Developer: Wildfire Game
Gene(s): Action, Adventure, RPG, Early Access
Eastern Exorcist is the wonderfully dark animated side-scrolling hack and slash RPG. It is a hack and slash that requires thought and strategy, you can’t just button bash through monsters, spirits, and bosses. It’s light on the RPG elements but builds a hugely impressive and immersive world.
The first thing that struck me is the art style, hand-drawn Chinese art style. It underpins all the aspects of the game from level design, character design, demon, and boss design. This wonderful art-style brings all the aspects together. The level design and game presentation look amazing, it’s a visual feast. On top of this, the wonderful character animation brings your character and his actions to life. You get immersed in this dark and demon-filled world from your first battle. The level design complements this world so well, the world enhances the story and game progression. The animation of the character is just superb, every enemy and boss has the same attention to detail as the protagonist. The art style brings this game to life and to be honest, I haven’t been this impressed by the visual of a game in a long time. You could spend hours in awe of the visuals alone.
The game centres around a hack and slash combat style with a highly responsive control system. Every action you make with your character is fluid, realistic, and responsive. This game perfects the mechanics of combat and character movement, you get the sense you are in total control. There is no lag or jitteriness in your character control. The game places an understanding that each mechanic serves a purpose. To successfully negotiate the game you need to master and understand when to use each mechanic. Every aspect of the game has it’s a purpose and as the player explores, the more you learn. Eastern Exorcist is a difficult but rewarding challenge, while it may become frustrating at times, there is a huge sense of achievement as you progress.
Game controls and the visual feast on display emphasise the two most important parts of the game, the other less integral part is the RPG element. I’m not a huge RPG fan, I like a mix of RPG and combat with the emphasis being on combat and game mechanics. For me the game strikes the right balance, there are some light RPG elements, and the storyline complements and enhances the game. I loved the storyline is set out fairly early and this darkness sets a backdrop for the entire game. The dark levels, bosses, and world play well with the story of the battles in the game. The story element isn’t obsolete but is somewhat of an unsung hero in the game.
In totality, I thoroughly enjoyed the game however I did find parts of the game samey. In between each boss fight, I found there was a level of repetition of platform sections and killing demons. Some more variety of puzzles would have complemented the killing a lot more. I think this is where you could find criticism of the game. I felt the variation in bosses more than outweighed the pre-boss section.
This is a real gem, wonderfully animated and designed. A good learning curve with a lot of frustration at times due to boss fights, the frustration is the unforgiving nature of the game if you use the wrong mechanic as opposed to a badly designed or skewed game. The payoff of beating each boss and progressing to the next one and the relief in some cases. It’s a wonderfully tough game that requires a level of concentration to beat it. It’s a must buy.