The Metroidvania sub-genre of side scroller games has recently hit a new stride with hit titles like Hollow Knight and the Ori series, proving that in a world of 3-D action-adventure games, there is still room for a classic style of gameplay. Many indie companies have noticed this and have created similar titles that offer interesting stories or takes on previously established ideas; however, it can sometimes be difficult to stand out.
Developer Rasul Mono decided to shine as bright as it could with their newest title, The Guise, a Metroidvania style game that features a young boy who, after touching a mask, becomes a monster that must maintain his humanity while surviving dangerous beasts in an effort to be a boy again. The story of the game harkens back to something akin to a Grimm fairy tale, where a foolish decision leads to a harsh consequence so that the reader may learn an important lesson.
From a gameplay perspective, the platforming and combat mechanics are simple. Still, the ability to put healing solely into the player's hands and basing it on their continuing developments in combat is very effective. The game forces the player to understand how it plays and the tempo at which the main character must move, which can be slightly frustrating in the beginning when battling enemies. However, later in the game, everything feels a lot more fluid and effective.
The Guise is new, but it feels like a game that has been around forever, something you may have remembered playing on the computer years ago. Because of that, it gives a slight nostalgia to the creepier platformers of the past. While the gameplay is dodgy at first, it smooths out over time, and the story of the game offers complexity in its simple premise that helps get its message across effectively. Fans of this game style shouldn't miss out on it, and newcomers to the genre would find this game a satisfactory jumping on point.
The Guise 7/10
The Guise is a dark metroidvania fairy tale about a boy trapped in the body of a monster. Can he hold onto his humanity? It's up to you.
The Guise is available now on Steam!