Flynn: Son of Crimson – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Platformer
Developer: Studio Thunderhorse
Publisher: Humble Games
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Tested on: PC

Flynn: Son of Crimson – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Good graphics and sound
Bad: Mediocre gameplay
User Score
0
(0 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Combat in games is tough to get right, it needs to be interesting for the player and not become too repetitive. Due to these factors, implementing a satisfying system is one of the hardest challenges for developers to overcome. Should they fail at it, the result will at best be boring or at worst become a slog. Such is the case for Flynn: Son of Crimson, an action platformer where combat overstays its welcome, here is why.

Story

Opening on a lazy day where Flynn is hanging out with his magical dog, Dex, the game’s story soon kicks into overdrive when a mysterious hooded girl invades the nearby temple of the goddess. Upon confronting her, Flynn is promptly beaten into submission, only to receive magical crimson powers from the temple’s statue and turn the battle around. Forced into retreat, the mysterious girl launches a final assault, extracting Dex’s energy and leaving the dog on the verge of death. This prompts Flynn to embark on an adventure to recover Dex’s four guardian spirits.

From here on out, the game’s plot devolves into the most simplistic “good vs evil” story imaginable. Commanded by the powerful Zealock, the forces of the Scourge are invading Rosantica, with Flynn being the only one able to defeat them. In order to do so, he’ll have to recover Dex’s spirits in order to allow the dog to fly, while strengthening his own crimson power at the different altars of the goddess.

None of this is particularly fleshed out besides bits of backstory here and there, spouted by side characters in exposition dumps. Even the hooded girl is ultimately underdeveloped despite seemingly being involved in a huge endgame reveal, which ultimately goes nowhere. This applies to all other side characters too, with most barely having a handful of lines or token quests to send Flynn wherever he must go next.

Graphics

The game’s graphics are one of its highlights alongside the sound design. Throughout the whole adventure, each of the different maps contains unique and well-realized designs featuring beautiful vistas. However, this does not apply to the enemies, which are instead rather limited in scope, mostly reutilizing variations of the same few designs over and over. The only exceptions to this are the bosses, which are all unique in their own right, although not particularly remarkable.

Sound

Flynn’s sound design is also one of its better parts, mostly thanks to a quite good soundtrack containing a variety of songs. The game’s sound effects are also generally decent although nothing to write home about. The SFX simply do their job without much fanfare.

Gameplay

As previously stated, Flynn: Son of Crimson belongs to the action-platformer genre. The game’s main gameplay loop sees players going through areas clearing simple platforming challenges and battles in order to reach the level’s goddess statue and progress. For this task, Flynn’s kit contains some basic movement options, such as a dash, a jump, and later on a wall jump.

Throughout the adventure, this kit barely sees any changes other than the addition of the aforementioned wall jump. However, a handful of levels feature unique gimmicks, such as swimming, a parachute, or riding Dex, although all of these mechanics are generally left underutilized. It is a common theme for Flynn to introduce a mechanic or gimmick for a single-stage before getting rid of it forevermore.

Flynn’s combat abilities and stats are a similar case, barely evolving throughout the adventure. These abilities include a basic combo, a magic attack, and a berserk mode, which can all be upgraded through a skill tree. This skill tree includes things like extending Flynn’s combo, increasing his health, or lengthening the berserk mode’s duration. Additionally, as the game progresses, Flynn will unlock two other weapons and several elemental powers for his magic, each with different effects.

The way the game’s combat works is a simplistic system where players will hit enemies a couple of times before rolling away to dodge attacks. In some cases, the enemies will have a guard meter that will need to be filled in order to stun them for a brief moment, allowing the player to connect a full combo. Out of the three weapons Flynn will possess by the end of the game, his sword and axe will deal the most damage per hit, while his claws will allow for faster combos. However, none of the three particularly stands out or provides enough incentive to use it over the others, being instead down to player preference.

Some of the possible upgrades in the skill tree will provide players with special moves they may utilize by consuming their crimson meter. This meter is also utilized by the berserk mode, during which Flynn will become immune to all damage on top of being able to dish out quick and powerful hits until the meter depletes. However, as it can be guessed, the berserk mode is much more powerful than any of these special moves, ultimately making them worthless in most cases. To add insult to injury, most of the boss fights deplete the meter upon beginning, since the sheer damage dealt by this power is enough to nearly finish the fight in mere moments.

The main thing Flynn fails at is making its gameplay enjoyable. Due to its simplistic platforming and combat, players are left with nothing to really engage with. Most enemies in the world can simply be ignored in order to progress, other than those holding keys or when you have to fight through arenas. The game doesn’t even punish players in any way for doing so, since dead enemies only provide currency for the skill tree, which can be obtained by destroying crystals throughout the levels anyway.

Conclusion

Flynn: Son of Crimson is a bland-at-best game that doesn’t contain anything noteworthy or unique. Fans of the genre looking for something to play between games or those looking for an entry point might find it entertaining enough, but not much more. Offering around 8 hours of content and sold for €/$19.99 or £15.49, it is hard to recommend the game outside of a sale.

Personal Opinion

“As someone who had been looking forward to playing this game since I first heard about it, I was utterly disappointed after actually playing it. The gameplay is simply mind-numbing and bland, with a shallow combat system that offers nothing in the way of challenge. While I first started playing the game on Hard, I ended up giving up on it halfway through and started playing on Easy instead. This was due to how the only changes Hard mode provides are making enemies insanely bulky while also doubling the damage Flynn takes, instead of actually presenting the player with harder enemies or different encounters. These changes didn’t even make the game much harder, but rather a lot more boring. If every enemy takes a solid minute to kill for a minuscule reward, there is no longer a reason to engage in combat. The double damage doesn’t do much either, besides halving Flynn’s health and becoming a nuisance in longer levels, where death means having to go through bland and boring combat once again.“

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.