Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Scourgebringer is an extremely fast variant of the roguelite genre. With a 2D platforming style, you will hack and slash and shoot your way through many an enemy to discover the secrets of the alien structure you set out to explore. Scourgebringer is tough, it’s fast, and it has plenty of enemies to beat.
In Scourgebringer you take on the role of Kyhra, a great warrior tasked with discovering the secrets of the alien structure that has brought ruin to the world. To do so, you must explore the procedurally generated labyrinth that you are dropped in, defeating all the enemies in each room you enter before being able to move on to the next. Your goal is to find the guardian on the floor and defeat it, so you can gain access to the floor boss in each area.
Kyhra has some fancy moves at her disposal, being able to not only leap around the rooms like a ninja, but also carrying a sword for slashing in light attack combos or heavy stunning blows, as well as a gun for shooting those pesky enemies a little to far away. Most rogue lite games have some sort of aspect they focus on, and for Scourgebringer that aspect is somewhat of a combination of “major speed” and “don’t touch the floor”. You will spend a lot of time airborne, between the light combo the majorly slows your descent, the dash attack that will also keep you aloft, the wall running and avoiding enemies and enemy bullets, if you spend most of your time on the ground, you probably aren’t doing something right.
After ramming your face against the wall that is Scourgebringer and dying a few times, you may bring back judge blood to the central hub style area, where you can exchange this precious resource for upgrades you can buy on a literal tree. So now armed with extra help through increased health and the ability to reflect enemy bullets with the heavy attack, you’re ready to challenge the alien blight again, and then promptly die upon making it to the next area, most likely. And yes, death means you start from the beginning of the first area again, although you keep the upgrades you’ve punched. The items you can find while exploring however? Those you don’t keep.
When first playing, and got the feeling of Dead Cells but a little lighter on complexity from Scourgebringer. Both are 2D rogue like types, but Scourgebringer has the focus on individual rooms and fast paced combat. You don’t have the time to settle down, and even some of the possible upgrades reward you for continuous fighting, or at least not touching the ground. While Scourgebringer is tough, fun, and charming, the pixelated sort of old school metroid graphics are a bit of a mixed bag. Did I appreciate the art style? Most definitely. Could it get hard to differentiate where you are, where enemies are, and what their bullets are doing? Very much so. Thankfully the bullet reflect does wonders for this provided you can prepare in time before the shots hit you.
Scourgebringer is great in the way it presents itself. It’s simple enough that you don’t get bogged down in special combos, different item combinations and skillsets, or minmaxing abilities to give you the best advantage. Yes there are different guns and you can pick up items to boost your abilities, but the core focus is on those abilities you unlock and how you use them. There is a learning curve with each new enemy, and you might get frustrated at seeing your progress reset each time you die, but you get better and faster each time.
Overall, Scourgebringer is a wonderful addition to the world of rogue lite games. It has a wonderful fast-paced feeling to it that makes those who want more action to take it speedier, while you still have the option to slow down if needed. The upgrade system is lenient enough that you don’t feel like you aren’t making any progress, and each individual room that makes up the sprawling labyrinth of kill boxes is reasonably constructed so as to not screw you over while still making clearing the room challenging. Scourgebringer is a great choice for anyone looking for a little bit of fast paced action, or a nice helping of pain that isn’t quite absusive like Dead Cells or Dark Souls.Score: 8 / 10