After first hearing about Hexage’s new game, Reaper- Tale of a Pale Swordsman, I was inclined to immediately pick up the game. First reason being I’m pale. Very much so. Not to mention there are swords and many to choose from. There was no room for failure. So, how did the game live up to my preset expectations?
Reaper- Tale of a Pale Swordsman, has a very basic premise as you embark as a pale, yet heroic swordsman on an abundance of quests in the world of Imperium. A war between the imperials who represent what is left of the ruling kingdom and the many tribes that inhabit the forest has broken out and it’s your job to take upon yourself, the many quests from both factions. From there, you are allowed to treat the many people you meet along your journeys with either respect or disdain and it shapes how they see you and the quests that are given. Those looking for a dense plot, should turn away as the quests are simple and often times repetitive in nature. However, some of the characters you meet display some cheesy humor, which gives the game an added layer of quirk (not the Zooey Deschanel kind of quirk!) and identity. Yet, I found myself often just clicking through the dialogue during the quests and getting right to the gameplay and found it unnecessary to the overall point of the game which is leveling up and acquiring gold.
Where the story might lack, it made up for it in other areas. The graphics and imagery of the game, especially during the fight sequences are quite impeccable for a platform rpg. Hexage seemed to focus a lot on polishing up the graphics and it shows. Not to mention, the game ran incredibly smooth and never did I run into refresh rate problems or any glitches. The game is structured well and I never noticed any major bugs or anything detrimental, which provided a great playthrough experience.
Reaper also succeeds in bringing in some great sound effects and an accompanying score that fit the game’s premise and design almost perfectly. Everything you do in Reaper makes a noise and it’s executed well. From the swoosh of your behemoth sword to the awfully frightening “screamers” you fight in the game, Reaper is stacked with an array of great sounds that add to the overall experience of rummaging through Imperium.
So, does the gameplay match up with the wonderful presentation of the game? Yes and no. Upon first starting the game, you’re given a tutorial on how to fight and unsurprisingly, it was condensed and simple. You have two major attacks, a slash upwards and a strike downwards. Also, there is an auto-attack feature whenever you’re near say, a treasure chest and it will automatically slash the thing into oblivion without you doing anything. I never could fully get into this, and usually I just manually destroyed the thing myself. For those who don’t like the auto-attack there is no need to worry, it’s not used very often and you can just do it manually if you so desire. Also, to get those dreadful enemies out of the air (giant bees and such), there is a jump button intertwined with a flipping sword attack that is quite enjoyable to watch and utilize. This is used most often, and is an enjoyable way of hitting the accursed enemies out of the air. Altogether, the gameplay forms a smooth experience that is enjoyable and easy to learn, but once you play the game long enough, becomes a tad repetitive.
It’d also be a shame if I didn’t mention the upgradable weapons and XP system for those obsessed with such things as I am. In the game, it’s not hard to attain XP and gold. The difficulty of the game isn’t too hard so leveling up was usually quick and painless. Gold is used to purchase better weapons as you progress in your level, and the selection of weapons, armor, and magical additions to your attire aren’t real vast and creative. However, some of the swords were just downright awesome, and who doesn’t like an awesome sword? Despite the swords, the overall customization of the character felt restrained and there wasn’t a lot of room to be creative with it.
So, if you’re looking for a simple, yet easy on the eyes platformer, Reaper will be right up your alley. As long as you don’t expect too much out of it, it can be played for hours and still retain its fun factor.
*You can purchase Reaper on Steam for $4.99 now.
Reaper doesn't switch up the platform genre much, but the visuals are great and the gameplay will sure to keep you having fun for hours.