Skul: The Hero Slayer review for PC

Platform: PC
Publisher: Neowiz Games
Developer: SouthPAW Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

The Carleon Kingdom finally teamed up with the various adventurers across the land and raided the Demon King?s castle leaving the demons weak and in disarray! You?d think that would be a good thing….but alas you are a skeleton in the Demon King?s army and now you have taken it upon yourself on a quest to liberate the Demon King, various denizens of the demon kingdom and restore the castle to its glory. Thankfully the skeleton you control is no ordinary skeleton, but one with the ability to equip different skulls and gain the powers of said skulls. This is the legend of Skul: The Hero Slayer.

Skul?s adventure goes across 5 worlds, each with a distinct visual flair. Sadly the game?s somewhat steep difficulty will ensure that you will be seeing the first two worlds a lot more than the rest unless you?ve got amazing reflexes, superb pattern recognition skills and the patience of a saint. Someone who rushes in will be rebuffed by the Carleon forces and their allies. I say this based on my own personal experience. The boss of the first world was an Ent (A Tree being), having played without heeding the 3 aspects I stated before my Skul was ground to dust at every encounter. However after several runs, some upgrades and finally understanding the boss?s movement and attacks I went from barely surviving this encounter to casually defeating the Ent without being touched or barely hurt.

Having skills would be nice, but the gameplay is bolstered with a plethora of interesting power ups. The first most prominent power ups are the skulls themselves. With over 40 different skulls and the ability to swap between 2 at a time, the first couple of hours with the game will be spent discovering what?s out there and what skulls complement your playstyle. Destroying skulls you aren?t interested in will grant you bone fragments which can be used to upgrade your skulls to enhance the skull?s skills. My only gripe with this system is the ability upgrade is locked to specific points of each world and sometimes RNGesus will not smile upon you and give you the opportunity to collect enough bone fragments to afford the upgrade when you come upon the arachnid demon who will be granting you these boons.

The other system which makes the game complex (but in a good way) is the relic system. Each relic you collect will grant Skul some kind of effect or a familiar. A relic will also have 2 attributes that give a passive effect. Collecting relics with the same attribute will strengthen the effects given. So when I arrive at the black market in game, I will find myself comparing the relics in the marketplace to see if they synergize with the relics I?ve equipped so far. Once again if luck is on your side, you can build a Skul who can kill enemies simply by dashing around!

The more time I spend with the title, the more my opinion changes of this game. I started off thinking this game is unnecessarily punishing (A multi-phase boss on the first level…really?) to this it is only hard if I?m not playing methodically. As I got into the upgrade system, the more I find myself hoping the random drops go a certain way (I do enjoy a Skul that can do passive damage or equipping projectile based skulls vs melee based builds). If you want a challenging rogue-like to start 2021, Skul: The Hero Slayer is definitely a viable option, if the Greek Pantheon isn?t your cup of tea.

Note: Neowiz Games provided us with a Skul: The Hero Slayer PC code for review purposes.

Grade: B+