Australian Review: Axiom Verge – Something old, something new

Axiom Verge starts with a lab accident which sends the playable character, Trace, to another world called Sudra. While there, Trace hears a disembodied voice which instructs him to perform certain tasks for her. The game’s story is light, but it doesn’t come across as an afterthought; what’s going on isn’t always obvious, and a lot is left to the imagination, but there’s enough to keep you interested. The mysterious characters (and their motives) quickly sunk their hooks into me, and as you delve deeper, the narrative only gets more intriguing.

In typical Metroidvania fashion, Axiom Verge is a side-scrolling shooter with a focus on exploration. There’s plenty of weapons, upgrades, tools, and lore notes to collect – and a lot of them are extremely well hidden behind walls or passworded doors. As always, many require a specific item to be used on either a wall or an enemy. I often went out of my way in searching for these, and ended the game with 87% of the items. Eager cryptographers might get a kick out of trying to translate the lore notes, some of which are in English and others which are written in fictional languages. Their only purpose is to provide additional back-story, but it’s a nice touch.

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