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Sundered: Eldritch Edition

Sundered is a chaotic hand­-drawn metroidvania where you resist or embrace ancient eldritch powers. Confront hordes of terrifying enemies in an ever-changing world inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Sundered is a challenging and unique take on a classic genre from the creators of Jotun, now with local co-op! You play Eshe, a wanderer in a ruined world, trapped in ever-­changing caverns filled with hordes of terrifying enemies. Harness the power of corrupted relics to defeat gigantic bosses, at the cost of your humanity. Resist or embrace. Sundered: Eldritch Edition includes the Magnate of the Gong update, adding local co-op multiplayer support for up to 4 players, along with new areas and a chaotic battle against the new Magnate of the Gong boss!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Let me start by saying that I am no pro Metroidvania fan. I am merely an enjoyer *wink*
I have played (and absolutely loved) most of Metroids and a few others in the genre that's it.
I believe that what most casual people come to this type of games is the *discovery* experience. Maps, combat, enemies, sometimes music, and abilities i.e "power fantasy". This game, without any doubt, ABSOLUTELY BLASTED all of these for me.
First, unlike most games I've played, you're not a sitting duck when you first start the game. You can jump off walls and dodge already, which in most games are early- or mid-game unlocks! It definitely piqued my interest as I though "if I already can do this, what crazy power am I going to unlock?". Oh boy... I could never have guessed what was awaiting.
Second, as a musician and aspiring sound engineer, I couldn't be more delighted by how WELL-FUCKING-DONE the soundtrack, background music and sound FX are. Special mention is deserved for the corrupted abilities sound FX. Goddamnit, I spent 30 mins after each unlock spamming them in place just to hear them lol. Second special mention is deserved to the Shining Trapezohedron's engineering and voice acting. F*ck, I couldn't wait to hear what he had to say, and every time It spoke, it never failed to send shivers down my spine...
Third, touching on the last point, just like the whole Sound concept is well done, the Artstyle is exceptionally beautiful. The mixture of alien race meets advanced human technology was always present, and gets you totally inmersed in a foreign world. Enemies are unsettling, bosses are intimidating, and all ending bosses had impact; they all left a print in my soul.
Fourth, Combat is not just one of the most fluid and freestyle I have played (Man, we need a Style rank for all the sh*t you can pull off!), but its artstyle is phenomenal as well; beautiful to watch and even listen to. As a fan of Prototype and shape-shifting gameplay, having a weapon that literally MORPHS depending on which combo or action you're executing touched down on the right spots.
And finally, Abilities. In every game I have played, I'm always looking forward to that new additiont to my skillset. In this type of games, I know I gotta work my way around until I manage to snag the necessary Ability to progress, and it feels rewarding when you obtain it. It always delivers that bit of happiness drug when you acquire it, specially if the animation is well done. Like I mentioned at the beginning, I was eager to see what Abilities I would be hunting for. However, I absolutely DID NOT expect to see what I saw. Abilities... Enhanced... By Corruption!!.
Sundered took the standard Power Fantasy and took it to the next level. The rush of adrenaline I got when I corrupted my first ability... I just cannot describe it. I know it's not a new concept; other games have already tapped into the inner power thingy, and light vs dark etc. However, the way it was presented in this game, in which you take an already awesome skill and make it functionally better AND COOLER LOOKING, is what made me absolutely fall madly in love with it. Maybe I should just say the creators took an already thrilling element of this genre and made it even better.
My only complain is that this game is not longer. I wish it had more maps and more skills, about the size as Ori II. I hope we can see more of this game in the future.
My satisfaction is inmesurable and my day is fulfilled.

