The upgradeable passive skill tree in ScourgeBringer is a nice change to normal roguelike games.
ScourgeBringer is a roguelite platformer developed by team of two Flying Oak Games and published by Dear Villagers. It released in Early Access on Steam on February 6, 2020 and will release v1.0 as well as on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Game Pass for PC on October 21, 2020. In ScourgeBringer, you play as a young girl by the name of Kyhra as she attempts to explore the unknown of her past and destroy the ancient machines guarding the seal.
At the start of the game you are given very little information on who you are and why you are there. The history of previous expeditions is explored through finding Expedition Logs, which are voiced logs that elaborate on the story. Combat is central to the game and it is very fluid and fast. You must be quick to react to the bullet-hell like mechanics. At times it felt very button-mashy but that just comes with having so many different options to damage enemies. You can slice and dice with your sword, use a big hit to stun a target, and there’s a dash that’s similar to a similar game called Celeste. You can even attack with your sword and gun at the same time for maximum damage which I found out after a few hours of fighting.
There are currently five Realms (floors) available in ScourgeBringer – Entangled Ingress, Still Bastion, Wasted Pit, Living Walls & The Old World. Each floor contains:
- An Altar Of Blood – Gives you Blessings which are a passive skill reset each run
- Challenge Rooms – Beat increasingly harder waves of enemies for a reward
- Guardian – Mini boss room required to be cleared prior to facing the main Judge (boss) of the floor.
- Judge – Big bad of each floor. Very challenging and requires precise movement and attacking.
- Greed Room – Spend Blood (Currency) on Passive Upgrades + Weapon Upgrades.
The rooms are very predictable. You generally can tell what mobs will be in a room depending on what the room looks like. I really enjoy how challenging it is, but I have also put over 1000 hours into The Binding of Isaac. In saying that, the game is punishing so if you are new to platformers or roguelike games, expect to die a lot. I love the damage multiplier concept where the more damage you do and less you get hit, the more damage you will output.
The music is incredible and gives me serious Mick Gordon/Doom vibes when you get in to combat. It had me headbanging a few times with how good it was! The upgradeable passive skill tree is a nice change to normal roguelike games. Usually you do not get these kinds of permanent upgrades to take in with you on new runs. This helps get past some of the harder parts, but also can be disabled.
Overall, I gave ScourgeBringer an 8/10. I have already seen an increase in skill in my play time and beating each realm for the first time gave me massive satisfaction. I am looking forward to clearing all the current content and eagerly await more!
This review utilised a Steam code provided by Future Friends Games. ScourgeBringer is available in Early Access on Steam, and releases v1.0 on Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Game Pass for PC on October 21, 2020.
Written by: @menthonso