Slain is marketed as kind of a Castlevania tribute game of sorts, but it’s not one of those metroidvania type of Castlevania tributes. No, it’s more like the old, linear, and super difficult Castlevanias (though personally I think it kind of feels more like Rastan).
Anyway, you may or may not have heard that this game had a lot of issues with questionable design choices and bugs on release, but it has been heavily patched since then, and has even been upgraded to “Slain: Back From Hell”, with a bunch of new content added, apparently. I didn’t notice any issues in my playthrough, except maybe the fact that the game tells you how to play with the default keyboard controls even if you’re using a gamepad, so there was a few minutes of fumbling at the beginning, but that’s pretty minor.
So, as you can see, this is a metal themed side scrolling slash-em-up of some difficulty. It kind of reminds me of that game Volgarr the Viking from a few years ago, but with a darker (and better) visual design and with not as annoyingly long spaces between checkpoints.
From the enemies, to the instant kill deathtraps all over the place, to the naaaasty bosses, you’re gonna be dying quite a bit. It’s just the right amount of challenge for a game like this if you ask me though. It’s vicious, but never feels unfair or sadistic.
I can’t really think of any downsides except for maybe its short length (5 hours or something? I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention!), but really, with a game like this you don’t want it to outstay its welcome (maybe if they go more metroidvania-like in the sequel, a longer game would be nice).
Also, from the ending (seen below), it looks like future games in this series are going to get delightfully weird…