Generally favorable reviews - based on 61 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 61
  2. Negative: 0 out of 61
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  1. Mar 31, 2015
    The exploration loop is incredibly satisfying, and combat feels both tight and adaptable, like a complex dance where the partners both accentuate each others strengths, allowing any weak points to fade into the background.
  2. Mar 30, 2015
    Although it closely follows the Metroidvania blueprint, the brilliantly designed and executed Axiom Verge adds enough new and original features to make it a truly great game in its own right. An absolute must for retro fans.
  3. Mar 30, 2015
    It looks great, controls really well, and has a level of difficulty that makes things challenging without making them overtly frustrating. If you've ever been into this sort of action-adventure game, Axiom Verge is positively terrific.
  4. Mar 30, 2015
    That said Axiom Verge is a game that absolutely nails exploration/discovery and that’s an experience that people deserve to have for themselves. After three full playthroughs I can’t think of many other games that have proved to be as rewarding as this. It’s the kind of game that, just when I thought I figured it out, it would surprise me again and again.
  5. Apr 2, 2015
    It’s as much a living homage as it is a natural successor to Nintendo’s 2D Metroid games.
  6. Apr 3, 2015
    Axiom Verge is a constant surprise to gamers. The surroundings are interesting and change often. The weapons and items are rewarded with perfect timing. It's brilliant.
  7. Mar 30, 2015
    Throughout my time with Axiom Verge I was constantly excited to explore strange worlds, gain game-changing powerups, and fire off a new gun for the first time. Almost everything you pick up feels meaningful, unlike collecting overabundant missile-capacity expansions that you don’t even need. I heartily applaud Tom Happ’s first solo effort. It’s incredible that he was able to nail every component of game creation in one package.
  8. May 23, 2015
    Axiom Verge is simply the best metroidvania so far. Big, tough, beautifully retro and with a lot of things to do. One of the best 2015 games so far.
  9. 90
    Axiom Verge is a near-flawless indie game that is sure bound to entertain you with its wide array of creative weapons and deep exploration that, at the end of which, rewards you handsomely.
  10. Apr 20, 2015
    The lack of fast travel is the game’s lone big flaw. The graphics, audio, and control work marvelously – anyone who grew up with Metroid should give Axiom Verge a shot.
  11. Apr 12, 2015
    Whilst the one man team isn’t exactly new, it still impresses when the game in question has the level of polish that Axiom Verge does, it may look extremely retro, but it feels fresh because of the way it plays.
  12. Apr 9, 2015
    In the end, Axiom Verge is an excellent homage to Metroid that also brings some interesting touches to the table.
  13. Apr 6, 2015
    Axiom Verge does a phenomenal job of not only paying homage to some of the greatest games of the past, but also of crafting its own identity in the process. It doesn't just pay respects to the greats. It deserves its own place alongside them.
  14. Apr 5, 2015
    Precise controls, challenging enemies, fun bosses and clever level design make Axiom Verge a great and solid game. This isn’t about being retro, it’s about challenging the players in memorable ways. We want more of this.
  15. Apr 3, 2015
    Axiom Verge looks like a NES-game on steroids, but it is way more than that. Axiom Verge is one of the best games in its genre, thanks to its unique old-school style and tons of secrets to discover.
  16. Apr 1, 2015
    The colorful levels, the synth heavy soundtrack, and the varied weaponry create a feel that’s unlike anything seen today, and the boss battles are equal parts challenge and bombast.
  17. Apr 1, 2015
    I had no idea I'd enjoy Axiom Verge so much. Whereas many modern takes on classic retro genres fall foul of style over substance, this has been built with such skill that it doesn't need to rely on our annoying fondness of the past to impress.
  18. Mar 31, 2015
    Axiom Verge is fantastic addition to any fan of the genre.
  19. Mar 30, 2015
    This game may lean far more heavily on the Metroid homage than most, but it still manages to perfectly capture the tried-and-true gameplay elements of Nintendo’s classic while also incorporating several new ideas to let it stand out on its own, turning an homage to a retro classic into a modern classic that future titles will want to follow.
  20. Mar 30, 2015
    Axiom Verge is an outstanding homage to the metroidvania genre and one of the best independent productions so far in 2015.
  21. 90
    Axiom Verge leverages everything you’ve come to expect from retro gaming and uses it all to create a memorable new platformer that gives even the best classic Metroidvania games a run for their money.
  22. Mar 30, 2015
