Slain: Back from Hell Image
Metascore
68

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critic Reviews What's this?

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7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 25 Ratings

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  • Summary: You control the fate of Bathoryn, a doomed hero in a Gothic world, who seeks to liberate six cursed realms from six deadly overlords. He must battle his way through this blighted land, packed with gruesome and lethal creatures before ascending (or sometimes descending) into a stronghold, allYou control the fate of Bathoryn, a doomed hero in a Gothic world, who seeks to liberate six cursed realms from six deadly overlords. He must battle his way through this blighted land, packed with gruesome and lethal creatures before ascending (or sometimes descending) into a stronghold, all the while defeating fiendish traps and vile monsters alike. [Playstation.com] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Jan 9, 2017
    80
    Slain: Back from Hell is a more metal and modern Castlevania that looks and plays great, but is held back by a few sections which feel unfairly difficulty.
  2. Oct 4, 2016
    80
    Difficult and old-school, Slain manages to deliver despite its uninteresting boss fights and linear level design.
  3. Sep 19, 2016
    70
    The gameplay will test your patience at times but if you sick with it, it can feel immensely satisfying.
  4. 70
    Slain: Back from Hell is a stylish 2D side-scrolling action game that borrows from the best in the genre. It's wonderful pixel art will have you in awe more than once throughout your adventure. Striking down your enemies is brutally fun but also frustrating when you’re getting hit because of faulty hit detection. I just wish there was more to do after the single playthrough.
  5. CD-Action
    Feb 13, 2017
    70
    The game’s title says a lot about its difficulty level. It is unfair and painful at times, but if you’re stubborn enough, Slain will captivate you and give you a lot of satisfaction despite its far-reaching simplicity and repetitiveness that goes with it. [02/2017, p.45]
  6. Sep 21, 2016
    68
    A 2D action-platformer game that shines in his lovely Pixel Art and heavy metal soundtrack, but falls short in aspects like level design and combat system. That doesn't mean that it's an easy game: as in Dark Souls, you'll die lots of times. If you can bear with all this, and love hack & slash games from the '90s, you'll have a fun time with it.
  7. Sep 21, 2016
    40
    Slain: Back from Hell has one of the very best pairings of stunning visuals and amazing audio that you'll find on the PS4. Unfortunately, it's let down by a dull combat system and a horribly unfair level of difficulty, meaning that the game never picks up the momentum that it should. Wolf Brew Games had an awesome idea here with stacks of potential, but the complete package is hell to play through.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Mar 8, 2020
    10
    Much better than the average score would have you believe. This is a 2D Castlevania-like hack-n-slash, but it is linear like the earlyMuch better than the average score would have you believe. This is a 2D Castlevania-like hack-n-slash, but it is linear like the early Castlevania games (not a "Metroidvania"). The look and combat mechanics are similar to other PS4 games like Dead Cells and Blasphemous, but i honestly like this one the best. It's gorgeous, bloody and metal as all hell. The best part for me is the addictive gameplay. Each level has many save points, between the save points feels like a mini-level that you will probably die in the first time. You respawn quickly and with your knowledge of the traps and enemies you try again, maybe with a different approach, maybe you die again but now you might have a different idea for how to approach it the next play through. This is fun in a Hotline Miami or Super Meat Boy way, but may be it is hard to explain if you've never played those games. It might sound frustrating, and it can be, but it is also fun, engaging and extremely satisfying when you nail those difficult sections. You get into such a groove that you want to keep playing and playing. Most games are pretty easy, or easy enough to where you might have some challenge but rarely die, and that can get boring. This is not one of those games. It is an old school challenge that keeps you on edge, but with modern game mechanics such as frequent saves, unlimited lives, and quick respawn. The combat stays interesting due to the parry mechanic (which you have to master to survive) and elemental weapons you unlock throughout (such as a fire sword for ice enemies, ice axe for fire enemies and witches, etc). I played the game twice through back to back. It is fairly lengthy, but I wish there was something more to do after completing the main game. I'm sure I'll come back for another playthrough at some point, it's a nice reprieve from wordy and overly complicated FPSs, RPGs, sports games, etc. Well worth the $10 or whatever I paid for it Expand
  2. Jul 19, 2020
    10
    If you want a awesome old school mixed with new school platform game , this is it! The only downside to this game in my opinion is that youIf you want a awesome old school mixed with new school platform game , this is it! The only downside to this game in my opinion is that you die easy, but I like a challenge and what would it be if it were to easy? Nice metal music and monsters from hell.The developers
    Of this game know what they are doin. Keep up the awesome work!
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  3. Oct 17, 2016
    10
    This game will be recognized as a classic, in a few years

