If you have the right people around you, or are just in the mood for something relaxing? This is an excellent option. Just relax. Settle down for the game. Don't worry about people who are going to make this into a big to-do or anything of the sort, just... let it wash over you. Sit on the couch. Close your eyes for a bit, there's no timer.
So I might be a bit more reluctant to go wade back in, but if you like yourself some Souls-like action and fancy something novel, you should definitely give this a shot. And if you like buckets of blood and body horror, you might get a kick out of it too.
So the score I’m giving this game is on the high end of that same number… but ultimately, it’s a game I can’t really recommend to a lot of people. For all the neat ideas at play and the interesting visuals, it never quite has enough meat on its bones. There’s just not enough to rave about here.
Like I said at the beginning, you kind of want these games at some point to stop working, but… Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla really works. It works in all the ways it wants to work. It takes the bones of its predecessor and improves the overall gameplay significantly, giving players plenty to do, characters to invest in, and a satisfying core gameplay loop that’s been refined down to a careful formula at this point.
But the whole thing is presented with such care, patient attention to detail, and downright love that it’s impossible not to enjoy the heck out of this game. It’s the sort of game that I highly recommend to people who may naturally only be inclined to one side or the other of this particular melange, because you might find yourself enjoying it more than you expected.
But sadly, at the end of the day I just can’t really recommend Tears of Avia to anyone else. Not being terrible is not the same as actually being good, and while I understand that this was made with love, it is ultimately a love that has little to nothing to add to the genre aside from being more of it.
Seriously, what downsides it does have are either due to its age or just the fact that the designers prioritized a fun dungeon crawl over character building. That’s fine. The game you have here is a fine, crisp, energetic dungeon crawl that’s good to pick up and play and rewards you with bosses that are tough enough to matter but not so hard that you’ll want to throw the game in the garbage.
This isn’t a terrible game. If you’re a fan of the series and really eager to have more of it, it’ll probably serve decently for those purposes, but that’ll still mean overlooking things like weak translation, poor mechanics, and a slipshod feel across the board. But if you aren’t already a fan, there’s little to nothing to recommend it to you, much less to inspire you to learn more.