It's shocking how much better Slain is now


Back from Hell to become a good game

Admittedly, I've been slow to revisit Slain. The real metal, real arcade-y hack-and-slash platform game disappointed seemingly everyone who played it at launch back in March, especially folks who chipped in for the Kickstarter. Despite significant updates to the game since then, I was in no hurry to return.

But enough of you wrote in suggesting almost every criticism had been addressed that I couldn't put it off any longer. You were right! Slain: Back from Hell is the game I originally thought we were getting. It successfully nails that Volgarr the Viking style of throwback with simple, satisfying action.

The most notable change has to be the once-dreadful combat, which now has this wonderful-feeling charge attack as well as a full-on parry. Your swings have proper weight to them, so enemies no longer mindlessly walk through your attacks. They actually react to swings! It is, dare I say it, fun.

If you played the original release, I recommend looking over the Back from Hell patch notes to see the many smart changes made. That thing you loathed about Slain? It's probably fixed or gone entirely.

As part of the August 1 relaunch, everyone who already owned the game received a second copy to give out. I gifted mine to Zack, at his request, with a note that said "good luck" (because I hadn't tried the updated version yet and still had that bad a taste from my initial playthrough months ago). Having tried the new version, I'd probably still wish Zack luck, but only because it can get pretty tough.

It's a shame it took such a huge rework for Slain to become the game it was supposed to be -- a game that lived up to its gnarly, brutal art direction -- but I'm glad the development team took feedback to heart and didn't simply abandon it to pursue the next project. That's setting a good example.

[Headbanging gif by MaD-MaX on Steam.]

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Jordan Devore
Jordan DevoreCo-EIC   gamer profile

Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more + disclosures



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