Red and The Deadly Sins (PC) Review (Early Access)
Interesting Character and Art
Lack of Direction
Where’s the Rest of the Teenagers with Attitude?
When you hear a name like The Soul Redemption Organization, you find yourself with a couple of questions. You wonder how it got started, where do they recruit members, and what benefits are provided to its members. Mostly you wonder why they couldn’t come up with a better title. What we do know is that their members, armed with swords and college level psychology, seek out spirits bound to earth by their negative emotions and attempt to free them. Here’s hoping they at least get a 401k.
Red and the Deadly Sins with its proven platformer elements and unique puzzles, has the potential to be an enjoyable experience. It follows the journey of Red as they seek to free souls trapped by negative emotions inside a massive underground labyrinth. Each level requires you to collect five hidden keys before challenging a comically large boss to advance. Each key is placed in a puzzle room that requires you to navigate to its end while avoiding obstacles. Failure to do this will cause you to be transported the beginning of the room, forcing you to restart. Combat and exploration use common elements of the Metroidvania style, and while uninspired, they are still functional and entertaining. This version is still early access, and unfortunately, it shows. Some aspects in the level design are poorly thought out, such as when you are reset in a puzzle room and your respawn is not far enough away from an obstacle trapping you in a respawn loop. Also the absence of a mapping system means constant backtracking instead of exploring and Gamplay lacks in either instruction or intuitiveness, requiring you to guess on what individual abilities do. Worse still, inadequate English translations hinder what directions and plot you do receive.
Graphics are likable with a cartoonish style. The main character’s design, while pleasing is more mascot than hero. With a large head and small body, it reads as cute much more than cool and doesn’t seem to fit the seriousness of the theme. Mobs vary in type and design but have a striking and more thematically appropriate appearance. However, their animation is almost strictly two dimensional, and it’s jarring when their movements mimic turning a page rather than a proper rotation. The scenery mimics a series of caverns with a heavy reliance on square and rectangle shapes. This design choice, unfortunately, left a collection of hollow squares throughout the map that was confusing at times.
Red and the Deadly Sins feels half-baked. While it may be a functional design, it lacks the refinement needed to be a satisfying experience. Thankfully with this being early access, the developers still have time to do better. While a bit rough right now, it would be interesting to see what they release as the final product.