I feel guilty writing this review. It’s not that Severed is a bad game by any means, it’s fantastic. I feel guilty it’s taken me almost an entire year to turn my PlayStation Vita on. For months, Sony’s handheld system has lied dormant in my desk drawer, serving no purpose, it even was used as a paperweight when I used my fan in my room once. Luckily, though, Severed gave me a reason to charge my handheld and return to a handheld console that I really loved.
Severed was developed by Drinkbox Studios, who also developed the amazing and addicting, Guacamelee. I’ve played it and purchased it twice, each time I’ve cleared it, there was a smile on my face. We had a good run together, now with Severed, I’m back to soak in what this excellent studio has created with their newest game.
In Severed, you play as Sasha who has lost everything, her family is gone, and she’s lost her arm. She soon comes upon a mirror and meets a creature that offers her a sword that will help her find her lost family.
Severed is most definitely a dungeon crawler, you navigate through treacherous dungeons and face off against hellish creatures in a first person perspective. The persepective works here, but the controls to turning feel clunky and take some time to adjust. This is a bit jarring at first but quickly becomes quite natural.
I did like that each dungeon had its own share of secrets to find, and you’ll have to come back to them to find everything. The good thing here is that when you return you’ll be stronger than the enemies and you can easily plow through them with little trouble.
The battle system is quite intuitive and sings the Vita’s touchscreen to attack feels really good, you can perform short and long slashes to battle them. There’s a meter that fills up and once unleashed, creates a very cool finisher that involves severing limbs from your enemies. It feels really good. It also reminds me of Infinity Blade by developer Chair but a much deeper take on that system. My one issue was as you progressed and fights became challenging, you would tire from swiping so much causing small issues and some tired fingers. It was also something that I needed to allow myself to acclimate to but nothing serious.
Even better, when you’re feeling confident and comfortable with the controls, the game throws new twists at you, but you can level up and learn new abilities. There’s an RPG here that unlocks in a natural way.
Severed is a beautiful game, the colours and designs pop, feel fresh and thrive on the handheld. The score for this brilliant game adds a layer to the game creating a dark world that feels toxic to be in but necessary to march through.
If you want a deep story with a lot of dialogue, you’re out of luck, the story is told through visuals and colour, you’ll learn more if you pay attention to the details than reading some dialogue.
I hate that it took a year for me to boot up my PlayStation Vita, Severed is an exceptional title to play on the go. I’m glad this is why I came back though because a handheld title that both satisfies me and challenges me is rare, Severed is why you want a handheld, it creates experiences a console could not ever do.