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Review: Elderand [PC]

Developed by Sinergia Games and Mantra, and published by Graffiti Games, Elderand is a tale forged in blood and steel. Venture to the distant lands in search of occult rituals and monstrous entities. Hone your skills with weapons of death and watch out, as danger is around every turn.

Welcome to Elderand

A mercenary is charged with traveling to a distant land, to hunt down and eradicate a mysterious cult. In your travels you find an armory of weapons, a slew of skills, and mysterious magics to help in your quest. You can uncover more of the games lore by finding pages scattered around the map, told from different points of view and times. Sadly, that is as far as the game will take you in story.

Visually, Elderand is amazing. The retro-pixel art style is unique and doesn’t look like it’s trying to copy anything else. The game masterfully designs and varies the environments for players to explore. Each zone features its own unique color style and enemy groups. Enemies are greatly varied, with their own attacks and themes. You also get a variety of weapons and spells over time, each with its own pros and cons.

Watch your step, it’s a dangerous drop

Elderand is a Metroidvania action-RPG that wants you to die. But not in the From Software sort of way. The groundwork is well thought out featuring good level design and enemies in places that keeps you on your toes. You find weapons as you play, allowing you to have various loadouts for different situations. As you fight, you will level up, and you can allocate points into various stats in order to better augment your playstyle.

The problem comes when you are trying to get from point A to point B in the world, and the space between is so thick with pinball levels of death that if you’re not super vigilant, you can end up dying before your destination. Which tosses you back to your last save point. Which wastes your time. There is very little enemy response when it comes to taking hits. You can wail on them until their health is depleted, and they will perform the same animations regardless. Whereas when you take the slightest bit of damage, you’re thrown back with the velocity of Unrelenting Force.

A slippery slope of situational scenarios

The balance in difficulty and player control is what makes or breaks a platformer. I’ve played Metroid, Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, and many others that all manage to keep difficulty high without it feeling unfair or frustrating. If you die, you grew from that death and you learned how to counteract it. In Elderand, you just need to not get hit. Which is for technical players far more advanced than me. If the only way to win is to master the game, there is no growing experience.

All in all Elderand is a good game with rough edges that’s definitely for a specific type of player. The cons don’t outweigh the pros, and is worth the time in it for the combat experience.

Elderand is available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Steam PC, Xbox Series X and Series S. Review code provided by Graffiti Games.




All in all Elderand is a good game with rough edges that's definitely for a specific type of player. The cons don't outweigh the pros, and is worth the time in it for the combat experience.

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