Afterimage: A Magical Metroidvania Worth Exploring
Metroidvanias have seen a surge in popularity recently, with titles like Hollow Knight and Momodora: Reverie Under Moonlight becoming well-regarded examples in the genre. However, Afterimage proves to be a game that is also worth mentioning in the conversation. As an avid VR gamer and paraphrasing expert, I’ve spent around 30 hours exploring the lands of Engardin with the amnesiac protagonist Renee and her companion Ifree, and I can confidently say that this title is an absolute gem for Metroidvania fans.
Afterimage’s premise follows a journey of self-discovery that sees Renee exploring the world of Engardin after her village is burned down. Together with Ifree, she uncovers more about the protagonist’s identity as the story progresses. The environmental storytelling found in each area is where the game’s narrative shines the most. Engardin is a beautiful and melancholic setting, with locales ranging from mines flooded with mushrooms to dead villages. The game explores themes like the potentially catastrophic effects of selfish desires, the different methods one’s sense of faith can be exerted, and how cycles of violence can potentially be broken.
Afterimage’s gameplay, reminiscent of the Metroidvania genre, allows for a mostly open-ended world. As with most titles in this genre, traversal upgrades are necessary to explore most of the setting. Renee gains abilities along the way, such as double jumping, wall jumping, and navigating underwater, making it all the more satisfying to explore the vast world of Engardin. The platforming challenges are precise with a sweet spot between being too easy and being too frustrating. When Renee fails, the game places her back at a predetermined spot, allowing the player to avoid any frustration of being stuck in the middle of a challenge. While the platforming has a few quirks, jumps and slides showcase Renee’s agility and how fluid the game’s combat and movement is.
Combat in Afterimage is equally satisfying. There are different weapon types that feel great to use and have specific areas where they excel. Swords are versatile weapons with quick speed, good range, and solid damage, while the whip provides fantastic range and great damage. Magic is also available as a ranged option in combat, but the high cost of use and damage limitations make it less viable than weapons. The enemies are incredibly varied and provide new challenges throughout the game. Facing bosses is a challenge for players, and each boss fight has unique patterns to memorize to overcome them successfully.
Afterimage is an outstanding Metroidvania title with some minor issues. The story, while it starts slow, blossoms thanks to a world that is visually breathtaking and themes that are interesting. Combat and platforming are satisfying, with new challenges and enemy varieties throughout the game. In a genre brimming with many titles, Afterimage is a game that stands out above most. It will be available on April 25th for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Afterimage is a game that deserves attention from gamers who love Metroidvania titles. The game’s world is full of beauty and wonder, and its themes are intriguing, making it an overall fantastic experience. I recommend checking out VR Game News for more updates on the latest VR games.