Unworthy for the Nintendo Switch
After exploring a couple hours of one of the most petrifying and punishable worlds that is of Unworthy, I think we can pretty much agree that it could be one of the greatest Metroidvania experiences we have had in a post Dead Cells And Hollow Knight world.
Unworthy starts off in a world where there is little to no happiness, a world where everyone gave up hope and are living life like there is no reason or purpose to, where murder and injury is also committed by many, all while you play as a character that has chain whips until you make it out of a dungeon. Then you have to for the rest of the game play as the REAL playable character. While I have never played a game that is as dark as Unworthy, I can say for sure that out of this experience. It is certainly a great first time experience in an addition to the hardcore gameplay.
The gameplay is basically like how a Metroidvania is, it’s a 2D Action Platformer, you start off with your first set of gear which is a sword and shield. You move the left joystick to move, press Y or ZR to attack which you can execute a stronger attack if you hold either of them down, B or ZL to dodge roll (Which both of those cost your stamina), Y to use an item, the L button to switch your specific types of items. You can also press the R button to switch weapons which you won’t be able to get more weapons until after you beat the bosses after the first one. I should also add that you cannot jump in this game, which is a whole big twist to the entire game. You have to play the whole game without hopping like Mario, which makes it all the more challenging and different from how a lot of the action Metroidvania games are. Did I mention that you can also save your game by going to a flame cauldron and regaining the two recovery essences you used?
Another part of Unworthy that really makes it a very hardcore experience as said to be is the difficulty. You can’t even change the difficulty, it’s literally the default difficulty when you first play the game. It may start off very simple and easy to execute combat, but later on as you progress, you’ll start to notice your stamina running low after dodge-rolling and attacking the later bosses and dying so much, which really shows that this game wants to better and make you learn from your mistakes in combat and try harder the next time. Let’s just say that when I fought the second and third boss, I literally yelled and swore in anger. On top of it all, I believe the combat was neither fast or slow. However, I tend to forget to look at how much stamina I have after attacking and dodge Rolling. I think because I have to focus on the enemy while at the same time studying their tactics, I almost always forget to be careful with my stamina meter.
I should also say that there are a variety of different strategies, boosters that you collect or pay for with a currency called sin, which you get from fighting enemies in the game (And you also lose it every time you die, but you can get it back at the place you died so long as you don’t die again). For example, the strategies in Unworthy are that once you progress further and further in the game, you’ll gain new techniques and new weapons, expanding your tactics on how you fight enemies and bosses, not to mention gaining items that help you progress through an area. In addition to boosters, you can collect items called Runes, which are hidden/scattered throughout the over world and when you do collect them, you can enhance your stats. Another way to enhance stats (Which is unfortunately a very slow process) is atone. After you go to a chapel in the snow area, when you save near the cauldron flame, you can access a skill tree type of system called Atone. You can for example increase your HP, Stamina, how much you heal, so on and so forth with not only sin, but also the souls of the sinners, which are the bosses of the game. Yes, you can’t keep enhancing in atone until you beat more bosses, which I know for a fact that there aren’t many bosses in Unworthy.
Unworthy strikes a great example on how a Metroidvania should be and how things should be done differently without a jump mechanic. It really challenges and punishes you to not only learn from your mistakes in a hardcore video game, but to also give you a reason to go on and keep getting better and better to eventually satisfy your skills. Although the atone skill tree feels a little odd given that you can’t increase it until you have enough sin and sinner souls given that there aren’t many to complete it, nevertheless, this game has been packed with hardcore and rewarding difficulty that I am speaking towards the people who are either hardcore gamers and are gamers who are starting to get the pedal to the metal with that type of experience.
Reviewed by Leavan Albero on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by publisher.