Top Critic Average
I highly recommend that you add Slain: Back From Hell to your PlayStation 4 collection today. Writing this Slain: Back From Hell was the highlight of my week and I’m sure it will entertain you as well for several hours. If you’re a fan of games such as the old-school Castlevania series and want to face a very challenging release, then this game is a must-have for you.
"Imagine if the show Metalocalypse and the movie Heavy Metal had a baby. Now throw in even more bloody, visceral, H.P. Lovecraft-esque exploits that would make any hardened warrior blush. Seriously, if there was an alternate dimension that was a literal hell landscape, Slain: Back From Hell would be a perfect depiction of it. The art, music, level design, and creatures all come together to form an unforgettable, gothic horror experience. Although with all the headbanging I did to the soundtrack, I might not remember much in the long run. After all metal never dies."
Slain: Back from Hell has certainly proven itself worthy of Beelzebub himself. I thankfully managed to dodge the bullet that was Slain’s initial release but there seems to be nought wrong whence it came back from hell.
Overall, Slain: Back From Hell is a fun game. Despite the critical tone of much of this review, I very much enjoyed my time with Bathoryn and will be going back to try and unlock the rest of those no-hit boss achievements. It is best to go in with a clear idea of what to expect, however, which is a no-nonsense old-school hack and slash platformer fuelled by heavy metal.
Slain is a fun retro platformer with a slick combat system, great visuals, and a killer soundtrack. While its difficulty feels unfair at times and the Castlevania-inspired levels and enemies may be a little too close to the source material for it to feel totally original, it’s still a blast to play.
If you love a brutal challenge and don't mind dying over and over again then this will be the game for you. If you don't find that fun then stay well clear. There are no difficulty settings here, it is what it is so you either live with that or you don't. It's a shame the developers didn't include a casual setting to at least make the game a little more accessible to people. I am fine with a brutal challenge like this but many will just give up and won't sink the required hours in which is a shame as there is lot's to see. A stunning visual style accompanied by a great metal soundtrack and gameplay which feels satisfying when mastered make for a really nice little package.
It's also not a very long game. My first playthrough clocked in at around seven hours, though better players could certainly finish it more quickly. There's also nothing new to do once you've slain Vroll. But if you have a thing for the difficult platformers of yore, Slain: Back from Hell is a satisfying blend of what made those games great.
Slain: Back from Hell is a stylish 2D side-scrolling action game that borrows from the best in the genre. It's wonderful pixel art will have you in awe more than once throughout your adventure. Striking down your enemies is brutally fun but also frustrating when you’re getting hit because of faulty hit detection. I just wish there was more to do after the single playthrough.
Slain: Back from Hell is a unique fish in a sea of pixel-art platforming throwbacks. The level design for the most part is well-done. The difficulty suits the atmosphere created by the music and art style. I mentioned earlier that Slain awoke a part of my past-self. Needless to say, it was fun to feel a similar adrenaline to what I felt as a 17-year-old. It felt like Wolf Brew reached into my brain, and plucked out a combination of my favourite things growing up. If the element of luck was reduced some of the checkpoints a little more forgiving, this would be essential.
This is what Slain: Back From Hell suffers most with. While it’s blatantly attractive to look at, the reliance on being too old-school in the hack ‘n’ slash department makes the game struggle to feel anything above mediocre. This doesn’t mean that I found it terrible by any means. There are a few decent surprises present and I am sure Slain: Back From Hell can be that guilty pleasure for some in its own right. I just didn’t find it nearly as fun as I had hoped it would be, especially considering the potential that can be seen within the half a dozen hours it takes to beat it.
Slain: Back From Hell features action and 2D plattforms with a Castlevania like style and lots of potential. Even though it has a great artistic design, it has some issues with the gameplay mechanics and some bugs.
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If you have an abundance of patience, a high degree of skill and the tenacity to not be defeated, then Slain: Back from Hell is likely to give you hours of fun. For most though, it’s just going to be the cause of extreme levels of anger and frustration.