    Gritty and powerful, superb art style and music. The 2D action game I've been
    This game will be recognized as a classic, in a few years

    Gritty and powerful, superb art style and music. The 2D action game I've been waiting for since the last proper Castlevania on PSX.
    Expand
  4. Oct 6, 2016
    9
    Love this game! Being that I am an old(ish) gamer, I cut my teeth on the classics like Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Castlevania (from NES to PS1's SOTN),Love this game! Being that I am an old(ish) gamer, I cut my teeth on the classics like Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Castlevania (from NES to PS1's SOTN), Genesis classics like Golden Axe, etc. and have to say that the developers of Slain: Back From Hell hit the ball out of the park.

    Love:
    Art design is absolutely delicious. Everything lives and breathes. Just watch how the main character's glow interacts with the backgrounds...stunning. I love how the developer blends old school style with modern effects (such as fog and amazing lighting).

    The gameplay, while Gen-xers might need a "safe space" to find after giving this a shot, is top-notch. Yes, it's tough but rewarding.

    The music- AWESOME. Props to Curt Victor Bryant for the score here- it's tremendous. I'll buy the soundtrack if it becomes available, it's that good.

    Final Thoughts: Ignore the naysayers (and players that formed their impression based on the initial broken build of this game) and give Slain a go-around, especially if you appreciate the aesthetic and style they are shooting for; they pulled it off is spades.

    And, that's metal.
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  5. May 21, 2017
    7
    It's not as detailed as symphony of the night, but more metal. typical platformer with unlimited lives, you die... a lot. Great atmosphere,It's not as detailed as symphony of the night, but more metal. typical platformer with unlimited lives, you die... a lot. Great atmosphere, needs more RPG elements to be an 8 for me, but it's very good for the side scrolling nostalgia. Expand
  6. Sep 30, 2019
    5
    Man I really wanted to like this game. I love old school platformers, I love Castlevania, I love metal, I love dark vanhelsing-esqueMan I really wanted to like this game. I love old school platformers, I love Castlevania, I love metal, I love dark vanhelsing-esque environments. I don't mind dying a lot for the sake of getting better and the feeling of being rewarded at the end.

    Bunch of mechanics in Slain work very well but most of them don't. Sometimes it's pure heaven and sometimes it's just a frustrating experience where random elements come into play and you just die a lot and don't progress at all. Take the controls as an example. By pressing attack for the second time your character dashes forward which often causes you to hit enemy with your body instead of just the weapon and it totally breaks the momentum and joy of the combat. I don't know any other game that does this and I don't think being original at this point adds any depth to the experience.

    Game is hard as hell in the sense it just spits hordes of enemies at you while you avoid traps that one-shot you instantly. When the enemies throw projectiles at you, there's only slight chance you will be able to predict the projectile's trajectory. If you get hit, you leap back and usually die falling into a pit. Enemies overwhelm you very quickly but it's the numbers, not their skill what kills you. Most of the time it doesn't feel like a challenge since even learning the enemy patterns doesn't really help. It's all a huge test of patience but it doesn't feel very rewarding when you finally overcome some obstacles since it's basically a matter of luck, not your great skills.

