Elderand review for PC, Switch

Platform: PC
Also on: Switch
Publisher: Graffiti Games
Developer: Mantra/Sinergia Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

The problem with revisiting a well-worn genre is that it takes something special to stand out. Elderand, for example, is a Metroidvania that?s decided the best way to stand out in that crowded field is by embracing some of the goriness that?s inherent in a hack & slash game.

The problem with this, of course, is that Infernax did that exact same thing much, much better just a year ago. Where Elderand features little spurts of blood every time you attack something, Infernax had buckets of it at every turn. Monsters and people didn?t just fall apart if you slashed away at them with your weapon, like they do here, they exploded into viscera all over the screen. Infernax took the tropes of the genre, and ratcheted them up to the nth degree in a way that made the game must-play. Elderand…does not.

That?s not to say that it?s a bad game, of course. Elderand is fine enough for what it is. It features a fun array of enemies, a decent-sized map with a variety of environments, plenty of save points, and some solid combat. It also straddles the line of providing a challenge, without ever feeling like it?s punishing you for daring to play the game.

But it does that without forging much of an identity of its own. Sure, there?s a bit of Lovecraft sprinkled here and there, but for the most part, this hews very closely to the Castlevania template of its chosen genre. It?s inspired by Castlevania (and Bloodstained, and probably the aforementioned Infernax) without showing much in the way of inspiration.

Of course, if that?s what you?re after ? more Castlevania, without actually playing Castlevania again ? then that?s fine, and Elderand will provide you with a perfectly competent experience. But given that other games have taken that route and shown far more personality, it?s hard to see why you?d want to choose this game instead of any of those other ones.

Graffiti Games provided us with an Elderand PC code for review purposes.

Grade: B-