Slain: Back from Hell Image
Metascore
68

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

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7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 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: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Jul 18, 2018
    10
    Best 2D hack and slash game for PS4. It is hard, but not too hard, just like a metal game should be. I feel the fighting system to absoluteBest 2D hack and slash game for PS4. It is hard, but not too hard, just like a metal game should be. I feel the fighting system to absolute fair with the player and the story is **** awesome! Absolutely wort to play trough. Expand
  2. 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.
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  3. 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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  4. 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
  5. 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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