Ultros respects its players enough to make them work hard for the best ending. Accordingly, it never feels like a waste of time to manually connect your save points to the overall network (so that you can fast travel between them) or to gather the right seeds, spray them into the proper orientation, and occasionally splice together parts into hybrid platforms. If anything, these deliberate actions serve to sow a deeper sense of purpose and understanding of conservation in players. In doing so, Hadoque’s marvelous creation stands leafs and branches above not only other puzzle platformers, but most other socially conscious games as well.
Ultros is a slick Metroidvania-style experience that doesn’t only introduce plenty of unique ideas but also looks absolutely breath-taking with its surreal visual style. It does a good job of getting all of the basics of the genre right, whilst the looping, eating, and gardening mechanics each add their own unique twist to the formula. Sure, these mechanics don’t always hit the mark (especially with the focus on eating GOOD body parts getting repetitive over time), but they never stop the game from being a lot of fun to play. With so many Metroidvania-style releases available, it’s nice to play one that does something that feels genuinely different to the norm – and believe me, Ultros is a game that isn’t afraid to be different.
Psychedelic stylings accompany a game of transformation and discovery.
Sometimes visuals are enough to carry a game and they certainly take Ultros far, although mediocre combat and some jankiness slightly undermines the unique vision.
"Just when you thought Ultros couldn't get any more outlandish, it has its own gardening system."
Ultros' experimentation with elements from both roguelites and metroidvanias creates an enthralling combination accentuated by a captivating setting.
With a gameplay approach that is as psychedelic, disconcerting, and unique as its visual style, Ultros is a constant stimulus for the senses. If you value originality and like different games, don't hesitate to give it a try.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Ultros is a kaleidoscope game. It takes a handful of ordinary things, shakes them up and sticks the pieces together, and then spins it all around. It's just a different version of what we've seen dozens of times before, sure. But it feels special, and it sure does look good.
Expect to be confused, bewildered, and visually seduced by Ultros, but don't expect to be too surprised by what simmers beneath the surface.
Late-game fiddliness spoils what is otherwise a vibrant and always interesting Metroidvania, whose emphasis on growth, connection and (tripping out on mad monsters) make it one of the most sumptuous games of 2024 so far.
Ultros sows some fascinating seeds into a familiar framework. Although those seeds bloomed into a visually striking game, some poor soil hinders its ability to fully develop.
ULTROS is a psychedelic metroidvania where you wake up stranded on The Sarcophagus — a cosmic uterus holding an ancient, demonic being. Trapped in the loop of a black hole, you will have to explore The Sarcophagus and meet its inhabitants to understand the part you play...
Ultros is ultimately an excellent game, and I loved almost every minute I spent with it exploring what is really a giant work of art. The storytelling, the music, the art, the design and exploration are all wonderful to experience, even if its biggest puzzle mechanic is also its biggest frustration. But those frustrations don't overshadow the things that make Ultros shine, and they are all why it is a must-play game for Metroidvania fans, or anyone that just wants to be awed by what they're looking at every five minutes.
Ultros is a passionate and addictive Metroidvania, with excellent art design and level design, strong in impactful graphics and an art direction of absolute value. It is a long-lived and detailed video game, very original and multifaceted, with a game design that explores its every potential in a peculiar way. A must have if you are a fan of the genre, and if you are a beginner. It is also particularly suitable for beginners.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Ultros boasts a visual identity that deserves real recognition, a stunning vision of alien colour with design ideas that live long in the memory. Its platforming and combat can't quite match that vigorous success, sadly. Still, if you're on the hunt for a unique-looking Metroidvania game that comes bursting with ideas and a modest 10-hour runtime with the option of more if you love it, few games can match it for style.
Ultros is a game with a very strong visual identity, trippy theme and a few unique mechanics, like its gardening system for upgrades and abilities. Strip away the psychedelic art and gauzy narrative, however, and you’re left with a somewhat familiar-playing 2D Metroidvania. That isn’t necessarily bad, but I wish the game’s combat and exploration matched the imagination of its art.
Ultros is a must-have experience not only for lovers of the metroidvania genre, but for anyone looking for a work with spirit and character.
Review in Italian | Read full review
A psychedelic trip best appreciated twice.
Ultros is a bold and beautiful artistic vision, but a convoluted Metroidvania.
Singular and confident, Ultros is a startling piece of work that knows exactly what it wants to be, and hones in on that goal with laser beam focus. It depends on time-tested videogame actions and concepts not just for their comfort and retro appeal, but as a familiar foundation that can be gradually fucked with as part of the game’s greater themes. And although those themes and their presentation are intentionally confusing and obtuse, Ultros never devolves into chaos for the sake of it; there’s always a clear point of view and thought process driving the game’s design. Ultros brings mystery back to gaming in brilliant fashion, delivering us the first genuinely great game of 2024.