After seven years of work and the inevitable name changes, the simple and immediate title of Demon Skin arrived. Take note that the game was first known as The Forging Destiny HROFT and later changed to About Savior Hunter. Forged from the mind of Denis Listov from Ludus Future, this indie game draws obvious inspiration from Severance: Blade of Darkness and the chapters of The Elder Scrolls for an epic adventure with more Nordic hues. The game released for PC, but will soon be available for consoles such as PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Here is my Demon Skin review on PC.
A RESURRECTED HERO
Facing the plot of Demon Skin, what I could immediately guess is that in the game world, there are monsters and difficulties of all kinds. They are ready to obstruct our path in a scenario of Norse colors. During the opening cutscene, a mix of drawings and short animations, you discover that your hero, after many blows, perishes in stopping the ritual of a wicked necromancer.
But if Medievil has taught me anything, when you want to resurrect skeletons and monsters from hell, even the “good” awakens with them. Back to walk on the earth tormented by darkness as a demon (hence the name of the game), your resurrected hero will have to “grow” and recover his strength. You do this by facing platform-style levels “seasoned” by many aberrations.
Skeletons, zombies, demons, and various monsters will in fact stand in your way in Buka Entertainment and Ludus Future’s title. With the help of precious allies such as the Order of Wanderers and other creatures ready to repay ancient debts, you will have to make your way through icy lands, dark forests, deep caves, and burning volcanoes.
As in many other hack and slash titles, the narration is rather “basic” and there are very few dialogue sequences between characters. Slightly longer, however, are really “useful” sequences such as the tutorials for the different types of jumping, attack, life recovery, and choice of skills whenever you accumulate enough experience. You must follow these tutorials to progress in history. Take note that it also helps you to enrich the armor and appearance of your demonic protagonist.
THE SKILL TREE
The branches of the skill tree are essential and consists out of attack, stamina, and health. Attack is about the power and damage inflicted by the different weapons. Stamina is the ability to “catch your breath” after attacks from using melee weapons such as axes, hammers, and swords. You can throw these weapons at opponents and retrieve them at a later time if you want to.
There are also enchantments through magical attacks that will help to thin out the hordes of enemies. Obviously the health item in Demon Skin does not need any introduction. Take note that there are not a lot of ways to recover your health. This definitely raises the bar of difficulty by a lot. For example, you can eat a scorpion, use potions, or go to the checkpoint to recharge and breathe a quick sigh of relief.
The pace of Buka Entertainment and Ludus Future’s title is quite fast and tough and will engage even with the most experienced player. In fact, it will be necessary to strike at the right moment and avoid a clash when possible by rolling away from the enemy. Pay attention to the surrounding environment and always keep your eyes open!
Unlike the vast majority of more modern titles, here you face a much more 2D environment. However, it will not be enough if you use a simple attack to hit an enemy or charge the maximum power of your blow. With a system of colored arrows, a bit in the For Honor style to be clear, you will have to pay attention to where you want to hit your opponent. In the event that the two arrows should match, the shot will parry. It will be necessary to pay some attention to the stamina bar as well.
Knowing how to dose your blows is also of crucial importance. This comes to play when you must use a weapon such as a two-handed axe or a heavy war hammer. After hordes and hordes of enemies, sparse allies, and aids from the game itself, as in any self-respecting Dark Souls or platformer, who are missing in this journey full of blood, darkness, and necromancy? Just them, the mid-level bosses. What a shame, really!
SIMPLICITY AND IMMEDIACY
As you may have guessed, “simplicity” and immediacy are the fundamental keys to knowing the game. The videos and dialogues, including that of the introduction to the macabre story, are quite short and let the action itself do the talking. So forget about endless sequences or moral choices of the caliber of The Witcher or Fallout.
In this dark world, what counts is strength combined with that lethal mix that is cunning and the right dose of ignorance. Equally important are the tutorials for the various moments of Demon Skin, as I have mentioned previously. However, if you forget something, you can find it all on the official website. There, Ludus Future shows it with lots of animations to help even the most “forgetful” player.
The horizontal scrolling along all levels of Demon Skin is still a double-edged sword. On the one hand, pursued by the right soundtrack from a dark fantasy title, it allows you to immediately throw yourself headfirst into the action. On the other hand, it keeps a flow of events and a fairly predictable spawn of enemies without big surprises. The horizontal scrolling, especially with some jumps in a certain precision, is not the best for mouse and keyboard.
I therefore advise you to use a pad or, if you feel like it, to wait for Buka Entertainment and Ludus Future’s title to come out also on the main consoles. Finally, the graphic style looks fairly good for this type of game. However, after a few hours of play, it looks dated and annoying. Furthermore, it will be possible to notice how the same mode of appearance of the creatures always occurs. This results in a repetitive feeling when playing.
Do you want to try Ludus Future’s Demon Skin? What do you think of my Demon Skin review on PC? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you interested in more games? Check out our reviews for Lost Words: Beyond the Page, Two Point Hospital: Jumbo Edition, Harvest Moon One World, Control Ultimate Edition, and Turrican Flashback.
Here you will find a fairly tight pace of play and a "forgiveness" that does not exist. Having to become familiar with the combination of mouse and keyboard does not really work well, but a pad will improve the experience. The game sometimes looks a bit dated, but the difficulty makes up for that!
- Good atmosphere, both in general and in the various levels
- Exhilarating difficulty
- Immediate and without excessive frills
- The 2D graphics are fine, but in some passages it looks dated
- Mouse and keyboard are uncomfortable