Reviewed: June 17, 2011
Released: May 9, 2011
If you happen to be looking for the next big hit with fighting styles similar to God of War with some Prince of Persia thrown in then I suggest you keep searching because Garshasp: The Monster Slayer is not that game. The story is about Garshasp a Persian warrior on a quest to find an ancient weapon and destroy an evil demon that has infested his homeland. As far as narrating is concerned they did a decent job until at one point I couldnít understand every other word that they were saying due to how often they spouted made up names akin to a Tolkien book.|
As implied by the games title itís very easy to pick up on what it is you will be doing for the majority of the game (Hint: its monster slaying) and itís something you are good at too. Starting at first with only his sword and an arm blade you have the option of two attacks: light and heavy. You also have access to what I call ďGod ModeĒ which is his grab attack, you grab a monster and proceed to break his arm and then stab him all while not taking a single point of damage even if surrounded by ten other demons hurling fireballs at you. Now you may think since the spacebar makes you jump that we would be able to do aerial attacks and maybe even a combo or two but as I found out on my first few attempts at hitting the spacebar and doing a light attack all it does is cancels the jump and not do any actual damage.
As you progress in the game you are also given new attacks called ďRage attacksĒ that are of course useable when your rage bar fills up to a certain point, the more rage you have, the better the rage attack damage will be. Ironically rage attacks are what I called it when I kept trying to do aerial moves throughout the game. While killing all sorts of demons and smashing scattered urns you will find red robs that are used to upgrade your weapon. This is unfortunately an automated level up system; you have no say as to what you are upgrading or what skill you will learn. Leveling up your weapon unlocks more combos and better rages moves. Aside from your standard sword you also find a dragon mace which is also upgradable using red orbs. As far as a combat system goes this one is very linear, you mash buttons till the bad guy dies and sometimes you have to press up or down to finish it with a special move.
I expected that on a game like this I would see a few city levels followed by lots of mountains and maybe a forest or two and thatís exactly what I got. I can see where they wanted to go with this; you start at the city, then follow the evil demon as he makes his trek through the mountains, forests and swamps all while taking down his minions, but I just couldnít help but judge every single one of their levels as I kept finding flaws and glitches throughout them all in a negative way.
Aside from the booby traps and the water levels there was one major obstacle I had a terrible time with, wall sliding. The idea is that you use your knife to dig into the wall and easily slide down but Garshasp likes to let go sometimes for unknown reasons, you are warned about obstacles in the walls that may jar you but I never saw one, and so I ended up repeating the first event a few times until I just happened to have gotten to the bottom. The game tells you that if you lose your grip hitting the E button will make you grab your knife again but I never got it to work.
Garshasp: The Monster Slayer has potential to be a very fun game but it needs a few fixes some of which really make it unbearable to play and at the top of that list are camera angles. Garshasp uses a fixed camera angle that the game changes as it see fits depending on your location in the level, not where you are looking at but the physical location in the level, and I had a hard time controlling him through some levels where Iím walking forward and then suddenly Iím going left while still holding the up button. Second on the glitch list is frame rates.
Now I admit at first I had somehow set my computer to low resolution for this game but after that was pointed out to me I expected a huge difference with quality in the levels and the characters you see themselves and I couldnít have been more wrong. The enemies still looked bland with no real detail and even Garshasp himself looked pixelated at some points and donít even get me started on what happens when you reverse the direction you are looking at because nothing happens, you just instantly look the way you press with no animation whatsoever. Along with the general quality issue the game tends to start to lag after 5 or more enemies start to attack you which made for some slow fights.
Dead Mage Studios have said they are going to put out an update to fix these issues but for the time being we will just have to make do. Garshasp shows potential but it needs some fixes to make it worth that $19.99. At only three and a half hours of gameplay and with all the constant bugs and glitches, I canít condone the pricing when you are going to be regretting it more and more as you play through.