Severed -- Drink Box -- 04.26.2016 -- PS Vita -- $14.99
The enemy is ready to attack
Drink Box has brought us another original game, that sadly, I don’t think a lot will get to play. “Severed” is a gorgeous romp through a twisted world. While the combat takes a bit of practice to get the hang of, the game does a great job of training you for the final battles, but giving enough of a challenge that you’ll have to replay some battles a few times before getting through the enemies. “Severed” is a first-person hack-n-slash RPG that requires you to monitor multiple enemies to make sure you can survive an encounter. Your character Sasha, is a one-armed girl that has been pulled into a beautiful but savage world in search of her family. Starting with nothing but her sword, she will take you on an adventure of discovery, intrigue, and occasionally getting lost.
Artistically this game is like playing through an oil painting. The characters are all very flat, and yet they have so much depth. Sasha, the main character conveys a ton of emotion, with minimal animation and her full journey from beginning to end is pretty touching albeit, terribly depressing. As you take her through the different sections of this hostile environment you will interact with very few characters. However, the few NPCs involved have quite a bit of depth and do a great job driving the story forward. From the sharp-toothed ‘guide’ that finds you inside at the beginning, to the two-headed bird that helps you move keys around, there are just enough characters to give you interaction and story expansion, but still let the world feel desolate and abandoned.
The soundtrack wasn’t anything incredibly special until the end, mainly comprised of rhythmic tones that reflect the immediate scenario. At times, the sound of your sword slicing actually becomes a touch grating since you are doing so much goddamned chopping, but it is necessary for the upgrade system, which is my favorite mechanic in game.
As Sasha slashes her way through enemies, you want to perform this without your enemy blocking the attack. This is done by timing your attack, or navigating their “armor” or disarming them with various abilities. After you have hit your enemy in succession so many times without being blocked you will charge your “Severed” ability. Once this is done killing an enemy drastically changes. Instead of simply “dying” you are treated to an interactive finisher where you have to slice the enemy to pieces. The more successful slices you can hit within the time limit, the more “giblets” you will receive. Giblets are used to upgrade your weapon, attacks, special abilities, and armor. This is gruesome, creepy, and super fun.
I can’t stress enough that this game is perfectly developed for the PS Vita. Using the touch screen perfectly to keep you engaged, slashing, and entertained. I can only hope, that this game will move to mobile where it can be exposed to millions who need to play this incredible game. In this writer's opinion there are very few games that are “Vita exclusive” that I think make the system a required buy. This happens to be one of them.