Review – Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield

Upon booting Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield up for the first time, I was greeted with a small cutscene that felt really cool and stylish, accompanied by some sick instrumental hip hop beats. I thought to myself, “I’m in for a hidden gem”. It didn’t take long for all semblance of hope to vanish and for a massive sentiment of disappointment to kick in. A game with so much potential ended up being a bland and uninspired indie with a really subpar gameplay loop and a waste of a presentation.

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield Gameplay Mechanics

If it’s purple, crouch. If it’s yellow, short jump. If it’s red, high jump. Literally all you need to know.

This is a side-scrolling auto runner that tries to tell a story about Wally, a parkour enthusiast who’s running away from a completely bonkers military corporation after recovering something he owns that had been previously stolen by these aforementioned villains. The story is presented in a minimalistic way, with brief cutscenes completely devoid of text and/or dialogue appearing at the beginning and end of each level… and it’s not good. I’m not saying the story is bad per se, but the game doesn’t do a good job at making you give a crap about it. You can blame its presentation on that.

For a hip hop-infused game set in a neon-soaked cyberpunk world, Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield somehow never manages to excite with its presentation. It goes for a somewhat low-poly aesthetic, with even clouds of smoke being presented as if you were trying to play Cyberpunk 2077 on a Windows 98 laptop. That by itself isn’t a problem, but when you include the fact that the framerate is unstable (and we’re talking about a game being played a on a next-gen Xbox), the camera angles are terrible, and the sound department is basically comprised of short samples being looped ad nauseum without any semblance of a sound effect whatsoever, it results in a game that tries to be stylish, but fails miserably at doing so.

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield Graphics

You see, the game doesn’t look half-bad in this picture, but it’s a completely different story when in motion.

I would have been able to forgive the game’s disappointing presentation if its gameplay made up for it, but this is another department where Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield severely falls short. As previously mentioned, this is a side scrolling auto runner, being basically a 2D representation of a game like, say, Temple Run. All you need to do is press the appropriate button at the right time in order to avoid an obstacle. It’s all about testing your reflexes.

The problem is that there are only four kinds of obstacles to avoid in the game. You can either perform a small jump, a high jump, a crouch slide, or a dash move. Whenever an obstacle shows up, it will be plastered with one of four colors, each one being associated with one of the actions you can pull off. You can either perform these actions with the d-pad, analog stick or face buttons, basically being able to play the game with only one hand and very little of your brain mass. Instead of being a game about reflexes, the game eventually started to feel more like Simon Says, or a series of quick-time events. However, instead of being rewarded with a cool cutscene, I’d be rewarded with even more QTE’s devoid of sound effects. Jumping over an exploding barrel just isn’t fun when you don’t even hear a freaking “boom” from said explosion.


Never Yield has “boss sections”… which are basically the same thing as the rest of the game, just with an occasionally different camera angle.

Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is a perfect case of wasted potential. It tries to tell a story in a minimalistic way, but fails to deliver due to its poor presentation and awkward cutscenes. It wants to exude style and a hip hop aesthetic, but its disappointing soundtrack is comprised of short samples being looped ad nauseum. Finally, its gameplay is too shallow and uninspired to make you want to play it for more than a few minutes at a time. It feels best suited as a mobile game due to its sheer simplicity and limited vision, not something worth tackling on a next-gen platform, especially with its handful of performance issues.


Graphics: 5.5

Even if its art style is occasionally interested, with colorful neon-plastered backgrounds, the game’s low-poly art style, poor framerate (especially for a next-gen console) and awful camera angles really hinder the overall experience.

Gameplay: 5.0

It’s an auto runner, meaning all you need to do is avoid obstacles by pressing the appropriate button at the right time. There are only four kinds of obstacles to avoid, with their obvious coloration ruining any semblance to being forced to think before pushing a button.

Sound: 5.0

The instrumental hip hop soundtrack sounds promising at first, but quickly disappoints once you realize each level is comprised of one short and constantly looping sample. Not to mention the rest of the game is completely devoid of sound effects.

Fun Factor: 4.5

Poor storytelling, a subpar presentation, and a gameplay loop that simply does not manage to provide any excitement, despite being occasionally challenging. Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield isn’t exactly fun for a console release, let alone a (supposedly) next-gen one.

Final Verdict: 5.0

Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox Series S.

A copy of Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield was provided by the publisher.