    On the other hand, the music is fantastic and the game looks gorgeous even on my Vita's lcd, even though I'd prefer it to be little brighter. Audio-visually there's not much you can really complain about.

    I look forward for the dev's next game. More polish and less "original mechanics" which just add frustration instead of depth might bring to the genre a true instant classic. Fingers crossed.
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  7. Jul 16, 2017
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The art style is this games biggest selling point. It's an absolutely gorgeous love letter to the gonzo "horror and heavy metal" aesthetics of infamous 90's titles like Blood and of course Doom. These are the games I grew up on and seeing that kind of art style given a beautiful and bloody new shine was my favorite part of this game. The soundtrack, too, is a delicious blend of thrash, death, and symphonic elements that never sounds like a generic "heavy metal soundtrack" pulled from a C-List Kevin MacLeod. The composer clearly has a love or at least a genuine appreciation for the genre that shines through the various stage themes and it obviously fits the aesthetic perfectly. As a metalhead who cut his teeth on Sepultura and Cannibal Corpse: I approve.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the game is a tire fire of lazy design and palpable contempt for the player..

    Slain has a reputation for being hard but that's not entirely accurate. It's more like this game is pointedly goes out of it's way to be unfair. The term "artificial difficulty" gets bandied about when it comes to the Souls series but this game is the true exemplar. The protagonist, Bathoryn (an obvious nod to the legendary black metal outfit Bathory), is played up as some sort of unstoppable killing machine who mows down the legions of Hell with his massive greatsword. In reality, he's a bearded ponce with a LARPing boffer who can't take more than a few hits before exploding into a galaxy of gore. And you will get hit. A lot. And you will die. A lot. Don't ever expect to make it the next checkpoint in a given stage without 3/4th of your health gone, your mana bar empty, and your patience in roughly the same sorry state. This is trial and error gameplay done wrong. This is Super Meatboy with corpse paint and none of the addictive play or, you know, fun.

    Dark Souls does trial and error correctly by allowing the player to approach a particular area or enemy in a multitude of fashions. You can "git gud" as the proverbial basement dwellers would say and master the minutiae of the fighting mechanics. Or you can cheese black knights in a doorway and peg them with sorcery, arrows, or pyromancies and then move on with your life. Not so with Slain. Slain provides zero room for any strategy aside pure attrition or dumb luck. While you crumple in a few hits, enemies walk-through or shake-off your attacks like the bad ass harbingers of death you're supposed to be. Most have move sets that are unpredictable or require precise timing that is all but impossible to achieve when surrounded by the utter bedlam of environmental hazards, respawning flying enemies, and moving platforms that is Slain's MO.

    Case in point: the final encounter in the Blood Tower prior to the boss room is with a rather strong hellhound enemy. The strategy is like every other projectile firing mob in the game: reflect the shots until you get a stun animation and then power-strike them. Which would only commit the sin of boredom if the timing of each projectile was slightly predictable and closing the gap between you and the hellhound didn't lead to either a fireball to the face or it firing up its invulnerable screen-length charging attack. Did I mention you are to do this while surrounded by hazards that sporadically shoot columns of flame that the hellhound is really good at juggling you into since Slain's devs decided that the 6 foot bounce-back from being hit was their favorite part of Castlevania? Oh, and that proceeding boss fight? It's just a pincer attack by two of these god damn things in a similar hazard-ridden environment.

    This is not difficulty. It's a middle finger to the player and their intelligence. It's a try-hard dev literally cramming all of the annoying **** he can remember from his days of bingeing on early Castlevania and Ghosts & Goblins and calling it "old school gaming" without really understanding what made those classics fun and addictive. Slain just keeps the screen busy and your character as meek and ineffectual as a basket of kittens in the hopes that you believe this game is a loving throwback to games of yore. It commits the biggest sin you can in metal: it's a poser.

    Tl;dr Don't let the pretty visuals and bravado from insecure nerds fool you. This game sucks. Save your money and just Google the art and soundtrack if your curious.
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See all 8 User Reviews