Garshap: The Monster Slayer PC Review - -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 8.0
Sound 7.0
Value 8.0
Developer: Dead Mage Studios
Review Date:
June 2011
Hayley Clements


Garshap: The Monster Slayer

An Indie title that may have some production issues here and there (Camera angles seem to even plague the small game developers), but for an indie title and a short game play, it is worth a bit of a romp to get away from it all. Garshasp: The Monster Slayer is a new brutal action game by Dead Mage Studio. Since there are so many action games out there and our standards have already been set, itís not easy to produce an addictive and interesting action game to pull the player away from all the rest. Garshasp doesnít seem to have trouble in that department. This action packed, gore filled, fatal game really sucks you in.

Garshasp is a great warrior, whoís on a quest for revenge. His target is Hitasp, his sworn enemy, and his brotherís murderer. But itís not just Hitasp youíre fighting against. Itís an army of minions and monsters, hungry for your head. You, Garshasp, must fight your way through thousands of disgusting creatures, battle through treacherous terrain, and use your wits to solve puzzles or strategies.

The gameplay itself was exciting. Any contact with your blade causes the enemy damage, even if they were behind you while you swung, making it easier to cover your back. The attacks themselves were responsive and the controls were easy to get used to. Garshasp has both a light, quick attack, and a slower, yet stronger attack. You can use these individually or in conjunction with each other to create devastating results. You can wreck even more havoc when you level up. Each time you level up, you get some new skills. Each of these is pretty impressive and itís hard to choose which one you want to use because the animations and the damage are just so fun! Many of the larger attacks use rage, which is gained through fighting and battling enemies. Once you gain enough rage, you can activate even more powerful attacks and really show your enemies what youíre made of.

Despite his bulky appearance, Garshasp is pretty nimble and quick. If your reflexes are fast enough, you can dodge almost anything your enemies throw your way. You are able to block incoming attacks by holding the block button, which can be used at precise times to perfectly parry (and trigger slow motion action), an attack and avoid all of the damage. Not only can you block and parry attacks, but you can dodge and roll away easily away from incoming attacks or even roll right up next to your enemy for a quick strike.

But itís not all just hack and slash, and dodges and block, when it comes to downing your enemies. More difficult or special enemies have to be interacted with to kill them. Once you damage the monsters life enough, it will stop for a moment, and a red arrow will show up above their head. This is your time to press the interact button and watch Garshasp deliver a brutal fatality. Many enemies even trigger a QuickTime event, where you must press buttons in the order they indicate to you on the screen in a timely manner, or else you will be thrown off and while have to damage them more to get the QTE again.

The environment is lush and actually very beautiful in some parts of the game. Walking through ancient ruins, or going across a dark bog on a poorly made raft really gave you a sense of place and story, and evoked emotion. Even though this is a linear action game, with no choice of where you end up, Dead Mage Studios did great designing the levels. The areas are interesting; some areas are more strategy challenges that might take a couple tries to get the hang of it. Once you do though, you get right back into the fast paced action. Even just running around through the levels when there are no enemies around its still exciting, due to all the obstacles in your way. You will also find experience and health orbs (as well as save spots) along the way, where you can get a little extra experience, or heal up after a defeating a boss.

One of my favorite parts about the game was the animations. Everything was animated together very smoothly and was pleasing to the eyes. The movements during fatalities and object interactions are well done and were able to bring life to the character. The attacks looked aggressive and brutal without being too over the top. The cut scenes were also skillfully done. Not only did they transition from gameplay to cut scene with ease, but the animation and camera movement all painted a very nice picture that really immersed you into the boss fights and the locations. Even the camera (which you cannot control) is done well, which doesn't seem very easy in some of the environments they created.

Unfortunately, I sometimes found myself stuck in a location, or underneath a huge crouching monster, leaving me unable to dodge attacks. Other than that I though it is silly that such a brave hero will die instantly upon being submerged under water and drop like a rock, but even though he never learned how to swim, he eats, breathes, and sleeps combat, so its forgivable.

Gashasp: The Monster Slayer reminds me a little of each Prince of Persia, God of War, and Conan the Barbarian, all mixed together to make a pretty nice combination. Once you get a hang of all of the controls, and are able to recognize intractable objects, or even avoidable situations, the game plays so smoothly itís like watching a movie. With its mix of strategy, faced paced action, and attractive visuals, this game is a great buy.

Game hard, play happy!

Hayley Clements
Impulse Gamer
United States Team Writer



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