Games of the Year

ANVIL

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ANVIL is a multiplayer co-op top-down sci-fi roguelike action shooter where you control characters called Vault Breakers to explore various galaxies that are crawling with monsters. Find relics inside Vaults to increase Breaker's ability to survive and fight on this godforsaken galaxy.# ANVIL

Ancient Vault Investigation Lab

ANVIL is an agency that searches for "Vaults”, the remnants of alien civilizations scattered throughout the universe. Become a "Breaker" searching for “Vaults” and explore the unknown galaxy. Each galaxy consists of random planets and unique boss monsters. By defeating monsters and opening the Vaults, you will be able to utilize the stunning powers within.# BreakersThe Breakers are the seekers of Vaults. They have maximized their combat capabilities to survive various threats that they may encounter on different planets.

Breakers with unique abilities and skills are waiting to be selected.# Artifacts and Vault WeaponsOver 100 randomly generated artifacts and dozens of weapons will make every session unique and different from previous sessions. You will be able to explore a combination of different playstyles by testing synergy between various artifacts and obtain powerful weapons to get the “ultimate” Breaker!# Death and RebirthThe Breakers enter combat with their mechanical body. They are rebuilt in ANVIL if they are destroyed during an exploration. Your Breakers will gain EXP during battle that will enhance their strength and give them new powers. The Breakers are not afraid of death because death only makes them stronger when they are rebuilt.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

This game has the potential to be a very good game, but it has a lot of issues that need addressing before it gets there. In its current form, it is not worth full price. wait for a sale- having said that, i still do recommend checking out the game. I'll try and explain some of the frustrating elements/design of this game below:
The Robots that spawn on a timer, gaining more HP/hitting harder and scaling the enemies is a novel idea, but the timer between them showing up is too short, especially in a group setting. The fact that they can spawn mid boss fight can literally break your run in a 1 shot due to the combination of the CC, heavy hitting attacks and you not having any damage immunity during recovery from a knockback/knockdown- for example, all it takes is 1 robot to throw a gravity well (and they threw like 10 at a time sometimes), meaning if you're playing a lighter frame you get sucked in and are more or less stuck in the middle of the vortex for the duration of the fight, while everything is whaling on you. In a group setting, if one of you dies, especially if you're the glass cannon and the others are built for support or tanking, you're screwed because the HP scaling is WAY too fast- it goes from enemies dying in 1-2 hits to enemies needing 100000 bullets to kill the trash mobs in the second galaxy, third world. You're also punished for exploring because this game is all about being fast and killing the boss before the scaling gets way out of hand, which means you can miss potential upgrades for your character as well.
The lack of a self heal ability on some of the classes means I have no business or interest taking any of those classes- the RNG of getting a self heal from the vendor is too high since you have so many different perks/relics you could potentially get, resulting in many runs being screwed from the get go because it just becomes a game of attrition and you just lose chunks of HP, whether small or large, before you even reach the boss.
The boss fights are just massive damage sponges with the 4 HP bars on the final boss of a planet, and each bar having a tonne of HP as well. This, coupled with the enrage timer being so short results in every boss more or less enraging halfway through the fight unless you have a DPS built for crit/RoF, but then you have to skim on buffs/survivability so any shot could be your last. On top of this, you also have to worry about the robots spawning in and applying the diamond skin to the boss or enemies around, meaning you'll do basically no damage.
The game has a decent selection of weapons, but realistically there are very few weapons that are actually worth using due to their ease of use and dps potential with the appropriate class (which again, some classes are just straight up better than others). The classes have different forms of dodge, or get a shield. the teleport is by far the best due to the massive range it allows you to cover as well as leaving behind a clone. the short dodge you get does not cover enough ground even though it can be spammed, and if you get hit by some attacks, you get knocked back or knocked down and take damage during the time you're on the ground anyway so its more or less pointless. The shield/guard ability has the potential to be very good, but it's very dependant on the relics you get. at 90% damage reduction and loads of HP, Toast has the ability to basically face tank really effectively with his shields, but again it's entirely dependant on if RNG will be good to you in that particular run.
The game features a battle pass to unlock progress, but genuinely its such a bad battle pass that they should have not even included it- a different system of unlocking would have been 100% better. its like halo infinite's battle pass level of bad, if not worse.
Some abilities have i-frames, while others don't. no reason for all abilities to not have i-frames in this game, especially with the insane scaling of enemies and if the devs will not give the players a way to regen their HP in some way shape or form that doesn't require RNG to bless them.
The perks are shared, so more often than not if you're playing with randoms, they'll rush to get the best perks they can, leaving you with scraps, and builds not synergizing with each other. These perk pools should not be shared, everyone should be seeing their own unique choices/selection to avoid fighting over the perks like we currently are. As it stands, the game does not really promote a co-op play experience at all.
If the game is able to address some of these issues (im sure there are more), it'll be on the right track to becoming a great game.

