Axiom Verge

released on Mar 31, 2015

After a lab accident, a scientist awakens in a mysterious, alien world. Is this a distant planet? The far future? Or a complex virtual-reality computer simulation?

Plumb the recesses of a large, labyrinthine world in order to learn its secrets and uncover your role within it. Discover tons of weapons, items, and abilities, each with their own unique behaviors and usage. You’ll need your wits to find them all.
Combat bizarre biomechanoid constructs, the deadly fallout of an ancient war, and the demons of your own psyche.

And finally, break the game itself by using glitches to corrupt foes and solve puzzles in the environment. Life. Afterlife. Real. Virtual. Dream. Nightmare. It's a thin line.

It's Axiom Verge.


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Axiom Verge is a title I had been curious about for quite some time, in fact I've owned the game for several years at this point but for some reason never decided to pick it up and play it.
There was something intriguing about the grim artstyle the game was going for, as well as its blatant homage to the Metroid franchise. Then there was the fact that it was developed by a single person, one Thomas Happ, which maximized my interest because games developed by a single person tend to show a lot of their vision and personality through the work.
To summarize Axiom Verge though, I can only say this:
It is aggressively ok.
What I mean by this is that the game never truly gets to be genuinely interesting especially considering its genre.
Your movement options are extremely limited, with not many upgrades that change that.
Level design is very inspired by Metroid, and by Metroid I mean the 1986 NES game, which if you don't remember, had a lot of samey looking locations with copy/paste level design. A lot of areas can feel very familiar, especially the vertical shafts, and this game loves its shafts.
It very much feels more like a derivative of Metroid rather than its own experience at points, and these things kind of kill what could be a stellar game because there are ideas I genuinely enjoy about it.
The glitching mechanics are a unique way of traversing the environment and dealing with enemies. You can glitch through walls to progress into hidden areas, or use your gun to glitch enemies causing different effects depending on the enemy themselves.
You can have an enemy glitch and they'll constantly shoot health at you, or you can have them glitch and fly away. Of course, the variety eventually gets limited as some enemies just do the same thing as others, but the idea is fun in practice.
Then there's the sheer number of weapons you can acquire from a typical blaster to a shotgun like electric shock to a bomb to a flamethrower, the variety is impressive. However, I didn't feel much of a need to experiment because a lot of the guns also feel situational and on top of that... they're not really used for puzzles and the like.
For most of the game I stuck with the Electric Shotgun because it does a fuck ton of damage to pretty much all regular enemies, and until I got the other Electric Gun that tracks enemies down it was my go to weapon.
Not to say all the weapons are bad and I'm sure you can do all sorts of things with them, but for me I will pick what works best.
I also dig how the password system is used to solve puzzles though some puzzles and shit are hidden behind notes you have to collect and its a bit tedious.
I don't think the game should be as disliked as it is but in the same vein, it's just not a very interesting time. This is a game you play once and then never again because why play this over AM2R, Super Metroid, Symphony of the Night, etc.
I will forever remained impressed by Thomas Happ singlehandedly developing everything for this game, but yeah, it's a pump and dump Metroidvania.
Also the story is ok, I don't think there's really much to talk about other than I liked some of the twists.

Axiom Verge is a fantastic Metroidvania, no, it doesn’t do much unique, but honestly, I feel that works in its favour, it doesn’t put in RPG-ish gimmicks, it just gives you fun weapons and gadgets, presented with brilliant pixel art
It’s easy to get lost, the bosses are quite confusing, the map is restrictive, but I’d say it’s a good time

tava no final achei cansativo desinstalei

Axiom Verge doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from being a straight-up Metroid homage, but that just means its a solid game. The soundtrack is thumping, some of the pixel art is good (especially for backgrounds and on larger scales), and the requisite interaction between items and the map is interesting enough. Enemy variety and behavior is a bit lacking. For all the weapons to be found, few are particularly effective. That’s also down to everything being a bit of a bullet sponge.
Come to think of it, that sponginess and the problem of having interesting bit ineffective weapons are linked together. If it didn’t take so many shots to down everything, maybe I would have been able to experiment with more of the inventory. Alternately, enemies could have different kinds of armor and types that would require the player to experiment. Here’s hoping for more thoughtful enemy design in the sequel.

A good metroidvania that does everything correct. The game lacks an identity and blends in with other metroidvania games that have there own distinct style. A good playthrough, but in a genre this oversaturated, just good may not be enough.