Helvetii (PS4) Review with stream
Creative, painted art style looks pretty in motion
Artist, whimsical soundtrack is rather pleasant
3 playable characters have different fighting styles for added replay value
Repeating, button-mashing gameplay gets old quickly
Unbalanced upgrading system – you’ll die long before you’ll have enough cash to buy anything
No multiplayer, no leaderboards, no extras
A 2D action roguelite built around the history of Gaulish Helvetii tribes and other Celtic myths, Helvetii is heavily focused around combat. Unfortunately, the button mashing gameplay never offers anything diverse, deep, or engaging.
The hand drawn painted art style might look like a Vanillaware title but the similarities end there. The 2D gameplay looks good in motion and is accompanied by a pleasant soundtrack, but the gameplay is repetitive and mindless. Even though there are three playable characters, each with their own unique combat style, the gameplay loop never changes or grows.
From a side-scrolling perspective, the player is free to move left or right which is tracked from a radar-like map in the corner of the screen. When the player enters a new room, barricades close the exits, forcing the player to defeat all the spawning enemies until none are standing. If the player wins, then you move onto the next screen and repeat the same combat progress until you eventually get overwhelmed and die. Since this is a rogue title, death means starting over from scratch.
For the first fifteen minutes, combat is mindless fun. Walking into a room and button-mashing enemies is entertaining. But after the basic attack-attack-attack combo has been performed against the 100th enemy, gameplay quickly becomes boring and a slog. Sure, you can throw in aerial attacks, juggles, and dodges but never deviates from the kill everything, then move into the next square, then fight the same enemies types using the same abilities. There is a shop in which upgrades can be unlocked but the player will die long before a single item can be purchased due to highly unbalanced cost. The ranged attacks are also weak and slow do not have worthwhile contribution to combat.
This 2D action roguelite also lacks options. There is no multiplayer, no leaderboards, and no extras of any kind. This, coupled with the mindless combat and repetitive combo system, Helvetii offers nothing new, unique, or worthwhile when compared to the other dozen roguelite titles that are released each week despite looking pretty and sounding nice.
Also Try: Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii)
Better Than: Bladed Fury
Don’t Forget About: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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