Review from Steam

Solid game, needs polishing but doesn't deserve to get review bombed in early access for seasonal skill tree wipes.
How else are the devs meant to balance/update the game and ensure that these things get played? This is the same kind of development that makes games like Escape from Tarkov successful. Are people hoping to max out the skill tree in week 1 of early access and then never have any incentive to play as the game is developed?
Lot of content here for $25 and is especially fun to play with friends.

Review from Steam

I really like this game and the devs are listening to community feedback.
give this game a chance if you like top down shooter roguelikes.

Review from Steam

Note: This is a binary "yes" but there are some caveats that i will explain. I'm not a brilliant reviewer but because i have some belief in the potential of this game im going to try to explain just some of the points...
Where i like this game/Pro's
+ Controls are solid for both controller and keyboard and mouse.
+ Graphics are gorgeous and framerates are solid (but i am running on a 3080ti + 5950x so...)
+ Roguelikes appeal to me especially this having multiplayer experiences
+ Makes you think about which Breakers/Characters require which relics for effective builds in different circumstances
+ Fast Paced and enemies can be very horde-y. Lots to kill.
+ Pretty cool season leader board
Where this is Meh
~ Breakers are somewhat hit and miss in their skill sets and very little to non team comp skill interactions.
~ Breakers have certain preferred relics, although you can force a build if you try but it wont be as fun.
~ Very low player population since release but since this is also available on consoles you dont have to wait too long for multiplayer search (i've experienced from instant, to 15 min wait times throughout the day)
~ There isn't a tutorial to explain how systems work, so i had to spent a lot of trial and error to figure them out but eventually got there.
~ No rewards for being on the leader board.
~ Breaker stat upgrades (without relics) becomes useless fast once you get the "core" stat boosters leveled up.
~ The UI and controls are seemingly focused on controllers, so keyboard and mouse inputs for some menu interactions seem unintuitive and clunky.
Where this is Bad
- I believe its incredibly offensive to the community, and generally bad business, to release "pay to win" season passes on a game you pay full price for.
- More on the season passes, you can eventually get most items (bar a couple of pay-only items) from just playing the game and being smart on the Relic Replication system.
- The relic and skill system is entirely one dimensional, Stats just grow linearly and skills and weapon effects are not interesting enough to compete with other roguelike games out there on the market.
- There isn't an endless run feature available, all runs stop at X amount of planets depending on the galaxy.
- Very little return to reward ratio for completing galaxies.
- Pass is pretty pointless
The game plays well over all and i love doing runs as quick as possible with as much carnage as possible. The game needs more content and multidimensional relic interactions with skills, weapons and relics that isn't just stat boosting. I hope one day that the game implements a multidimensional relic feature that can compete with other popular roguelikes such as Binding Of Isaac. The theme is brilliant and runs great. The entire future of this game is solely dependent on how they introduce new content with or without pay walls. If you're going to create a pass system it's almost completely pointless to have it so that you get relics that you would normally get by doing runs eventually. More vanity items is a safe bet, and better use of point allocation for upgrades to your breaker that isn't just more stat boosting will be a good reason to play for the season as well.
Ultimately my biggest gripe is Pass system and one dimensional progression of characters. I absolutely believe this game has fantastic potential if they experimented with skill, weapons and relic interactions better that simple linear stat progressions.
I hope there is a future for this game.

