Slain is a gorgeous spectacle that's a total drag to play.
Recounting my experience to coworkers, I was at a loss for how Slain! could look and sound as good as it does while failing to deliver on essentially every other aspect. While the developers have heard similar feedback from players and have publicly promised improvements, the game's problems lie in its foundation. I'm sure it can and probably will get better over time with polish, but what's here at launch is disappointing. I struggle to picture Slain! ever becoming genuinely good barring major reworks.
Slain! has the looks of a classic 8-bit inspired game, but in execution, it is a mess and a half. I really think the game is not finished. While beautiful in its own right, the game play is not there. Add on some bugs, horrible sound choices, and some uninspired combat and you have yourself a game that you will play for 30 minutes and never go back to. I don't suggest this game to anyone in its current state and I doubt it will be completely fixed.
Slain! is in the middle between its beautiful atmosphere and its problematic gameplay, which is unable to fully valorize it. The biggest problem lies in its structure, enjoyable but still wasted if compared to the game's potential.
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Slain! looks as gorgeous as we expected, but despite the numerous delays, the game is still a broken mess. Numerous bugs, a simplistic, unresponsive and repetitive combat system, balance issues and awful writing all amount to a cavalcade of nuisances that will break your will to persist and reach the next spectacular vista.
Slain is what happens when naiveté and enthusiasm rampage through ability and execution. Unfortunately, it's the latter pair that measure proficiency, leaving Slain so hostile, broken, and boring that it's hard to muster a sympathetic response.
Slain! gleefully comes off as the fever dream of a drunken teenage Iron Maiden fan, but unfortunately comes off as having been designed and programmed by a drunken teenage Iron Maiden fan as well.
Wolf Brew Games have acknowledged the glaring flaws and bugs reported in the forums, and they've promised to release an update fixing them. However, my review and judgment cannot be based on promises, and until a fix is released, my score will stand.
Despite a promising heavy metal vibe, Slain! is a mess of errors that I fear will not be adequately addressed no matter how many patches are thrown at it.
Slain! reveals itself almost immediately as a demo tape with a splashy cover, a composition in progress that carries a spark of potential buried in the mix. It does not live up to the promise of its visuals, instead merely keeping pace with its influences white not daring any attempt to surpass them.
In the end, Slain! is very much a game that employs style over substance. It gets the look down, and the music fits in nicely. While the platforming is passable, the combat feels half-baked. Combine that with a myriad of bugs both big and small, and the game disappoints all around. While the hope is that the developers get some patches in soon to improve things, it's very difficult to recommend Slain! in its current state to anyone when there are plenty of better alternatives.
The gameplay in Slain is fast, it's hard-hitting, and satisfying. The atmosphere is greatly immersing and the music excels at heightening the gameplay experience of every level. Only the number of cheap deaths and cheap projectile-focused enemies, along with the not-very-present replay value holds back an overall very enjoyable experience.
Instead of headbanging gleefully as I progressed from level to level, I found myself banging my head on my keyboard.