Review from Steam

One of my new favorite games. I think most people will really enjoy it on the "normal" difficulty setting where you can absorb a lot of damage from the crowd with your shield, but there's a lot to love on the higher difficulties.
The number of enemies quickly ramps up in certain areas and on certain time windows. The game will telegraph when you're under assault by a big squad with a kind of grumbling synth that will play in the background. In certain sections enemy spawning rules will change so that you are constantly under assault no matter how many you clear. These are sections you are supposed to dodge and run through, and I don't think the game really communicates this well, and I think a lot of people are rightfully frustrated by this. I think what people also dislike is that you aren't really able to dodge everything coming your way. I think this game is designed with the shield so that you're making value judgments about what to tank and what to dodge. I think the game was successful with this. A few seconds without getting hit is all you need to be at effectively full health, so instead of languishing in a pit of sadness when you get swarmed, try to jump between safe zones and in and out of combat when you see your shield breaking.
The majority of time spent in this game is platforming using an expanding and decently fleshed out movement system, and fighting a few different enemies that are each interesting. Your objective is to collect upgrades and currency sprinkled around the map to get strong enough to clear area bosses. On normal, most people shouldn't have to grind anything to make it through these encounters, which is great in my opinion. If you are inexperienced, you'll probably be beefing up collecting lots of upgrades through each area as you repeatedly die. Imagine never losing any level up currency in a game like "Dark Souls" and you'll understand how this game gives less experienced people a natural cushion for advancement.
The level up tree is mostly stat upgrades, but there's some really substantial mechanical upgrades as well. Each ability you pick up in the world has 3 versions. Both powered up versions are super fun and the game is worth two play-throughs just to feel the difference and see the different final encounter.
After finding perks you can equip in the world, you can level them up for more potent effects by looting upgrades from random chests. These are pretty substantial gameplay modifiers which can really change the way you approach a run, so upgrading your stats to enhance the most powerful ones you find is probably a good idea, and also really contributes to the replayability.
Probably my favorite part of the whole game finding a secret boss, and looting a perk from them that dramatically increased the difficulty of the other bosses you can fight by tweaking the health and damage numbers and also adding different mechanics to each of them. I wish there was a teleport to these incredibly difficult fights, especially my favorite one of them which basically has a safe 2 minute walk to get there.
On the highest difficulty, the game will ask you to really master the movement system and to be able to elegantly juggle many threats and your stamina (which is consumed by dodging). It's honestly a blast and when you find yourself effectively flying between enemies landing consecutive strategic strikes it really feels like everything comes together.
I only wish the game had the room variety to prop up multiple play-throughs. Sadly, there are many rooms, but there aren't enough to stay really interesting even through one long play-through.
There is a really interesting enemy in one zone that can conjure platforms and walls that you can only get through by hitting them a few times. Becoming frantically locked in a box while timing dodges to remain invincible through area attacks is amazing, and I think the limited enemy and room variety would be totally fixed with the addition of a couple more enemies like this.
The scaling of loot between enemies and chests also starts to swing as the game goes on in a negative direction. While you will be earning plenty more currency from everything as the game progresses, the accessibility of chests will dramatically increase as you get more power-ups and eventually get the ability to see them all on your map. While some of these have interesting combat arenas you have to clear to access them, the majority are just sitting there through a simple challenge you will master as you encounter the room it's tied to repeatedly. You will earn considerably more money running through and ignoring enemies and targeting chests, which is a lame way to play unless a section is designed around it.
The good news is that the enemies and bosses are all interesting to look at and are easy to identify. It has repeatedly shocked me how visually crowded a lot of games like this are. Even with the occasional colossal enemy count on screen I only ever felt like I couldn't actually see what was going on during a part on the first boss. I've played a few fast paced games with high complexity, and I feel it would be really hard to convey the information of who is attacking and when any better than this.
For me, there was enough here to really enjoy the game for three full play-throughs, but I suspect most people will only enjoy one or two. For the price, that might not be worth it for you. Co-op might swing that for you, but if not, I recommend wish-listing as I have seen it go on sale before.

Review from Steam

This game is a whole barrel full of fun. A great cross between metroidvania and Rougelike.
Only downside is at some point they decide that you have been playing long enough and unleash all of WW2 on the screen at once and laugh and watch you get pushed inside out. 9/10 would recommend

Review from Steam

Sometimes I fall in love with games because of the concept and the difficulty. Other times it is the art style. This one wins on both fronts. It is a fun metroidvania that you can play coop via remote play. The controls feel fluid and tight. I am a fan of Dead Cells and it felt similar to that title in areas. Oh and it has a solid Eldritch Horror theme. 9.5/10

Review from Steam

Awesome action/plateformer with beautiful art, well balanced difficulty and perfect gameplay.
Best part : the fighting system is really instinctive and extremely addictive.
Worst part : music is almost non existent.
Highly recommended.