    Sublime, creative, fun, challenging. Axiom Verge is truly a must buy for fans of classic games and contemporary challenges. The game combines elements that remind us emblematic classic master pieces and original elements like creative game mechanics and a captivating atmosphere.
  23. Mar 30, 2015
    This is concentrated, unfiltered, Super-Nintendo-excellence given the modern treatment, and a landmark indie title.
  24. Mar 30, 2015
    If you've never seen the appeal of these types of games, then chances are this won't change your mind. Devoted fans of the genre, however, will no doubt adore Tom Happ's opus.
  25. 90
    At its apex, Tom Happ's brainchild unequivocally proves just how far video game development has come in such a short space of time and that you can in fact teach an old dog new tricks.
  26. Apr 1, 2015
    Axiom Verge is more than a spiritual successor to Metroid. It’s a tribute to an era, a story whose words are pixels, arranged with maternal care and extraordinary wealth. In addition to being a great video game is also an ode to the past, the cry of a creature never really extinguished, that now more than ever is able to recover from the ashes of the mass market.
  27. Pelit (Finland)
    Sep 1, 2015
    Axiom Verge is a very traditional metroidvania, but in its details lurks a whole lot of innovation. [Aug 2015]
  28. Apr 15, 2015
    I can’t say that his Axiom Verge game has made me rethink my stance on retro/retro-inspired games or platformers, but I had more fun than I thought was possible with this type of game.
  29. Apr 8, 2015
    Everything reminds to the player the old Metroid episodes. Despite too much backtracking, Axiom Verge is a "one man band" production that no one should miss.
  30. Play UK
    May 6, 2015
    Stylish and superbly designed. [Issue#256, p.73]
  31. May 25, 2015
    Tom Happ took great care when taking the Metroid formula and expanding on everything that makes it great, and it shows. Although I spent a bit too much time wandering around and I could have done without the eleventh-hour difficulty spike, Axiom Verge is an excellent Sci-Fi adventure that I'd recommend to anyone.
  32. Apr 7, 2015
    A nearly top notch homage to one of the best sci-fi 2D action adventures of all time, the classic Metroid saga.
  33. Mar 30, 2015
    The Metroidvanis genre has rarely been done this well and this adventure deserves to be held up there among the greats like Symphony of the Night and the original Metroid.
  34. Apr 21, 2015
    A solid game that feels like the old classics, where the talent was as important as the technical side of the program.
  35. Apr 2, 2015
    Axiom Verge uses Metroid’s building blocks to create a fantastic adventure that can stretch for hours if you want it to … though maybe not always in a good way. I’m not a big fan of the genre, but even I started getting obsessive over my map and item completion rates.
  36. Mar 31, 2015
    Axiom Verge borrows heavily from the classic games of yesteryear, like Metroid and Master Blaster, but unlike so many other indie games out there, faithfully recreates the gameplay elements found in those titles.
  37. May 26, 2015
    As it stands Axiom Verge is highly recommended, it is a game that knows its source material, has the ability to authentically replicate its inspiration but interesting enough to add its own spin.
  38. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    May 20, 2015
    A punishing, defiantly old-school adventure. [May 2015, p.94]
  39. Edge Magazine
    Apr 24, 2015
    In terms of reaching its clearly defined goals, it is a triumph. [May 2015, p.122]
  40. Apr 10, 2015
    Extremely well-made title, worth recommending to fans of classic Metroid-style games even despite its flaws.
  41. Apr 7, 2015
    Axiom Verge is so much more than a retro throwback to the days of Metroid. It builds on this formula and adds new ways to play these games with clever guns and game mechanics.
  42. Five years in the making, this one-man project is an ode to retro games like Metroid and Castlevania. From graphics and music to design and mechanics, it channels a late 80s gaming vibe in a way few other modern takes on classic genres do.
  43. Apr 1, 2015
    Axiom Verge is another good metroidvania game with 8 bit visuals and a deep weapon system.
  44. Mar 30, 2015
    Axiom Verge may not be much more than an homage to Metroid, but it's a very good homage.
  45. Mar 30, 2015
    Axiom Verge's design stands out, particularly when it fiendishly deviates from the expected.
  46. Mar 30, 2015
    The level of execution and polish in Axiom Verge makes it seem as though it came from a well-established studio, let alone a single person. There's a confidence in the design that channels the best parts of successful Metroidvania games.
  47. Digital Spy
    Mar 30, 2015
    Regardless of what label you end up applying to Axiom Verge in your own discussions, the most important one to keep in mind is this: Axiom Verge is a damn fine game.
  48. Mar 30, 2015
    Axiom Verge is a game that's easy to fall in love with because it hits so many high notes. It takes the Metroidvania model and adds layers of ingenuity that are in a league all of their own, the most notable being the Address Disruptor.
