My Axiom Verge Experience | A Love Letter To Our Childhood
Axiom Verge is a heartfelt love letter written to our childhood spent enjoying Metroid, Castlevania, and Rygar. I was amazed to discover that its engaging story, diverse combat, and intuitive treasure-hunting was all written, designed and developed by one man: Thomas Happ. But, as we always ask, is Axiom Verge suited to please our unique playstyle preferences? Let's break down the experience to get our answer.
For my Action Junkies - Players who enjoy fast-paced, exciting action:
Axiom Verge is the triumph that results from mixing simplicity of play with depth in execution. Players will be treated to sharply accurate controls, a host of varied enemy types and an arsenal of unique weapons and power-ups that all have practical and intuitive uses.
Most importantly, all but one of the game's nine zones contain at least one epic boss fight; boss fights that are enjoyable and challenging without being cheap.
For my Explorers - Players who enjoy exploring the game's world to find adventure and treasure:
After a tragic accident in his quantum physics laboratory on Earth, Trace - Axiom Verge's protagonist awakes on the planet Sudra. Sudra feels vast and dangerous without feeling tedious to explore. In Metroidvania fashion, exploration will lead you to new weapons and power-ups to help you navigate and survive this hostile environment.
Those willing to go the extra mile will be rewarded with up to twenty hours of play spent fighting and finding the best-hidden items. However, three to five hours of my twenty-hour play-through I was just lost and trying to find my way. Fast travel between save points would have been a Godsend during those hours.
But, the fact that I still felt compelled to explore Sudra without fast travel is evidence of how well Happ designed the experience. Plus, Axiom Verge auto-saves every time you beat a boss or find an item, so don't worry too much about dying between save points.
For my Audiophiles - Players who love a game's music and sound production:
Axiom Verge's soundtrack is not only catchy and beautiful, it also perfectly captures the angst, urgency and beauty you'll encounter on planet Sudra. Listening immediately took me back to the long Metroid marathons of my childhood.
Much like Metroid, each individual track perfectly suits the game's diverse environments.
For my Visualists - Players who love a game's eye candy:
Don't allow Axiom Verge's minimalist retro design motif to scare you away. The simplicity frees the art to showcase it's gorgeous aesthetic without being held back by the constraints that come from trying to deliver quasi-photorealistic action.
For my Achievers - Completionist players who love fully completing a game and gathering trophies:
Achievers will be treated to enjoyable and intuitive trophies that are challenging to collect. Further, Axiom Verge offers a speedrun mode you can play and stream once you've mastered the game.
In The End:
If you dig the Metroidvania adventures of the past, you definitely need to play Axiom Verge as it takes all the lessons learned from its ancestors and incorporates their wisdom into an excellent experience.