Summary: Axiom Verge is a shining example of the Metroidvania genre which carves its own identity while still respecting its roots. However, its comparisons to Metroid may be to its fault as it does not live up fully to its elders
Top Critic Average
Axiom Verge isn't a perfect homage to Metroid, but we still enjoyed our time in this strange, familiar world.
A massive, challenging retro-flavoured shooter that takes the Metroid formula and runs with it. Old school, but with a modern edge.
It's just a shame that given the obvious talent and passion involved, it doesn't really have much of its own to add to the Metroidvania template. As charmed and delighted as I often was with its smartly paced escalation, its perpetually teasing construction, I kept waiting for some new element to appear, a eureka moment that either hadn't been thought of in 1986, or that could only be done today. It never quite happens. Axiom Verge seems content to be a homage, rather than a revival or reinvention. That's fine, since there's already plenty to justify your interest, but it feels like Happ has more to contribute than he's showing here.
It spends too much time recreating the genius of Metroid rather than adding to it, but this is still one of the best examples of the genre in recent years.
It draws you in with nostalgia and slaps you with innovation when you think you know what's next
Axiom Verge works moment to moment but feels less successful as a whole
Axiom Verge is an excellent example of inspired game design that takes old ideas and improves upon them, leaving a mark that won't soon be forgotten.
Do you like hunting for a thing to unlock a door so you can find another thing to unlock another door? Then this is your game.
The ways that Axiom Verge resembles Metroid help set up and drive home the ways that Axiom Verge is most definitely not Metroid.
Although it closely follows the Metroidvania blueprint, the brilliantly designed and executed Axiom Verge adds enough new and original features to make it a truly great game in its own right. An absolute must for retro fans.