  49. Mar 30, 2015
    Axiom Verge is absolutely worth your time if you’re a fan of old-school Metroidvania games, but even if you’re not, it’ll still be a lot of fun.
  50. 80
    Axiom Verge is one of the purest forms of Metroidvania titles that we’ve seen in recent years.
  51. Mar 30, 2015
    A wonderful throwback to a bygone era, Axiom Verge’s focus on classic gameplay provides a welcome change of pace, even if it could’ve benefitted from a hint of modern design.
  52. Mar 30, 2015
    While I wish it balanced it's lack of mission explanations with its overabundance of exposition, I still really enjoyed my time in its strange, yet familiar world
  53. Apr 3, 2015
    Axiom Verge isn’t the best in its class, but it takes a familiar structure and adds a tool belt loaded with interesting weapons and gadgets. It’s a worthwhile adventure that entices you to unearth its secrets and rewards you for doing so.
  54. May 11, 2015
    You can’t be a master of everything, and Tom Happ has cleared mastered the exploration element, level design, and sense of progression - the most fundamental parts of a Metroidvania game.
  55. Mar 30, 2015
    While some aspects of the narrative -- particularly its protagonist -- have rough edges to them, it remains intriguing and mysterious through to its climax.
  56. May 3, 2015
    Some impressive innovation towards the second half of the game lifts Axiom Verge considerably, but if you're after a genuine and whole-hearted twist on the tried-and-tested formula, it will disappoint. [Issue#160, p.102]
  57. Apr 9, 2015
    If you don’t have to turn down your TV volume from its usual spot I salute you.
  58. Apr 3, 2015
    Axiom Verge is a clear love letter to the Metroids and Super Metroids of the world, playing just like those classic exploration platformers and doing the genre justice.
  59. Apr 1, 2015
    Its inability to make me feel rewarded is really the core difference between Axiom Verge and the Metroid games it emulates so aggressively.
  60. 70
    It spends too much time recreating the genius of Metroid rather than adding to it, but this is still one of the best examples of the genre in recent years.
  61. May 4, 2015
    Axiom Verge has its moments. Exploration is fun to an extent, and the cavalcade of powerups and weaponry to acquire allows for an ever evolving way to interact with the environment and its hostiles. The graphics consistently impress, and the soundtrack is wonderful. However, backtracking gets old fast and the game frustrates at times with its difficulty and often archaic navigation.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 205 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 205
  1. Apr 8, 2015
    -0 to balance all the 10s- Has the worst parts of the original NES Metroid, none of the modern advancements of Super Metroid, Fusion, or Zero-0 to balance all the 10s- Has the worst parts of the original NES Metroid, none of the modern advancements of Super Metroid, Fusion, or Zero Mission. Controls are clunky (shouldve been twin stick shooting option), map is horrible (no zoom, no waypoints, no treasure indicator), no dashing/running and no warp rooms makes travel incredibly painful and slow. Music is a boring and repetitive mix between chiptune, ambient, and weird middle eastern "allu akbar" type vocals, thankfully I have Spotify. Theres a lot of weapons, however none of them are chargeable and most are useless. The tool upgrades are pretty bad too (no double jump but instead an awkward short teleport thing keyed to the control stick, no space jump even though theres a "space jump" upgrade that increases height by 1 pixel.) The boss battles are very boring and can either be hamrushed or cheap shotted very quickly, and the later battles can be skipped altogether, being rewarded for laziness with secret trophies. The plot is terrible and is told mainly through hidden notes (most of which need to be translated). The glitches are pretty bad even after several patches, and Ive also had issues getting certain trophies to pop. Overall one of the most overrated metroid-esque sidescrollers, and unless you were a huge mega fanboy of NES but hated Super Nintendo and everything after, I highly recommend passing on this or at least wait till it's PS+ Free. Final Review - 4/10 Full Review »
  2. Apr 20, 2015
    Axiom Verge was a treat to play and with almost 30 hours invested into it I still have more weapons, areas and unlockables to uncover. TheAxiom Verge was a treat to play and with almost 30 hours invested into it I still have more weapons, areas and unlockables to uncover. The game from the beginning has a very noticeable Metroid meets Contra in the belly of Red Falcon sort of feel and I have to say that I love it. One thing right off the bat that this game gets right is the basic controls. Firing your weapon in all directions felt just as smooth as an NES or SNES side scrollers without that weightiness present in most games. Jumping and firing on enemies with the sound effects and enemy explosions felt satisfying. A very easy game to pick up and immediately start playing.

