Skautfold: Usurper redefines its genre. By combining a Souls-Like approach with an old-school Metroidvania experience you are pushed to your limits. Moreover, its retro aesthetic will appeal to older gamers. As such, if you can accept the brutality on offer, you’ll adore this interesting and challenging experience.
This unique blend of concepts was designed by Pugware and developed by Red Art Games. What’s more, it has a delightfully sinister story and an unlikely alliance to explore. On top of this, your foes are unforgiving and the bosses take patience and skill to defeat. Accordingly, this isn’t a game for the faint of heart.
Skautfold: Usurper is a brilliant sequel.
Skautfold: Usurper is a brilliant sequel that evolves the original mechanics. As such, if you loved Skautfold: Shrouded in Sanity, then you’ll fall for the ghastly charms of this title. Furthermore, the combination of action and RPG content creates a moreish and interesting experience. With death all but guaranteed, you must go into this with your eyes wide open. If not, you’ll rage quit repeatedly and curse more than a sailor.
London is in trouble as Eldritch horrors are unleashed onto the capital. Consequently, these evil forces must be stopped and a hero must step forward. Yet, it isn’t that simple as Waltham, the leader of the Weimar tries to usurp the leader of the Citadel. When his advances fail, he must steal a host body and begin his mission again.
Where Skautfold: Usurper shines is its distinctly old-school approach. The gameplay utilises a 2D side-scrolling style that combines obstacles, traps, monsters, and many mysteries. Furthermore, the combat is simple to understand but hard to master. As such, you’ll spend hours dodging projectiles and rolling past melee attacks. However, once you get to grips with this idea, you’ll cherish the new “Guard” system.
This fresh idea rewards gamers for their accuracy and patience. Additionally, the guard bar is intrinsically linked with your health. As such, if you wish to progress, you must perfect this mechanic. By rolling past your opponents or dodging their blows, you will refill the bar. In turn, this allows you to unleash hell on your opponents without risking your health or your progress.
Bonfires…I mean Thrones.
I mentioned the bemoaned phrase Souls-Like. Sadly, these days, every harsh game appears to have this tag. However, bear with me as I explain my madness. Skautfold: Usurper makes its action incredibly tough as every time you die, your progress is reset! Furthermore, you lose a percentage of your in-game currency to rub salt into the wound.
Alongside this, whenever you respawn, every monster is reborn and you return to the last resting point. Unlike other Souls-like endeavours, this one doesn’t use bonfires. No, instead, you must rest on a throne if you wish to save your game, replenish your health, or upgrade your character. Subsequently, though it isn’t a Souls title as such, it feels familiar and I’d be doing a disservice if I failed to mention it.
Upgrades and weapons.
Metroidvania by name and Metroidvania by nature. Skautfold: Usurper demands that you unlock new skills and abilities to expand your horizons. However, this is nothing new and fans of the genre would expect nothing less. Yet, what I loved was the character upgrade system and the array of weapons on offer.
As you explore the world and kill every monster and boss, you are rewarded with in-game currency. If you make it to a throne without dying, you can spend this on the normal character attributes. Accordingly, you can design a brutish tank, a fast archer, or something in between.
When you find new weapons, you must consider the monsters you will face, your character’s skills, and your play style. Alongside this, ranged weapons require ammo. As such, if you don’t want to search for arrows, I suggest that you nail every opponent with an axe or sword.
Skautfold: Usurper is grim and atmospheric.
London is renowned for its grimy underbelly. However, Skautfold: Usurper takes it to a whole new level! This sinister title is oppressive, dark, and uncomfortable to look at. Moreover, the varied backdrops, basic animation, and range of monsters will keep you coming back for more.
A dark game requires a gothic and daunting soundtrack. Thankfully, this delivers thanks to its dramatic music and wonderful sound effects. I adored the crunching blows of my sword or the twang of my bow. Furthermore, the squelch of spikes piercing my skin was loud, horrific, and disgusting. Consequently, the developers got things just right.
If the controls were terrible, this would have been awful to play. Luckily, though, the accurate and responsive inputs complement the new guard system. What’s more, though it was challenging to explore every nook and cranny, the controls ensure that it keeps frustration and annoyance to a minimum.
With such a vast world to explore and plenty of monsters and bosses to kill, you’ll be kept busy throughout. On top of this, the Souls-like brutality and the amazing RPG concept keep you coming back for more. Subsequently, though it was a harsh game to play, it oozes replay value and longevity.
Skautfold: Usurper is amazingly grim.
This isn’t a game that’ll appeal to everyone. Understandably, its tough nature and old-school aesthetic will put many people off. However, if you can stomach this and you love a retro approach, then you’ll cherish everything this title offers. Accordingly, I loved its sadomasochistic ways and I recommend that you buy it here! Can you kill the leader of the Citadel? Learn new skills, avoid traps and obstacles, and overcome every error you make.