is most of the time.
  • Like with most games that feature achievements, you get several of them for merely completing the necessary steps for beating the game, like killing bosses and glitching an enemy. These things do not feel like achievements.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Maps

Videos

Links

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