Silver Axe – The Honest Elf – Preview
Follow Genre: Metroidvania, Hack-n'-slash
Developers: The Island Games
Publisher: Milk Bottle Studio
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Silver Axe – The Honest Elf – Preview

Good: Great overall execution
Bad: Poor translations, Could use a bit more content
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Chinese indie games have seen an increase in popularity in the past few years. From titles like Amazing Cultivation Simulator to Dyson Sphere Program, more and more quality games have been coming out. Silver Axe – The Honest Elf is one of the latest games to be released by a Chinese developer, featuring Metroidvania gameplay with a children’s book aesthetic, and here’s what it has to offer.

The game’s story is a classic affair of good versus evil, taking place in a forest that has lost its protector goddess and is slowly becoming corrupted. This has caused the creatures inhabiting it to slowly madden and begin attacking everything, which only the resurrection of the goddess may stop. In order to accomplish this resurrection, the elves, who are guardians of the forest, have sent a representative carrying the Silver Axe containing the goddess’ power, which will serve as a catalyst for the miracle.

Overall, although somewhat cliché, Silver Axe’s story is pretty decent, with some interesting characters and hints at a deeper lore to be unveiled by exploring. However, this is all let down by a rather questionable translation, which makes certain dialogues hard to follow due to the broken English they contain. Luckily, since the game is still in Early Access, there is still room for the translation to improve with updates.

As previously mentioned, the game’s aesthetic is that of a colorful children’s book with whimsical designs for its characters. Overall, the game doesn’t lack enemy variety, with the boss enemies especially shining with their uniqueness, both gameplay and design-wise. However, the same doesn’t apply to the environments, which are instead somewhat samey due to the game taking place in a single forest. That said, even in this case, there are a handful of notable exceptions which really stand out from the rest, such as the tower or the mines.

Silver Axe’s sound department isn’t lacking in any respect either, with rather good sound effects and a good soundtrack all throughout the experience. While neither of these is particularly remarkable, their quality is still rather good and it has room to grow further as the game is updated. At the moment, Silver Axe doesn’t feature any voice acting either, but it is not missed as the game is quite light on dialogues anyway.

The game’s core gameplay loop sees players exploring the forest in order to defeat a series of bosses known as the Pact. Each of these bosses is located in an area of its own and can be freely accessed at any time, this reminds us of Dark Souls and similar games. However, Silver Axe twists this by allowing players to obtain help during boss fights by exploring and doing side-quests. These quests are often simple enough and are related to the NPCs inhabiting the different areas, who will then join the brawl alongside the player.

In order to defeat these bosses and the enemies spread throughout the world, players will have a few abilities at their disposal, including a main combo, and both front and back dashes. Besides their main combo, they’ll be able to power up their silver axe up to two times by consuming the currency accrued from defeating enemies. These power-ups will grant more powerful combo attacks as well as faster energy regeneration, although they’ll be lost upon death.

This energy ties into the other tools players will be able to access, namely the healing and magic systems. The healing system is rather simple, functioning by consuming some energy in order to heal the player. Depending on the trinkets equipped, this healing may also change in quantity, happen over time, or provide other effects. Similarly, the magic system also consumes mana charges in order to give the player elemental charges. By combining these, several effects can be attained, each element having up to three skills to unlock.

Other than this, it is worth noting that the side quests also have other uses besides making boss fights easier. Most of them provide large amounts of money or other artifacts which can be utilized to unlock further secrets. Overall, Silver Axe is a rather complete experience featuring a good chunk of content even in this early version.

Conclusion

Silver Axe is a very enjoyable game with a good base for further content down the line. Although the translation is definitely a letdown, it will hopefully be polished before the full release. Despite being somewhat more linear than other Metroidvanias, it will still appeal to fans of the genre, especially those who might have played Hollow Knight before. Sold for $13.99/€11,59/£10.99, it might be recommendable to wait for more content to be added, with the current runtime being around 5 hours.

Personal Opinion

“I had a lot of fun with Silver Axe. The combat is fluid and responsive with entertaining bosses to defeat. My only gripe was the upgrade system for the axe, which can often be unusable if you run out of money before a boss. This thus leads to either facing the boss without any upgrades or needing to grind up money to use them, with weaker enemies giving almost none. Other than this, I can only say I’ll be eagerly waiting for the complete version of the game. “

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Silver Axe - The Honest Elf - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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