Vigil: The Longest Night has arrived just in time to take Switch and Steam into the scariest of months. Does it pierce the night or is it a far cry from horror?.
Vigil: The Longest Night is a gothic/eldritch platforming adventure heavily inspired by such titles as Bloodborne, Castlevania and Salt and Sanctuary. While I’m familiar with the first two, the latter passed me by so I’m unable to compare but I know the developers of S&S actually provided some content for the game which is awesome.
Vigil employs use of an interesting art style, while the scenery is gorgeous in that gothic, ruin, bloodstained darkness style, the graphics really pop with the way enemies are animated and stick out from the scenery. The animation reminds me of a pop up book and initially I wasn’t too sure of it until I saw the game in action and how well the lighting and effects work with everything. Vigil: The Longest Night is as dark and evil as it is gorgeous to look at, death and beauty in equal measure.
There is no voice acting at all in Vigil: The Longest Night which means you gotta do the old way and read dialogue. There are some great songs to battle through the forces of darkness too and the ambient sound also manages to create that feeling of impending doom.
The main narrative in Vigil: The Longest Night sees our heroine Leila as she returns to the land as a Vigilant, monster hunter to us common folk. Naturally her homecoming is ruined by an abundance of monsters and the fact her sister seems to have gone missing!. Unless you talk to everyone and read everything the narrative is kind of bare bones, it’s when you put the effort into completing the side quests and talking/reading you get more of a fleshed out tale, no pesky pace breaking cutscenes and as much story as you want.
Vigil: The Longest Night as mentioned earlier is a 2D action RPG or if you want comparisons, Bloodborne meets Metroidvania. The game features a giant world for you to explore and discover many secrets, some which lead you to loot, some which lead you to your untimely demise.
The game will give you a gentle nudge in a direction and you head off in search of secrets and monsters to slay. While on the subject of slaying, a hunter is only as good as the weapons they take with them, Vigil: The Longest Night may not be bursting at the seams with weapons but what is here works.
There are 4 types of weapon, Sword, Halberd, Daggers and Bow, each of these plays drastically different and have a special ability attached, for example Sword is the only one of these that can Parry and Bow is capable of adding effects such as Poison. You can switch between 3 weapons on the fly and you also have quick items you can use such as Health Potions and Throwing Knives.
The combat is given weight by the excellent feedback and the stamina system, much like the games that inspired you can’t just swing for the hills and hope for victory otherwise you’ll end up knackered and dead!. Dodge is also your friend offering up a handy window of invincibility allowing you to negate damage and position yourself behind your foe for more damage.
The platforming is a little floaty which can a pain when you want to make more intricate jumps to avoid traps or giant progress swallowing falls, for a lady carrying so many items and weapons she feels like a feather on ice at times!.
Boss fights are the standouts as they should be for this genre, giant hulking behemoths await you wanting to introduce your face to their fist/teeth/tentacle/you name it. They are old school affairs and usually require you to learn pattern of attacks and timing on dodges to get by, or farm Health Potions and hope for the best!. The boss design is definately the strongest aspect outside of the general visuals and there are some right nightmares conjured up here to test you, you’ll feel more than Vigilant taking this rogues gallery down!.
Vigil: The Longest Night will last players around 15 to 20 hours depending on how many side quests and exploration you want to do, as is par for the course with this genre there are multiple endings too which will add incentive to stay. Currently there are a few issues plaguing the Switch release which is random freezing and quite a cripplingly long load time, developer is aware and I believe a patch is coming up soon hopefully addressing these issues.
Vigil: The Longest Night is a brilliantly challenging title, while the platforming isn’t the strongest and it at times feels alot like other games in the genre, there is enough to like here to suggest giving this game and honest try and reccomend that anyone who likes challenging horror themed games stays over during The Longest Night.
While not the most original, tasty combat and to die for visuals make this shine through the Longest Night!
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Pride of utopia & greatest thing ever, I found the One Piece, Collected the Dragon Balls & won the Mortal Kombat Tournament in one night, it was quiet for me that night!