Review: Axiom Verge (Xbox One)

Axion Verge was first released in 2015 for PS4, Vita, and PC. It was developed solely by Thomas Happ who has worked on many games for both PC and consoles, such as Grey Goo, Tiger Woods, and NFL Street.

I decided to wait to play Axiom Verge hoping for an Xbox One version. Now finally the Xbox One version has released today, September 30th.screenshot-axiom-verge-3

The game starts on Earth where a scientist is conducting an experiment when something goes horribly wrong and he is transported to a strange planet called Sudra. He then must work together with the Sudra’s sentient beings to uncover the truth about his past and save their planet from destruction.

Gameplay in Axiom Verge is in the style of Metroid with Contra-like gunplay thrown in. As you progress through strange new areas, you find weapon upgrades to help you take down huge alien bosses.

Where Axiom Verge succeeds is in the variety of its weapon designs. Whether you’re shooting lighted green projectiles or using an upgrade that shoots multiple green balls of death that have spinning blades, all the guns feel spectacular and are helpful depending each situation. You also gain power-ups which help you better traverse the environment. These include the abilities to shift through walls and a grappling hook that can help you get to the hard to reach areas of the map. The issue I have with these power-ups is the fact that it takes too long to get the advanced ones. This can cause you to go to an area multiple times in hopes that the power you just obtained will help you get past an obstacle you encountered early on. This causes a lot of confusion on where to go next and tons of backtracking. screenshot-original-1

Axiom Verge is not an easy game. You start the game with very little life and most enemies can kill you in seconds. The good news is there are save points all around the map. The game also saves your progress in an area; so if you obtain a new ability and die you will start with that ability from a save point.

Visually Axiom Verge is a great looking game. Each area has a unique look to it with sprawling vines and crumbled rubble. All the while the backgrounds show that there is a dying world that awaits. Visually my favorite area was Edin. Here you could see the grassy plains and mountains of the dying world. The game’s soundtrack has a techno feel that is a perfect compliment to the gameplay. It helps bring the feeling of isolation and dread to life as you explore all that Sudra has to offer.

screenshot-axiom-verge-4

Conclusion

The solid gameplay and nice visuals of Axiom Verge make for a great experience. However, the game does not quite reach the heights of the 5-Star games which it resembles, due to the difficulty and extreme amount of backtracking. All that said, If you are looking for a good Metroidvania style game, you can’t go wrong with Axiom Verge. Given all the facts, I give this game 3.5/5 stars .

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