Axiom Verge 2 Review

Introduction

Axiom Verge 2 is a metroidvania developed by indie developer Thomas Happ and self published. It was released on PC and Consoles in August 2021.

Video Review

Review

When her daughter gets taken hostage and she receives a message that tells her to come help, Indra hops on a helicopter and flies all the way out to Antarctica to figure out what’s wrong. Before long she finds herself stuck in an alien world, where everyone in Antarctica ended up. From Americans, to Russians, to Englishman, they’ve all struggled in this world, but can you save them all while trying to save your daughter?

The story was surprisingly well written and I found myself pulled into this plot that should’ve been as simple as saving your daughter, but instead you end up trying to help a whole group of beings that have integrated into machines, known as ARMS. The collectibles you can pick up in the game come in the form of journal entries, and tell the story of how the people survived in this world, and the struggles that they had to face from unknown forces and even sometimes themselves. Unfortunately I didn’t get the full story of everything because I missed some collectibles, but I was amazed at how well it was all done.

The story has a few twists and turns that I sort of saw coming. A few of them were very obvious outcomes to specific actions, but there were some I didn’t see. I was curious if the story had multie endings only because of a certain thing that can be done at the end, but I couldn’t stand to do the end sequence again. I do wish that the gameplay matched up to how well I enjoyed the story but when it comes to that, well that’s a whole different can of worms.

The game at its core is a metroidvania, which I don’t mind, because I absolutely love the genre, especially when it’s done right, but I’ll be honest, exploration in this game was a chore and a half. The map screen is handy for showing little blips on it to show you where you need to go and then it’s your job for figuring out how to get there, and that was a real test of patience. The amount of times I’d have to go to some far away random corner of the map, just to either get an ability, or squeeze through a tiny hole in the wall, just to circle back was way too many.

Eventually you get a little robot friend that can phase into a different dimension, so that was another whole map to explore and work out how to go where. It was a pain the entire time honestly. I’ll admit that the map is actually really gorgeous with their designs and artwork, but there was one area that it was hard to see the platforms in, only because it was a barely visible white mark on sets of rocks as you scale a cliffside.

The weapons in the game are mostly all close combat, and this is a pain with some enemies as you have a hard time getting close to them. Sure you have a boomerang, but even after upgrading the damage of ranged weapons to max in the skills menu, it never felt like it did any damage to anything. Like throwing cardboard at my issues. So I got so frustrated with the combat especially when it got hectic and more than one enemy came at me. There’s a good portion of the game where you end up playing as the little robot helper and this was the worst of my rage. The enemies are abundant, you can end up ALL OVER THE MAP, not in a scripted area to make it all easier, and you CANNOT upgrade the robots health. After a few hits you were dead. You didn’t even get the super power bomb to deal with hordes either, because screw you! Sometimes the checkpoint save stations are abundant, but at other points they are so far between each other it makes points like this even worse. Again, the way the combat was designed didn’t help.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Well Crafted Story
  • Intriguing Lore
  • Beautiful Art Design

Cons:

  • Awful Map Layout
  • Ranged Weapons Feel Useless
  • The Little Robot!

Summary

As excited as I was for this game, I feel burned. The first Axiom Verge was magical and exciting, so this would’ve had to do a lot to match that. Instead it somehow felt like it went in the opposite direction and I was nothing but frustrated with the gameplay. At least everything else was able to save it a little, but this one is hard to recommend.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer/Publisher Website: Thomas Happ Games
Developer/Publisher Socials: Twitter

Axiom Verge 2 – Breach Gameplay Trailer | PS5, PS4

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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