Slain: Back from Hell is a very solid, yet run of the mill action platformer. Its strong audio and incredible visuals are the initial pull to play this game, but the uneven enemy difficulty and simplistic combat system hurt the experience. I liked playing the game for my Slain: Back from Hell review, but I’m sad to say that I didn’t love it – however, I’m very interested to see what Wolf Brew Games release
Slain will throw dumb A.I. and impossibly tricky situations at you throughout your time with it. It almost feels like any strategy goes out the window when you face enemy encounters and you're forced to frantically swipe at them in the hopes that you succeed, which isn't enjoyable in the slightest.
Slain: Back From Hell was a good attempt to bring back some classic gaming magic, but unfortunately just couldn't quite grasp everything that made those games great. Might be worth a look at 5 bucks or under, or if you really have a hard-on for Castlevania-esque games.
Slain: Back from Hell is that mural on that beaten down van painted by someone sporting a mullet; the first time you walk by you quickly glance over and think, ‘hey, that’s cool.’ But after going by a bunch of times you notice the faded colors and the incomprehensible scene of violence going on. It’s like the artist wants you to take the time to appreciate the art but, honestly, it’s not worth the effort. There are a few spots that stick out like a segment where a warrior turns into a wolf or the bright blues and reds that border the fresco. But really, there are no secrets to be found here (and not many in the game). The mural is here to distract you for a short period (6 hours) and once you’re done taking it in, you’ll find it difficult to recall the experience.
In my honest opinion, I would say you could pass on Slain: Back from Hell—it simply isn’t a must-play. If you happen to have the extra cash, and are looking for something mildly enjoyable, then you could definitely do far worse—there are moments of pure, sidescrolling fun in this game and the art and style add to the appeal—but I wouldn’t go out of my way here. The best thing that can come from throwing some cash at this game is that the developers might be encouraged to make another game, and next time, make one with a little more depth and reward. Assuming you’re like me, with limited financial resources, and you’ve got your eye on another game, then, by all means, get that other game.
Despite the very pleasing sound and visuals, Slain is just too unforgiving to be as fun as it should be. I'm glad I've finished it, because those damned flying enemies swooping down on my are giving me nightmares.
Slain ticks off the boxes as a serviceable homage to old school action-platformers. It has relatively tight controls and gameplay and has that 80's/90's difficulty that will make elder millennials jaunt down memory lane. The lack of depth and unreliable technical aspects limit Slain's fun factor, while the writing aims to be both cheesy and Gothic, but cannot serve both masters and ultimately fails. Finally, the achievements... ugh... just don't go there. If you're aching for a throwback to Belmont's heyday and don't care about your achievement ratio, give Slain a shot, but otherwise, give it a pass and catch some z's.
Slain: Back from Hell has one of the very best pairings of stunning visuals and amazing audio that you'll find on the PS4. Unfortunately, it's let down by a dull combat system and a horribly unfair level of difficulty, meaning that the game never picks up the momentum that it should. Wolf Brew Games had an awesome idea here with stacks of potential, but the complete package is hell to play through.
Like the inside of Ozzy Osborne's head, Slain is simultaneously gorgeous, intense, chaotic and deeply, deeply frustrating. The presentation is excellent, with every part of the game exhibiting stunning 2D animation that really brings its hellish underworld to life. Where it all falls apart is the gameplay; Slain is simply no fun to play thanks to its painful difficulty level which chokes the tantalizing potential of its combat system. While it has been compared to the Castlevania series – and its combo mechanics call to mind the underrated Mirror of Fate – Slain isn't really worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as Konami's legendary gothic franchise.
Visuals-wise, Slain: Back from Hell for Nintendo Switch is one of the most '80s Metal videogames in existence. Unfortunately, the actual gameplay just doesn't cut it, as the controls often feel unresponsive and the level of challenge unfair. Want to play a Heavy Metal-powered Castlevania? Just play a Castlevania title with Iron Maiden on the headphones.
Having beaten Back From Hell, I don't really know what else to say. I hope to never return to this game and I wouldn't want anyone to waste their time and money on the endeavor. Whether that is harsh or not, Slain on the Switch is not the version you should buy. If you want to have any hope of enjoying the game, get any of the other versions available (all of which run at 60 FPS and offer customizable controls).