Axiom Verge 2, Review. Odyssey Between Two Parallel Worlds
Five years after the original episode, Tom Happ makes a very different sequel to the ante, capable of bringing new features without abandoning its origins.
2021 is a year that seems rigid with the number of projects in mind metroidvania we find: Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights, Astalon: Tears of the World and Recompile are good examples of this. It’s a genre that has over the years become a favorite among many players, whose origins do not need to be explained at this point; we all know what works inspired the words that shape his name. It’s also a very popular style with indie developers, who seem to have found a conduit to show the world what they can do without a lot of resources. And there is one of them Tom Happ, creator of Axiom Verge, a 2015 title that now has a surprise sequence.
Axiom Verge 2 is a reality. The game, announced during the final stages of 2019, landed just a few days ago on PC, PS5, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. And this time a few things have not changed, due to sharing some tokens of identity, we seem to be facing it an ambitious and revolutionary continuum. We change the dark tunnels of the planet Sudra for a ruined version of Antarctica, firearms for hand-to-hand combat and enter a world divided into two parallel realities; we review the keys to a sequence that comes stomping.
Metroid and Vania, in that order
The first bars of the game are a declaration of intent; It only takes five minutes to realize that the surface of Antarctica is just the tip of the iceberg – it’s never better said – and that great mysteries lie beneath it. At the plot and usability level, the episode goes from less to more, it starts slowly but allows a glimpse of the upcoming roller coaster. At the beginning we can do practically nothing, like Samus Aran the day he first landed on the planet Zebes. It is not uncommon to detect half a dozen potential paths and not have the capacity to build practically none. However, as the game progresses as we look at the range of skills, widgets and their development, it can be seen that what starts out as Metroid, a Castlevania complex in terms of secrets, will be found on the way to access them and how difficult it is sometimes to find the way to the next destination.
How could it be otherwise, exploration is the cornerstone of the game. A verified mountain of hidden objects is waiting to be discovered: documents that provide details about the story, weapons, abilities, health enhancements and hack points … Axiom Verge 2 offers a very rewarding experience in that sense, as we often do visit the same part over and over again and we cannot reach an object we had seen long before; The levels have multiple connections and the range of movement skills (we can climb, use Hook, destroy structures …) forces us to keep our eyes open in every step we take. Yes indeed a more functional map is missing, because their appearance bets on showing the topography of the place with realism, but it seems confusing and offers no help at all.
The will to give prominence to close combat interesting, although it will create a division of opinion among those who prefer the feeling of the feeling arm tine. There are some, but the identity of the titles points in another direction and that causes the emotions when they suffer; the game is not comfortable tackling range, although it is sometimes a very valid resource. Likewise, it must be said that hand weapons are very effective and that the action was successfully designed by you, it is precise and the enemies act accordingly.
One of the things we liked the most was the possibility hack systems. As we explore the world we can use it to open or close doors, move platforms or alter some artefacts for our benefit. But the most interesting thing lies in its offensive characteristicsBecause we can hack almost all enemies – even specific parts of them – and apply status effects such as delay, self-destruction and even loyalty to them, a function that can turn the most hostile machine into a loyal alliance powerful. In addition, hacking is a skill that develops like any other and allows us to improve, among other things, its speed, impact ratio or available programs.
La Brecha: a portal to the digital world
Axiom Verge 2 is a great metroidvania, but it suffers a problem that surprised us negatively: the final bosses. In the original installment we had to deal with a few memorable ones, of those in our neighborhood we begin to realize that something is about to happen. Unfortunately, the opposite happens here, since they are only enemies of a large size, but do not contain a soul; little motivated and little presentation. Some of them are no more a threat than a normal enemy and at some point we have the feeling that we have entered a special battle. Surprisingly – even worse – because it is a very ambitious sequence in other ways, and because it is practically impossible to get metroidvania without big bosses.
At the time, the original title already invited us to go beyond reality until we reached a kind of parallel environment, and said that mechanics is now one of the keys for Axiom Verge 2: Not that there are small alternate parts, but that we can practically rely on a perfectly connected dual map. As human beings we explore the physical world, and by translating our identity into a little robot spider we have the opportunity to cross the Gap and explore the digital equivalent of the region.
During the first few bars of the game we barely do it with the intention of unlocking a shortcut or finding a certain object, but as we progress through the story and clearing the map, we realize that. everything is much more complicated than it seemed. The digital realm is huge, unlike anything we have known before, and has its own safety points and fast travel. Also, there are some abilities and enemies unique to this inhospitable place. For example, corrupted data that is an irresistible obstacle is often seen in physical environments, but we can always find a way to access and clean their site from the digital world thanks to the cleaning capabilities of our inseparable bot .
The title was designed while always paying attention to the possibility of jumping between two worlds, as we saw in its day in real names like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past or Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, among other things. Of course, it has to be said that the combat mechanics are very different from the ones we find on the physical plane; They seem simple and generally do nothing more than procedure, due to the simplicity of the enemies and the scarce supply of skills of the friendly spider. While it is true that the complexity of exploring two worlds raises the ambition levels for the previous installment, it is also true some cases could be put to better use.
Axion Verge 2 is a safe bet for any gamer who enjoyed the original title. With two essentially similar deliveries, but very different mechanically, we can say that we have a consecrated saga in front of us, which may bring us new consolation in the future. Given the idea of a parallel world, the sense of progress while exploring and the intricate level design, Tom Happ’s title is a great metroidvania, very suitable for the genre’s lovers and we can not practically blame it but lack of bosses in mind and the strange map design, sometimes more beautiful than practical.
THE BEST _____
- The challenge of exploring two parallel environments through La Brecha
- Sense of progress; it is a great pleasure for us to move forward
- The design of the world and its levels, full of secrets
- The final bosses are anecdotal
- The map doesn’t help much; it’s more beautiful than practical
A game with a great finish that we will enjoy and remember. Good purchase, highly recommended for lovers of the genre. He is well cared for at every level.