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Carrion review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Phobia Game Studio
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

Carrion shows just how far a good hook can take a game.

If you look at it from a relatively objective point of view (to the extent that’s possible), it’s a pretty standard Metroidvania-style platformer, full of levels that gradually become more open to you the more skills you unlock. There are also some secrets hidden here and there, but for the most part, it’s pretty straightforward. Really, from a gameplay perspective, there’s not much new about Carrion.

But when you factor in that you’re playing as a monster that has to kill everything in its path, suddenly it gets a whole lot more interesting.

I mean, it doesn’t change things up too much in terms of what you have to do. You’re still trying to make your way through a labyrinthine facility, and you still have to retrace your steps frequently as you become more powerful.

But somehow, the fact you can launch out of the shadows and literally crush your enemies — or disembowel, or eat, or whatever else you want — adds a whole other, more fun layer to the game. There’s something immensely satisfying about seeing your monster get bigger and more powerful, and watching the facility’s inhabitants either fleeing in terror or futilely emptying their guns at you before they disappear in a pile of gore.

The only real problem with Carrion is that the controls feel a little fiddly. I suppose that since you’re a bloodthirsty monster, precision isn’t your biggest concern, but it’s still moderately frustrating whenever you’re trying to lunge at an innocent bystander and you have to take, like, three or four stabs before their head goes flying off.

But that’s just a minor criticism when compared with all the destruction and havoc this game allows you to wreak. I usually grow tired of Metroidvanias pretty quickly, but Carrion had me hooked. There’s something to be said for putting players in the metaphorical shoes of a literal bloodthirsty monster — and that something is: it’s super fun.

Devolver Digital provided us with a Carrion Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B