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Seraph

is a skill based, acrobatic shooter... without aiming! Featuring an angel, known as Seraph, who's fighting to restore her lost power and ultimately escape a prison... read more

2.1

Seraph - early access review

Author: azarkal
24-May-2016

Category: Review

Seraph is a super-slick, skill-based, acrobatic shooter. Take the role of an angel who's mastered the art of 'Gun Fu' as she battles her way through hordes of twisted demons. On this 2D platformer game, you can scale walls and blink through the minions of the damned with quick paced action genre. A fun game meant o help you drill in a single objective survive and purify the world in heaven's name!


Introduction

Seraph is a skill based, acrobatic shooter... without aiming! Featuring an angel, known as Seraph, who's fighting to restore her lost power and ultimately escape a prison infested with demons. However, dark magic has trapped the angel inside her human Vessel: if the Vessel dies, so will Seraph.

Seraph wakes up and is astonished that her captors have been slain, her host still bounded but powers are weakened and a daemonic invasion holding her essence indicates that she has lost faith and opened forth the minions of hell, but she is firm in her belief and will uncover the truth behind this chaos. The game is available for early access on Steam for $12.99

Seraph story- refusal of daemonic aidSeraph Story- An obvious line to build up for a villain








Gameplay

I have played over several hours of gameplay on both the story and the challenges and still loving the experience. High-speed action and relentless high damaging enemies are what makes this game a satisfying experience as each level is complete, that and the mystery between the daemonic outbreak with the moral dilemma that is haunting over the angelic harbinger.

Controls

The controls are simple, easy to learn and quick to combine into various play styles. Seraph’s fluid motion is quite exceptional to player synchronization if you have a controller plugged in, as with my experience I tried keyboard vs controller on both playthroughs and it’s less frustrating but I’ll bet you’ll have a better experience with a controller too.

Facing off against 2 elite daemons

It doesn’t rely much on aiming like others of its genres as it automatically locks on the target. The auto aiming has helped in letting my mind focus on avoiding enemies and enjoying the fireworks of the angelic abilities as I sweep through platforms mostly unharmed. On the side note her automatic aiming does not let you choose who you are shooting but rather it designates the closest target with a white arrow marker when shooting. The other bad thing about auto targeting is dual wielding if you are in-between two or more opponents then each gun will fire on different targets dealing only half damage each.

Dual targeting of Seraph

You enter Seraph into each level through an elevator on a different area of the facility and end it with enough shards to unlock the exits of each floor, side rooms filled random chests or weapon lockers that can be unlocked by a button terminal will give a time limit to reach it. Motes are the experience drops that fall out of enemies when killed but unlike god of war, health can only be restored by opening chests located across the map.

The difficulty levels are quite significant on the gameplay and the lowest setting of the game is already quite taxing but has a worthwhile increase of rewards and random drops. The game difficulty also has a Twitch interface for gaming communities to socialize under a common gaming experience.

Enemies range from minions, elite daemons and major bosses with each having an exposed health bar above their heads indicating the total health points. A quick time event is centered around smite as it will appear on the elite daemons or major bosses as each health bar is depleted then it ensures the enemy won’t recover beyond the previous damage that was dealt. Luckily regular boss fights and regular fights do not normally lock you out from the rest of the level for you to take a breather, get a health orb or swap a weapon/ item.

Two minor possessed at different floorsWhen Seraph dies she starts off with lesser max health

Challenge levels have high scores from players across the globe if you want to prove you’re the very best! Anyway, most of it is just surviving as long as possible but it wouldn’t hurt to take down the elite units of the darkness along for the ride.

Weapons

Weapons have limited ammo and can be picked up from weapon lockers and random chests except for the initial pistols which have unlimited ammo. Transmutations help upgrade weapons but do not assign these weapons to Seraph when starting a new level. Guns range from the iconic dual pistols to submachine guns, launchers and even a railgun but all need to be crafted back at the main menu before you carve your message to the damned.

Abilities

Blessings- Four primary innate bonuses to abilities and Serpah’s current state which are shown in the image below, now these you need to consider for a long-term investment.

Blessings appear after few levels to be upgraded

Angelic Powers- Powers from the Divine “Him” reclaimed with each essence ripped right back from the clutches of the damned all thanks to your efforts. Lightwell and Orb are powers that actually have a directional limit when using them, Lightwell only shoots upward and downward while orb can only go a straight path back and forth based on the origin of the shot.

Smite- Seraph exposes her true state for a short while damaging foes in their reforming phases to ensure a total loss of a health bar otherwise it will regenerate a tiny portion of the health from the previous health bar. This ability can be upgraded to damage foes who are at full health with significant damage.

Blink- A wondrous game mechanic spread across other titles of different genres that have made this game more fluid  as you phase past enemies unharmed but only for short distances.This opens an opportunity for subterfuge in directing opponents to your choice of strategy or evasion.

Blink powerCombining Lightwell in succession with Smite

Crafting

Crafting & pickups- You will pick up or search for items like shards, tainted blood, and etc. help create items like the sub machine gun and railgun on random weapon lockers, empower the Seraph. All of which are made possible through the main menu of “Oaths” & “Transmutations” and cannot be accessed during the game, makes sense like other games that you can’t concentrate on volatile ingredients in the middle of a firefight.

Oath menu screen

GRAPHICS & SOUND

Graphics

The environment has an ominous 2d background feel as an overrun covert facility like what any other human would do when discovering a source of unlimited power. The artwork in characters and powers work well together in a futuristic supernatural theme that surrounds most of the game, angels necessarily have cherubic features or demons having the standard horned stereotype but does not stray far from the origin material.

Sound

Characters do not speak but it does give a nostalgic throwback of silent dialogues and the lines between characters are interesting as the plot thickens. The accompanying soundtrack is entertaining and get’s the game going through explosions, hexes and smiting that brandish the map as the battle rages on.

Summary

The game is fun in terms of speedy and deadly combat system that helps build up the mystery that weighs down on the recently awakened Seraph. The only odd thing that bothers me is the health penalty as it degrades the max health a little bit too much for just dying once and it will get lower for each death. One trick I have learned as well in dealing with enemies is that their powers/spells that may be aiming for your character’s head can disappear if you kill the opponent first. It has a few glitches here and there in regards to taking pictures with steam screen capture with some abilities and freezes when a plot conversation comes up, but understandable since its still in early access.

I would rate this game 8.7/10 for its current state,for it's unique genre, crafting, has the thrill of a rampant demon slaughter, quick action, intriguing protagonist and has a convincing price rate of only 13$. Invite friends over to match scores and try higher difficulties on this awesome game of Seraph.

Pros
Cons
Speedy and deadly combat
Health penalty
Unique genre

Crafting

Intriguing protagonist

Price




SCORE: 8.7/10

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