When it comes to side-scrolling adventures, there may not be a better platform to experience them on than the handheld lure of Nintendo Switch. That’s not to say every side-scroller is a fantastic experience and with such an incredible variety available, what’s to say Warlocks 2: God Slayers has what it takes to stand out?
Well first off, this isn’t simply a fresh-faced side-scroller. This is an RPG infused adventure that sees players take on the role of one of five powerful Warlocks before heading out in the world to hunt down and hack away at the souls of the gods that roam each world.
The game can be played solo or co-op with up to 4 players (three others and yourself) in local co-op. Sadly the online component found in the PC version of the game isn’t present here, which means you’ll need to have a room full of friends to help you out should you wish to don the adventure with a helping hand.
To begin this bold new adventure, you must first choose from the available Warlocks – Willow, Shax, Kherra, Jake and Kormag. Each one has their own unique feel and can be crafted into the Warlock you see fit courtesy of the skill trees tied to them. The differences between each doesn’t just come down to skill trees though with appearance and abilities also ensuring you have a bunch of options to cater to most play styles.
Wiilow is capable of stunning enemies via the taking of a selfie, and the roses she can fire prove her to be a capable God Slayer. Shax is one for the Bow aficionados whilst purple fireballs can be fired courtesy of his primary ability and he can summon the dead to assist in the fight. Jake brings a phoenix into play, riding away from battle to avoid enemies, whilst Kherra – the Shaman – is able to choke enemies with gas or put them to the blade with her daggers. Kormag on the other hand, well he’s just odd to look at and made me chuckle, but it was Shax and his Death Touch ability that had me gunning for glory.
Looking back on the games I’ve spent most of my recent time playing, the term Metroidvania is one that seems to occur the most. Warlocks 2: God Slayers is another one that joins that very field of oversaturated Metroidvania titles and with pixelated visuals that pack plenty of detail, and a retro vibe on show throughout, there is no reason why this shouldn’t be a game that’s competing for your time as well.
Before we get lost on the focus of this being another Metroidvania title, let me tell you about the purpose of the game – god slaying! At the start of the game, our protagonists have been taken prisoner, but freedom is still possible and courtesy of the local Shaman they are given the chance to go free. There is however one condition – you must look into the Order of Warlocks, a Guild that completes quests and hunts monsters by travelling through dimensional portals.
After causing rage and anger amongst the gods for killing the various monsters of the land, those up above are now prepping to put you down, but through a well maintained skill tree, experience gained through questing, and combat perfected by defeating the many various enemies Warlocks 2 throws at our protagonists, you may just find you have what it takes to defeat the mighty deities.
To access the many quests and side-quests that are available, you will need to speak to the various NPCs that congregate within the Strong Angel’s Pub that serves as a kind of home hub before you venture out to the different worlds/levels to complete a fetch or monster killing quest. The Strong Angel’s Pub is also the place to go should you wish to spend the hard-earned gold you’ve collected from defeated enemies, which in turn can help you to pick up some new items from the local merchant to aid you on your ventures.
Whilst all that is pretty much expected for an RPG adventure, the things that really stands out in Warlocks 2 are the boss battles. Once you find yourself in one of these you’ll know about it as each boss arrives with a gargantuan size that really puts an emphasis on just how small and puny our protagonists are made out to be. Fighting bosses is a blast too. They really require you to find the weak points to cause any real damage, all whilst constantly being on the lookout for any incoming attacks to avoid being absolutely pummelled in seconds. It brings a refreshing break from the usual quest lines of heading out and destroying everything in sight.
Another odd yet interesting feature is the option to own pets in Warlocks 2. The purpose of a pet is to grant spell bonuses, but with different evolutions for each one, and plenty of items to equip them with, it doesn’t take long for them to become an adored member of your family.
Overall and if you like RPG adventures that have you down as the underdog, sending you out into battle, before returning as the hero of the land, then Warlocks 2: God Slayers is certainly a title you should check out. Despite being yet another pixelated adventure, the various environments on offer hold plenty of detail and ensure it always feels like a new adventure each time you head out into battle. There isn’t anything here that will truly feel original, but if you’re up for the tried and tested and want a game that brings accessible, enjoyable and beautiful content to your fingertips, then getting this on your handheld is the next step you should be taking.
Release date: June 2019
Formats: Nintendo Switch (Review)
Massive thanks to: QubicGames