NewsReview: Arto

Review: Arto


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Arto is a game that is full of color and has an interesting start. Unfortunately, there were some design choices that made it hard to fully enjoy the game. Each level has its own visual design and this ranges from abstract art to a pixelated filter. Combat is basic at first but opens up as the game continues. Unfortunately, the opening hours seemed to drag on and I found myself dying to environmental hazards more than actual fights due to the frustrating level design. Overall, My time spent with Arto was mildly enjoyable.


The story focuses on Liv, our main character, as she is thrust into a world void of color. Making her way through a bland opening level, she comes to find out that she is an apostle to one of the Gods in this world. I found myself struggling to remember what each character’s name was and this had little impact on my time with Arto which was a little disheartening. I wanted to get connected with the world and its characters but each interaction just felt like I was only there to be told where to go next. While you do get to meet some of the other Chromatic Divinities, it felt as if the story could have moved along just as well if it was one disembodied voice as opposed to multiple characters.

Liv finds out that a broken Chromaclysm has left the world void of color and the divinities are unable to do anything to change this. Each world has been drained of color and taken over by some malevolent force and we are tasked with solving each world’s problems in order to make things right again. With a multitude of weapons and abilities available to us over the course of the game, we get to watch the worlds we inhabit slowly regain their color and go back to the way things were before the Chromaclysm broke. 


The first thing you will notice here is the lack of color in each world you enter. The opening moments are dull since everything is this off-setting white and Liv moves awkwardly. I was concerned that this was going to set the tone for the game since it felt as if something was missing but progressing through the tutorial solved one of my initial problems with the game. Once Liv gets ahold of her new skills as an Apostle and a weapon, things start to liven up. Her run animation makes more sense now that she’s holding the paintbrush and her moveset doesn’t feel as stiff so things are starting to look up.

One thing you will notice right away is that as you run through the world, each step will breathe life into the empty world. Watching flowers, grass, and color return to the world as I explored each area helped Liv’s character fit into the narrative of being this divine being who will save the world. I found myself exploring every corner of the map so I could watch color return to the land and was often rewarded with chroma. These are experience points that you can use to upgrade your abilities over the course of the game. 

Combat is the usual hack and slash set up with Liv having moves that string into multiple combos. She has a basic dash that can be upgraded as well as a parry ability that comes in handy in a pinch. There is also a projectile that can be upgraded along the way but I found myself using the melee attacks more than anything else. Combat can get hectic due all the colors coming from enemy attacks as well as our own so it does take some time learning the proper times for both dodging and parrying attacks. Once you get the hang of it however, things flow just fine and I found myself looking forward to each fight. It is simple enough to enjoy without having to put in hours to learn the most efficient combo or setup to take on opponents. 

The levels are open with a multitude of secrets to be found and the map does an alright job of informing you of your location at the time. One thing that I found extremely frustrating was the fact that when you die, you drop your chroma and must find a way back to that spot in order to retrieve it. The game said that there was a musical or sound cue that I should listen for that would guide me to the location but I was having a hard time hearing it over the rest of the game. I believe this would have been better shown by putting a spot on the map to at least indicate the area that you should be looking in. There is a level that has car’s speeding down the road and you can get stuck in combat in the middle of the busy street which results in dying again and losing that chroma you were trying to get back. Having a spot on the map would allow you to make a dash for it without worrying about missing it due to the environmental sounds coming from the land and enemies. I had enough chroma to upgrade a few skills but lost it all due to the fact that enemies decided to bombard me while I was trying to cross a busy intersection.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Arto and love the way that it utilizes color to help bring some life to its world. The combat was simple enough for me to enjoy and while the sound design for finding my lost chroma was frustrating, I found myself really trying to memorize the map so I  could navigate back to that spot without having to rely on the sound cues. This is a game that is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the hack and slash genre and are looking for something new and interesting to play. 


+ Vibrant colors really makes each level stand out
+ Combat is simple and easy to understand
- the map dosent show where Chroma was dropped on death, making each run a hectic race to memorize the location while dealing with enemies

(Reviewed on Pc)
Xavier Berry
Xavier Berry
As a big fan of all things video game related, Writing has really given me a way to spread that love for gaming to multiple people in a new way! I would definitely say my favorite game would have to be the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time because that was the first game me and my dad finished together and it's where my love for video games began!

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+ Vibrant colors really makes each level stand out<br /> + Combat is simple and easy to understand <br /> - the map dosent show where Chroma was dropped on death, making each run a hectic race to memorize the location while dealing with enemies <br /> <br /> (Reviewed on Pc) Review: Arto