Review – ScourgeBringer

Many will argue that the roguelike genre is becoming a little bit over-saturated. As a regular player of the genre, I have to agree that it’s true. Every week it feels like a new roguelike is coming out and it can be overwhelming to keep track of. Most end up fading into the background, whilst games like Hades shine through for an incredible experience. This begs the question of where ScourgeBringer sits, and can it possibly standout in this overly-tapped genre?

ScourgeBringer

Prepare to return here a lot.

ScourgeBringer is a rogue-like with ultra fast combat. You have your basic arsenal of light, heavy, and ranged attacks. Alongside that is a dash that launches you into the air and towards enemy. Very quickly I went from awkwardly jumping around the arena and losing most of my HP to effortlessly taking out multiple enemies in seconds. It becomes a sort of dance, jumping and dashing between enemies, without even touching the ground. The heavy attack can also be used to stun enemies when they got the attack indicator above their head or deflect projectiles back towards them. 

Even though ScourgeBringer is a lot of fun, it struggled to keep me engaged for longer sessions. The repetitive nature of the roguelike gameplay is stretched a little too far and the opening area becomes boring quickly. You’ll be replaying the same sections over and over again and fighting the same bosses time and again. Unfortunately, the bosses aren’t anything special. Each chapter of the game has a mini-boss you will need to fight to unlock the door to the main boss. Sadly, none of them really stood out to me, especially the earlier bosses.

Each run you will start with a small bit of HP and any damage you done you can’t get back unless you find a somewhat rare item drop. It’s more critical in ScourgeBringer to avoid damage that most other roguelikes. To help you through, every enemy you kill and room you clear will gain you some currency. The currency is what can get you some of the more powerful pick-ups in the game’s shops scattered around the map. It’s a decent enough system, but there’s not a lot to it. 

Progression at the start is a very slow and steep slope. It’s split into five distinct chapters with their own enemies: bosses and aesthetic. When you die (and you will die a lot), you will be sent back to the hub where you can use some skill points on a skill tree (literally) to help you on your next run. You lose all your progress and pick-ups that you earned and have to start again. It’s standard roguelike affair and doesn’t offer much in the way of interesting or unique progression. 

Alters provide some powerful upgrades.

Visually ScourgeBringer goes for a rather basic pixel art design that looks pretty good if a little generic. A lot of things can be happening on screen at one time even in such small spaces so it’s good that I can clearly see where my character is and never lose track. However there’s not a lot of visual variety here. Same goes for the sound design. The soundtrack will do enough to keep you engaged with the fast paced action, but again, it can get pretty repetitive after just a few runs. 

ScourgeBringer is a roguelike in an overly saturated genre and it does just enough to make it worth a look. Whilst it didn’t grab my attention for too long, it’s still a worthwhile game. The fast paced combat is smooth and easy to pick up, but difficult to master. 

 

Graphics: 7.5

Generic yet serviceable art style, that’s at least clear and easy to see what’s happening onscreen.

Gameplay: 8.0

The fast paced combat is easy to pick up, but difficult to master. 

Sound: 7.0

Great soundtrack, but gets repetitive after a couple runs.

Fun Factor: 6.0

ScourgeBringer is a fun game in a saturated genre. It does just enough to standout and for me to recommend it, but not enough to keep me coming back for more.

Final Verdict: 6.5

ScourgeBringer is available now on PC, Switch, and Xbox One.

A copy of ScourgeBringer was provided by the publisher.