Review from Steam

For 20 bucks I'm hard-pressed to recommend this, but I since I bought it in a sale it gets a tentative thumbs-up anyway.
Let's get something important out of the way first - this is NOT a 2D soulslike.
Despite the stamina-reliant dodge, the slow-creep progress leveling system, the opaque story telling & despite the way death is not a 'game over', just a temporary reset - it's very much not in the vain of other 2D soulslikes.
I would heartily recommend playing this game on easy - It's just not worth the extra pain, given how this games systems work.
You're going to, and quite frankly are expected, to tank an obscene amount of hits & damage while going through the game. The game is far to mechanically 'loose' & the fights far to busy to consider getting through this without taking (much) damage. The game has a hybrid regenerating shield / permanent HP system for a reason...
For something positive, the animation & movement flow are really good - while the movement isn't as precise and clean as something like the Ori games, it flows well and is generally fun - if the game plays along. The combat feels satisfying and wiping out a horde or a winning a treasure-battle can be really fun. There is a surprising amount of roaming freedom and ways to complete movement based challenges. I'm not even sure this counts as a metroidvania game, because there are very little areas actually hard-gated by abilities. Some of the movement 'gates' can be bypassed by cleverly chaining or using alternatives, which can be really fun.
The music & sound-design is good & gives good feedback and the 'narration' has a satisfying snarl to it. The writing is up my alley 6 all very opaque., but there's not much of it.
the biggest gripe I have is that the level design is really really bad. Not 'non-functional' bad, just 'completely irrelevant & forgettable' bad. The game only has three major areas that sometimes use colourgrading to buy some more variety on the cheap.
In each, some parts of the map will be procedurally generated, some parts or rooms will be in fixed locations. The general 'area' will always be the same, but your exact minute path through it may deviate slightly.
Ultimately, all that means is there's a few standout rooms that are beautifully drawn and the rest are the same cut-and-dried assets repeated add nauseam, clicked together with no sense of cohesion. There is no sense of exploring an ancient world, but despite the 'procedural' levels it doesn't feel like an ever-twisting, -moving hellscape either.
You're just looking at the map all the time to check if you're still going the right direction or headed towards a dead end.
It's just so much nothing, so unremarkable - there are no key standout moments in the leveldesign, with maybe the exception of the Dominion bossfight /-room /-reveal.
The way the enemies work can be incredibly irritating as well. Every flying enemy and every enemies projectile has no-clip on - EXCEPT YOU and yours. Flying melee enemies will charge-attack at you from level elements that you can't access. Enemies are explicitly designed to spawn off-screen and shoot at you even if you may be cornered. Their projectiles ignore cover, walls or obstacles. Destroying projectiles with melee-attacks is a midgame skill that's not on the mandatory upgrade path.
Looking at the Trailers for Jotun & coming of the heels of playing this - I think the people at Thunder Lotus Games might get off to making the player the smallest on-screen element. Behind tons of visual clutter, screen-filling boss-attacks and boss- & horde fights centered entirely around that is your character model - and I'm not sure I agree with it, for the most part.
Dominion is a cool boss, Hysteria is 'workable', Salvation/Legion is imo bad. The final boss is ... something (depending on the ending you aim for). The minibosses are regular enemies scaled up & colour-swapped.
In the end, I have a lot of gripes but still ended up playing through it in two or three sittings - even if most of it was on autopilot, just flying through the levels. It's not painful (unlike Unworthy) and I did have fun at times.
if the artstyle, animation or trailers intrigue you, wait for a sale.
If you can't tolerate extremely visually busy games or games that can & will dick you around - stay clear, far & wide.

Review from Steam

Beautiful art style, vivid atmosphere, totally captivating sound acting and really enjoyable gameplay for a rogue like.