Still a great game, nearly three years after its initial release.
That’s correct, it’s been nearly three years since Axiom Verge was published on PS4, so why am I looking at this game now you may be asking yourself. Is it because it has just been released on the Nintendo Switch? Not quite, the digital release on this platform was actually October of last year. The reason for this brief little jog down memory lane is the recent ‘bells and whistles’ Multiverse Edition that has just been made available. A set that includes a soundtrack (can’t argue with how good the music is in Axiom Verge), a poster, a making of documentary and a lock of the developer Thomas Happ’s hair (ed-that last one is a lie), oh, and you know, the game amongst other things. Look it up, it’s a pretty nice set.
So due to this happy occurrence I was able to get my hands on a digital copy of Axiom Verge and actually finally play this metroidvania modern day classic of indie excellence.
Traditionally I don’t really like metroidvania games. I find them a little tedious, the drip feeding of abilities, the often obfuscated objectives and hard to understand map. Couple that with my growing distaste of retro pixelated for the sake of it graphics and I probably shouldn’t like Axiom Verge. But something about it clicks with me, it has a charm that resonates from the first opening cutscene, it’s writing and presentation on point as it uses enough minimal touches to transport you back to a bygone era of gaming. The style doesn’t feel forced, it feels natural and then you start playing.
Controls are sharp and you immediately understand what you need to do. Exploration is intuitive as you bounce and blast your way through areas finding powerups when you need them and when they make the most sense for gameplay evolution. Enemy design is just enough throwback coupled with twisted modernity and then we have a story that’s drip fed at just the right pace to intrigue and drive you forward. The game also revels in twists to the formula I don’t want to spoil which couples with well written dialogue that pushes you along a pleasantly constructed narrative.
I am not going to write a thousand words now extolling the virtues of Axiom Verge, those pieces were written three years ago. The Nintendo Switch is the perfect platform for this game like it is so many others, offering portability, flexibility and drop in and out gameplay. I can enjoy the wonderfully constructed world of Axiom Verge how and when I want on this weird and wonderful hybrid platform and I suggest you join me, with or without the cornucopia you may find in the Multiverse Edition.
Axiom Verge was provided to us by Nintendo/Thomas Happ Games on Nintendo Switch.