    The story is best described as a complex science fiction tale where a scientist named Trace supposedly dies in a lab explosion only to awaken unharmed in an alien world. Armed with a biomechanical gun and tasked by a female voice in his mind, Trace runs out into this mysterious world searching for answers while trying not get killed in the process.

    The game is filled with weapons, health and weapons upgrades, unique enemies, boss battles and of course secret areas. Each world is interconnected by portals or breaches in structures where you must fight enemies and find that specific upgrade to continue on.

    One of my favorite upgrades might have to be the mechanical drone. This little laser armed critter can get to hard to reach areas or tunnels all the while Trace is protected under a barrier shield. A very useful way to clear the path of enemies in tight situations. A later upgrade even allows you to increase the launch distance of the drone as well as allow you to teleport to its location making traversing areas quicker. The laser drill attachment also acquired near the begin is also a beautiful tool for passing through rocky areas and enemies.

    The music feels like a love letter to the chiptune styles of the NES and SNES and do I love the design choice. The constant loop does bring back nostalgic feelings, however, I feel the sound was spot on for the atmosphere and style of the game.

    Of course, what appears to be pretty straight forward good vs evil side scrolling shooter evolves into an existential drama of dark events and discovery of who you really are – as well as the motives of your enemy and allies. It is certainly complex and will get you pondering afterwards – however, there are quite a few hidden documents and notes that you can uncover and translate to find out what has been transpiring. I will not lie that some of it can be confusing, however, its complexity and winding nature kept me piqued. Whether a gamer loves it or hates it will be one’s story telling preferences methinks.

    If there were any issues, I would say that the dashing teleporting mechanic which later serves as a quick dash to break through walls or access alternate paths or double jump can be a little hard to master when trying to access overhead areas. I found it was best used in tandem with a grappling hook accessory. In addition, the weapon wheel used to select your full arsenal in game vs. during a pause can be a little difficult to direct especially as you gain more weapons – however, none of these were deal breakers.

    Also, anyone looking for someone to hold your hand, this is most likely not the game for you. Although you get save points in each map, there is no regenerative health (you have to earn it) and only one life. There are no glowing indicators telling you exactly where to go (although colors exist on the map for potentially red boss rooms, light blue save rooms, or areas of importance) and you cannot teleport between worlds. You have to trek it out on foot or with your upgrades. However, there are some hidden drops and one fast mode of travel in a specific area if a gamer discovers it. In addition, sometimes you will get trapped in a world with no option other than to go deeper into it. To me, it is my favorite environmental choice – forcing you to explore the rich environments, only to find another powerup to access other areas as well as allow you to finally backtrack to the previous worlds.

    As for the supposed “glitches” that appear on screen (another throwback to the NES days), these are actually intentional. A later upgrade called the Address Disruptor allows you to manipulate not only these glitchy environments to open up new areas but also change the attack patterns and forms of your enemies - sometimes even allowing them to spawn energy to refill your health.