Review from Steam

Here's a list of some bugs, QoL improvements and things I noticed
-Sort of an identity crisis. Season points? Relic points? This definitely needs a rework to make sense. Relic points sort of do , but season points make no sense.
-no ultrawide/widescreen support
-You should not have to hit apply to change your cursor in the main menu. Should be able to see them up front, small QoL thing.
-Please let us put the minimap in the top right of the screen, please... why is it in the bottom right.... also the other details in the bottom right, timer, location, enemy level, could probably go top right, or let us be able to move it.
-Let us scale the HUD more than 1.2
-Single player is wayyy over tuned.
-when equipping relics - let us see the info on hover instead of having to accept it or click on it to see what it does. This is similar to the cursors QoL.
-Relic equipping was neat but I had no clue you could even do that until I was clicking around and noticed this grey space or something in the top right.,
-Better cooldown timer notifications, possibly on character,. or noises, it's so hard to tell whats on cooldown and what isn't in the heat of battle.
-Escape should escape out of menus, not some other key. not sure why games always miss this detail but they do. It should always be Esc to back out of a settings window, item upgrade window or anything like that, not some other "cancel" button.
-R2 is marked incorrectly on the controller abilities window. L2 is listed twice.
The abilities for controller should be flipped to represent the shoulder buttons accurately. Right now they are backwards and don’t physically represent the shoulder buttons.
-I think a big feels bad is the timer and difficulty getting harder on a timer, not sure how it makes the game funner but I just don't see it. It just makes me stressed out.
-Gathering "coins" needs to be more apparent, you can hardly see them, you can barely tell if you've gathered them.
While we are on the subject of coins, shooting those stupid barrels TEN times just to unlock the hard to see coins out of them feels super bad for some characters.
-I don't mind sharing the upgrades, I like that, some people don't however, but I do.
-Some of the boss fights are awesome! The drill saw guy was super fun, bosses were difficult as well but not too crazy with 2 players. Make them burst open easier, or let us dash into them, there has to be a better way.
-Sharing respawns is kinda feels bad, but it is a rogue-like.
*** Important***
Character design is amazing but having to grind them out and buy them using a battle pass is sort of a lame cop out though. Why, why, why do companies feel the need to put a god damn battlepass in every game now. IMO if the roguelike elements are strong you don’t need a battle pass that gates the characters behind it. Let people play the characters, maybe lock 2 or 3 really special ones... but locking 9 characters behind a battle pass is out-right lame. A battlepass makes zero sense with this game. All it seems to do is lock the characters behind a needless grind when we could be playing them all and having fun.
-Great game , I'm just being picky because I like it and want it to live up to it's full potential.
Will be playing it more and updating this list as I find more things wrong/QoL improvements, etc;

Review from Steam

Greetings!
I like scroll-down shooters, and even if I was quite doubtful about this game when my friend gifted it to me, I gave it a try.
...And didn't notice how time passed; a few hours flew like they never were here.
The graphic won't impress your imagination, but it is still very pretty. You like the effects of your characters, you like explosions and so on. I'd say 8/10, feels very smooth and nice, but nothing extraordinary. Though, probably 7.5/10 because there are very few areas you are exploring. After ten hours, you will learn every single one of them and will know where you should go to activate the final fight of the planet. And some of those planets are just turned around, so they feel different while remaining the same.
Music isn't the strongest side of the game, it has very few tracks and very soon you will learn all of them. This point is just 'fine'. 6/10
Gameplay is quite catching, especially if you like to watch how hoards of enemies disappear in front of you. It reminds me of hack'n'slash (especially since I loved to play on melee classes the most) games, like PoE or Diablo. At the moment in the game, 12 different characters, and each of them has their set of abilities. You can play them in different ways, yet, you also can stick to the same strategy if you want, and you will feel fine. At least, for the most part.
I'd separate the game into three different parts - Beginning / Grind / High-End.
The interesting thing I enjoyed - High-End is quite different from everything you get used to on the way there. When you're getting to the third galaxy, to overcome it, you will have to learn patterns of attacks properly; you need to think about what to take with yourself, which bonuses you want to get from the skill tree, which pet you want to take. It forces you to think deeper if you actually want to overcome it, and that's cool. The game has the potential for making many builds. 9/10
However, keep in mind. This game has challenging high-end content, but it has no endgame. Once you cleared the final galaxy on one of the characters - you gave them the final upgrade and... That's it. You can use that character for a more comfortable grind at this point or to start to work on another character. For some people, it would be a minus; for some not. I don't mind it - I had a blast with this game. Now I will patiently wait for new content (which is already announced) and play with my friends in co-op when they're up to it.
And one more point - bugs. They are here; at times, it can be annoying, but I didn't meet them too often myself, yet I met them in different aspects. It can be a boss that didn't let you into the fight room, and you basically need to start the fight again. It can be a boss that jumped out of the area and died somewhere (but still gave you money for the kill); it can be moments when your shots don't register at all for some period of time, even if you see how they literally hit the enemy. But even then - the game is a lot of fun. Give it a shot if you like games like Alien Shooter / Zombie shooter. Or if you like hack'n'slash games - give it a shot. I'd say it is worth it.
Oh, and as the last point - people were afraid about resetting every season. It was confirmed that relics you did grind - will go with you into the next season. And it is the most important part that we could spend our time on.
Have fun! I did.

Review from Steam

Very fun twin-stick shooter Roguelike mix. Challenging, and with interesting builds. It probably needs further development and expansion to be the kind of Roguelike I want to put 1,000 hours into, but since I'm writing this on Day 1 of Early Acess, I have faith.

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