Eastern Exorcist is a new 2D side scroller heading our way from the east, with the game in development for 3 years before hitting early access to allow for further refinement from Wildfire Game. Does it manage to stand out in what is becoming a crowded genre? Lets take a look…
The game sees you taking on the role of an exorcists, a warrior monk of sorts, tasked with hunting and dispelling evil spirits. One evening during a mission, you mistake the intentions of a Yokai which leads to your group of exorcists being wiped out one by one. For this you are excommunicated and left to wonder the lands in search of a purpose.
The story is delivered pretty much perfectly on this game, with a native voice-over complimenting the stylised presentation during the regular dialogue sections. Occasionally the game will also use cutscenes and these stand out due to their somewhat unique standing compared to other in the genre. Some of the stories are taken from folklore too, but still sit well within the overall narrative of our Exorcists journey. To be honest it is not the longest game to get through, though the story gets better & better as you go along, It does have a little replayability due to the secret areas and paths to seek out.
To be honest this game is one of the best looking 2D games I’ve played in a while, mainly due to how well put together the atmospheric aspect of the visuals are. The odd vista or field of swaying grass makes way regularly for eerie forests and rolling fog, with great use of lighting and reflections adding to the overall package.
Enemy designs are pulled straight from eastern story books and move well, the special effects/spells are the icing on the cake as they dance around the screen. Performance is rock solid, irrespective of whether I was playing at full HD on the laptop or 4K on the PC. There’s a few settings to tweak, but you’ll likely not need to change anything.
Eastern Exorcists follows a similar template to other side scrollers, if you’ve played something like Muramasa Rebirth then you’ll have an idea. It does do a few things to the formula to help it stand out a little, having to exorcise enemies to prevent them coming back stronger for example, and the shrine system allows for levelling up with the captured souls and an easy to use checkpoint system.
The combat itself is pretty slick, good use of dodging and counters key to success, as you build up your repertoire of special moves as you progress. These special abilities are generally harnessed from defeating the boss characters that you’ll regularly face, some of these can be quite tough and can stifle quest progress if you’re unprepared. It’s not really a tough in general, occasional difficulty spike aside, so long as you make the most of the abilities on offer and are mindful of your opponents.
There’s no denying that Eastern Exorcist looks and sounds beautiful, but it also manages to cram pretty slick gameplay and an interesting story into the mix as well. The game isn’t really that long though and replayability depends on how much of a completionist you are, but fans of the genre will find plenty to enjoy even now as Eastern Exorcist improves through early access.
Don’t need a proton pack to bust ghosts or religious text to banish demons, just put them to the sword instead.
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