First Impressions: Severed (PS Vita)

DrinkBox Studios’ latest gift to the gaming world has me torn (or severed) between whether I’m actually enjoying my experience so far in the game’s obscure universe, or ultimately questioning who this game really appeals to and if I may not be in that audience.

Within the first five minutes of the game, it is clear that the game’s greatest feature is its utilization of the PlayStation Vita’s touchscreen, which is sadly something most developers seem to overlook when it comes to designing a game for the system. Swiping across the screen to deal damage to enemies that lurk within forests and buildings feels great, it’s responsive, smooth, and more immersive.

Immersion, however, seems to be a lone, weak pillar that holds the game together, with confusion and boredom being the inevitable gust of wind that strikes the pillar of immersion down, bringing what otherwise could be a good game down with it. Due to the game’s minimalistic narrative, the combat quickly feels like a chore as you traverse throughout areas that mainly contain enemies, with the occasional easy puzzle and rare one line of dialogue coming between.

In addition, Severed’s beautiful and relaxing art style is ruined by the small map in the corner of your screen—which quickly becomes your centre of attention when you are not in the middle of combat, or obtaining a secret upgrade which hides away at a dead end part of the area—as it is the only way of knowing where exactly you are and need to be.

I’m having high doubts that the game will improve as I sink more hours into it to reach its conclusion, but so far it appears there is a negative for every positive about the game, causing an incredibly mediocre experience.

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