So what do you do if you find yourself alone in a fishing village, with no-one but infected fiery demons of all shapes and sizes to keep you company? Raise your axe and pummel the tar from them that's what, in Einar, a 3rd person hack and slash adventure based on the mighty foundations of Norse mythology from the masterminds at DreamPunks. Traverse a decimated landscape left sizzling in the wake of a mysterious disease, and wield a handful of magical weapons to perform short and sweet light blows, sweltering heavy hitters, and sneakedy sneak ranged shots. Enemies vary to oppose each weapon type, allowing for a cool variety of pieced together moves, and transitioning between weapons in an explosion of mystical sparks feels powerful and pretty freaking epic!
Swing your glowing hammer!
Playing the Beta demo there are some bugs to be worked out, but this game is still in its early stages and does hold tremendous promise. Also, the developer suggests playing on Windows 10 for a more optimal performance, so as a Windows 7 user I did suffer some considerable frame drops, but I powered through! Control wise this is already pretty sound, in fact, I found it to be very sensitive which is great for quick movements in a hack and slash field, but not quite so perfect for aiming the bow. There is an auto-aim feature to drag the target over enemies, although this seemed a little hit and miss, and slightly at odds with the speedy camera angles. Overall Einar himself handles very nicely and commands are simple, although the block seems limited to the light attack shield set, dodge roll is smooth and essential.
Draw your shimmering bow!
For a short demo, it was certainly captivating, showing enough of the game to give a tantalizing taste, but not giving anything away. There is a short hand-drawn introduction to the story that I did enjoy to describe the premise of the plot, in that Einar is seeking to destroy the infected creatures that have ravaged his village, even if they are born from the former inhabitants. It has a very God of War feel already, the main character driven by rage with powerful weapons at his fingertips. But it does also raise a number of questions straight off the bat, is Einar some kind of God with his gloriously glowing arsenal, and why does he want to destroy the village instead of looking for a way to save it? More importantly, though, will we have wonderful head cleaving action and any super powered special attacks?
Death has a ginger beard
A lot has definitely gone into the look of this title, the graphics are beautiful, and the leading man himself is full of rich detail and sporting a very grand ginger beard. The setting of a crumbling fishing village is surprisingly full of vibrant greenery, which does contrast wonderfully with the deep red and orange pallet of your demonic enemies, making them easy to spot amongst the debris. The perfect sitting ducks, ready for plucking. Jogging through the light forestation and scorched buildings everything was very picturesque, but then I was dropped into a closed off arena type area, and soon I was dipping and dodging around multiple creatures to stay alive. There isn't a visible health bar, perhaps it is to come, but health does recover over time, your only sign of bad things happening is the color fading from the screen, much like blood draining from your face.
Paint the village red
All in all, a short and sweet snippet of this games potential grandeur, but there is still a long way to go. The battle mechanics are showing, and I love the transitions between weapons for their ease and unique attacks, plus it looks bad-ass! Graphically, Einar is stunning to look at even with lowered resolution, so here I am eager to see more locations, possibly the site of the meteor that crashed into the village, or some darker cave areas. Not to mention more creatures to face with even more disturbing appearances and characteristics. The formula for a very cool hack and slash is here in droves, but now it needs molding and evolving to become a real lasting experience. I am excited to see where it goes, and what it becomes!
So as mentioned Einar is currently in Open Beta, and everyone is encouraged to download the free demo and try it all out for yourselves! Please follow the link here to DreamPunks' website, which also includes links to all of their social media.
Grab an axe, swing a hammer, and let fly your arrows as the mighty Einar!
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