Release Date: No Release date yet, but it’s out on Steam via Early Access
Publisher: Lightning Games
Platforms: Steam (Early Access is out now)
HAAK is a retro, apocalyptic Metroidvania game with Retro Art-Style developed by Blingame, which is also their first game. So far, there are only about 2 hours of main story content and roughly 1 hour of side missions, which doesn’t feel right when you think about the fact that this game costs 12,49€. Then again, it is in early access, so there will be more content soon. The game is very linear up until you get the heavy attack. The game looks beautiful; there’s no doubt that they put a lot of heart, love, and effort into this game, and it shows. Sadly though, there are a bunch of cons that drag the game down a lot; first of all; The game got way too many trial and error sequences. Sure, I enjoy a challenge as much as the next person, but making you run away from dogs who one-shot you every single time while you’ve got to clear up the path ahead of you is not fun nor challenging; you require the knowledge that you will get once you’ve died a few times. Once you finally move past the horrible trial and error sequences, you will be greeted with a bunch of boring exploration. I couldn’t care less about exploring this stale, boring, and uninspired world. Everything pretty much looks the same, and you get trash rewards. If you explore a lot, you will either get A: New Abilities, or B: Currency for upgrades. Upgrades are way too expensive, and you barely can afford any. I like that the combat is simple, but it gets very repetitive after a while, and it sometimes feels very broken.
Sometimes you would like auto grapple and enemy, and you would miss and then get hit. Or you hit an enemy, and they absorb your hit and then instantly hit you back, which nearly kills you. There are many fights that you can win by spamming space and your grapple, which should not be possible. I tried this technique on an android, dogs, and a few slimes, and they all couldn’t hit me because I was jumping and spamming grapple. Speaking of the grapple, I love the style of it. It’s got a beautiful blue, yet I wish I could change it. Or at least get a few more weapons that have a different color other than blue. All weapons that you own are just blue, which fits the style of the character, I guess, but It would be nice to have a different weapon with a different color. Would keep things fresh. There is a feature that I wish wasn’t as heavily used in the game, and that is the auto ledge grabbing. This thing is straight-up broken. There are a few puzzles that require you to hang off a box to avoid lasers, and sometimes you will fall and die, and due to the game having horrible checkpoints, you will have to redo a lot of the puzzle, if not everything. There was also an instance where I got instantly killed while being in the checkpoint because of a laser.
If you try to use the grapple and you’ve got a second monitor, then you sometimes accidentally move your cursor to your other screen and then tab out and die. Locking the cursor to one screen would completely fix this issue. As I’ve stated before, there are a few instances where you hit an enemy, and they instantly hit you back while you are in a combo. This is not a bad thing; what is, though, is that you get damage. You give this one boss a combo, and they decide to break your combo and instantly damage you or kill you. An easy way to fix this is to just hit the player back without damaging them, which would give the player a fair chance instead of just getting hit in the middle of a combo without an indication that he is about to break your combo and hit you. The writing in this game is not horrible but also not good. I didn’t mind the dialogue until the main character said “swag” in the most embarrassing way possible. The dialogue in this game got pretty bad after 1-2 hours, which is probably the reason why there is barely any dialogue after the first 2 hours. However, there are a few good things. For example, the animation It’s fluid, fast, and feels satisfying. The controls are very smooth, and it’s fun to play, and it’s good to steam achievements, which are quite easy to get. Later on, in the game, you will get chased by a huge robot, which looks awesome, but he was really hard to beat. Maybe have a little pity with your players and put a checkpoint near the end, so they don’t have to redo the entire chasing sequence? The music in this game, especially while getting chased by this huge robot, was great.
Overall, if they decide to fix a few issues and polish this game a bit more, I think this could become a great game.