    All of this (the game, soundtrack and story) developed by one man over a span of 5 years is astonishing in my opinion and shows how an indie game or any game can be done well with a great attention to detail and love for the genre. I only think what Tom Happ could do with a large team and bigger budget. If you have a PS4, I think it is a no brainer to get it, just be aware of what you are getting into.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 7, 2015
    Axiom Verge compares pretty unfavorably to both its more prestigious Metroid forebears, as well as to other, more modern, Metroidvanias likeAxiom Verge compares pretty unfavorably to both its more prestigious Metroid forebears, as well as to other, more modern, Metroidvanias like Dust: An Elysian Tail or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

    Like many other things in Axiom Verge, the central gameplay loop is ripped directly from Metroid - you scrabble about the environments searching for new power-ups that you can use to access previously inaccessible areas. Of course, the problem comes when you need to remember exactly where those inaccessible areas were, or how you can use your newfound powers to reach them. This dilemma of "wait, where was I supposed to go next?" will be familiar to anyone with experience with Metroid, and it's one of the few truly obnoxious elements of those games. This problem is much, much worse in Axiom Verge.

    Partly, this is because of the way the map is designed. Often times, the place you need to use a new ability is on the far corner of the map from where you acquire it, forcing a lengthy backtrack across areas you've probably trodden over a dozen times or more already. Like Metroid, substantial chunks of this backtracking can involve large vertical spaces requiring a climb - the kind of climb where getting hit tends to send you plunging down to the bottom to try again. Metroid mitigated this annoyance by giving you fast and fun ways of moving about, such as the super-speed run or the classic Screw Attack. No such conveniences exist in Axiom Verge. About the closest you get is a late-game teleport that damages enemies - but it's hard to pull off and doesn't allow you to fly through areas in the same way Metroid did. Instead, you'll find yourself slowly moving up the corridor, shooting enemies as you go. It's tedious, and while there is a warp-zone of a sort located in the middle of the map, that can be almost as much of a pain to get to as the place you're trying to go. All of this is to say that traversal in Axiom Verge can be a colossal pain, not a good thing in a game so heavily based on exploration and discovery.

    The good news is that there's plenty to discover. Health upgrades, weapon power ups, range upgrades, and story notes are all scattered about the environment. Some are obvious, while other are cleverly hidden and require quite a bit of digging to find. There are also a ton of weapons, ranging from your standard blaster to a short-range lightning gun to a wall-reflecting flame-thrower. Based on the menu screen and the fact that the game tells me I discovered only a paltry 67% of the items, I didn't come close to discovering them all. Unfortunately, most of these weapons offer little more than situational or novelty value. While I'd play around with a new weapon for a few minutes after discovering it, I'd generally find myself reverting to the standard blaster or lightning gun.

    Aside from the weapon selection, many of the power-ups function as twists on traditional Metroid items. Instead of the morph ball, you get a deployable drone that fits through tight areas. Instead of bombs, you get a laser drill to break loose blocks. The one truly unique item is the "Address Disruptor," which allows you hack the environment revealing or removing hidden tiles. You can use it on enemies too, to change their behavior in a variety of ways. For example, and enemy that spits out poison clouds might spit out health instead, or you might hack a very fast enemy to slow it down. It's a cool concept, and its fun to discover the various effects the items' use might have on your foes.

    Probably the most successful part of Axiom Verge is its look, which really does a good job of emulating the 8-bit era. The game also has a sort of Geiger-esque aesthetic to it, which manages to evoke the old Metroid games while still feeling like its own thing. There are a few small problems with the graphics; the color scheme occasionally makes it difficult to pick out enemies or projectiles, and the use of graphical cues to tell you when a block can be destroyed or hacked isn't always consistent.

    Unfortunately, the sound design is somewhat less successful than the graphics. On the plus side, the music definitely nails that particular 8-bit midi sound, and the soundtrack feels like something that could have come directly from a Metroid game. The sound effects, however . . . well, let's just say that sound design has advanced a lot from the days of the old NES. It isn't just that the sounds are too repetitive without enough variance between weapons types and enemies. It's also that the weapon and enemy sound effects trend strongly into the sharp, tinny end of the spectrum, which, depending on your tolerance for high-pitched noises, quickly gets tiresome. One type of enemy in particular marks its presence with a headache inducing shriek that eventually forced me to put the game on mute.

    Axiom Verge is ultimately a difficult game to recommend given better games, like Dust or Castlevania currently exist on the market.
    Full Review »