In Celebration of Violence – Review
Follow Genre: Rogue-like, RPG, Adventure
Developer: Julian Edison
Publisher: Julian Edison
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Tested on: PC

In Celebration of Violence – Review

Site Score
6.8
Good: Challenging, a lot to explore and try withing the game, lets you do whatever you want
Bad: Steep learning curve, you'll die often
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

In Celebration of Violence is a top-down rogue-like game, where you’ll explore an unforgiving world with a nice retro look. The game may look cheery, but it’s all about violence: you’ll be able to kill anything you encounter, and most will try to kill you too. This game has been developed and published by Julian Edison.

Story

To start out, the game explains very little. You start the game by creating a character, and then you’ll spawn at a starting area, with a shop and a room where you can train, and a few NPCs will be there too. When you talk to the NPCs, you’ll learn a bit about their background, about the world, and that there’s a forest nearby. These are just snippets of text, and explain very little about the world at large. However, when you explore you gradually learn more about the world around you, mostly through encounters with NPCs.

Graphics

The game looks like flat pixel art, with black walls extending up to the viewer. The walls obscure whatever’s behind them, so you can’t see all of an area as soon as you enter it. The rest of the graphics look very 2D and flat, but it is possible to go behind trees to find things hidden behind their canopy.

Killing looks very bloody, in a plain red 2D pixelated kind of way. When you kill anything, blood gets splashed everywhere, which is very fitting to the title, and quite satisfying.

Sound

The music is a subtle and slightly spooky orchestral theme that reminds of retro arcade games. It sets the general mood of the game but is not that noteworthy. All actions in the game have sound effects as well, like your footsteps, slashes of your sword, when you’re getting hit, etcetera. It’s functional but nothing mentionable.

Gameplay

In Celebration of Violence is a rogue-like game with a lot of different aspects to explore, making it quite interesting and extensive. The world is procedurally generated and quite large and varied, featuring many bosses and lots of different items you’ll be able to obtain, or objects to use. And, of course, many different enemies (and friendlies) to kill.

You start as a peasant, and you’ll be able to unlock more classes the longer you play the game. There are a few customization options for your character, like, hairstyle, facial hair, colors, and gender. There are quite a lot of genders to choose from! But of course, since the graphics are so simple, you won’t notice much difference visually.

At the beginning it’s useful to take a look at the manual of the game, which explains most basics. You’ll learn what the UI elements are for, which buttons to press to fight, dodge, etc. Be sure to take a look around in the menu, and explore all the tabs you can click. You’ll find there’s a lot of useful information in there, and you’ll probably look at it often to remind yourself which buttons to press for what or to keep an eye on the equipment of your character.

Not much is explained in the game and most things you’ll have to figure out for yourself. There are a lot of different items you can obtain, like weapons, spells, and various relics that give your character bonuses or resistances. However, none of these items are explained beforehand, you’ll just need to see what they do as soon as you obtain them.

Enemies drop experience crystals when you kill them. Experience won’t level up your character, but you can collect it, to use as currency to buy items and spells for your character. It’s also possible to save your experience using a book, which will deplete your current experience points but will make them available for your next playthrough. These books will appear after a boss fight, which will earn you lots of experience.

This game is a roguelike with permadeath, but every time you start anew, you’ll retain experience with which you can buy items to make your character stronger. A lot of these items are available in the starting area, so you’ll be able to prepare your character before venturing out in the world again. You’ll also be able to use your experience to buy permanent character upgrades when you create your character before starting the game, so choose wisely what to use your experience for.

There are different types of areas to explore, like forests, plains, deserts, and swamps. Every now and then you’ll encounter a floating mirror, where you can walk through to get to a different area. A mirror with a red edge will take you to the chamber of a boss. When exploring, you’ll notice statues, groups of weird crystals, altars, chests with resources, and crafting equipment scattered around in the world. Most of these cost a certain amount of experience points or resources to use. Then you use them, you can gain all kinds of items like artifacts, a place to save your experience points, magic spells, resources, or equipment. There are many different kinds of artifacts and other items you can encounter. To find out what they do is mostly trial-and-error: you can check out your equipment screen, or just try to use an item or spell, and see what happens!

You get spells via spell books that you’ll find in the world when exploring. You open the book using stamina, and after that, you’ll be able to choose from several different spells. How the spells work exactly, you’ll have to figure out for yourself, by reading the description and then trying them out to see what the effect is.

You will have several tools available to you, with which you can collect different resources like lumber and iron, and eventually craft items or use the resources as currency for something else. You’ll need to have the correct tools to gather resources, and these tools will also come in handy to remove barriers and get access to chests or other useful items. But you’ll still need to be careful: even digging a simple hole in the ground has the chance to release a swarm of angry bees upon you!

There are many different gauges you’ll need to keep an eye on. The most important bar is your health, but there’s also a bar for stamina, which allows you to use special moves, a bar for armor, and bars for hunger and temperature.

This game is violent indeed, and almost everything you encounter in the world is out to kill you. Except for some friendly NPCs… But don’t worry, you’ll be able to kill them, too. Killing friendly NPCs won’t earn you anything, so it’s up to you whether you want them dead or not.

Conclusion

In Celebration of Violence is a rogue-like RPG with a retro look and feel about it, and lots of pixelated gore to go around. You’ll have to figure out most of the game by yourself, which is really fun if you like that kind of thing, but it might be annoying for people who want to master the game quickly. The game is pretty hard, and you’ll die often. However, you’ll be able to boost your character for the next playthrough, so not all is lost when you die. This game is recommended for people who don’t mind a steep learning curve and lots of deaths while trying to learn the game. If you like those kinds of games, you’ll find this game quite rewarding and interesting.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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In Celebration of Violence - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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