WASD Coverage April 2024 - Awaken Astral Blade

Article by Adam Ray

The Metroidvania genre is well documented at this point. Taking its name from Metroid and Castlevaina respectively, it's a style of game with a sprawling 2d map that goes both up and down, as well as left to right. For many gamers, the genre peaked with Hollow Knight. Our good friends at ESDigital had their take on the genre, Awaken Astral Blade on show at WASD.

Awaken takes place in the ruined landscape of a sci-fantasy world. You play as Tania as she slowly makes her way through the twisting jungle and ruined research facilities to get answers and to get stronger. There is a rich story hiding under the surface, and players are encouraged to delve deep as they can.

During my time the movement between zones felt flowing and effortless. The team I had the pleasure of speaking with all assured me that unlike other Metroidvania style games, the movement between zones and the looping around on yourself to find things you missed is minimal. This is a welcome sigh of relief to this easily bored reviewer who's not finished Hollow Knight for the same reason. Awaken looks to offer its players that immersive experience and many possible play options for any kind of exploration.

Where Awaken shines is in the combat. It feels fluid and gripping. You're rewarded for knowing your timings and meeting all the different kinds of combos against each of the different kinds of mob monsters and bosses. The movement in the game feels fluid and the progression of filling your various skills seems natural for adding to the ethos ESDigital has for playing the way you want to. 

We can't expect every game in the genre to reinvent the genre, but for a title that fits the bill of the genre and one that brings fast paced, frenetic combat and a rich world to explore, we can count on Awaken Astral Blade to truly deliver for adventure gamers the world over.

Awaken Astral Blade is available for you to wishlist right now on Steam.


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