Slain: Back from Hell – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Indie
Developer: Andrew Gilmour
Publisher: Digerati Distribution
Platforms: PC, Mac
Tested on: PC

Slain: Back from Hell – Review

Site Score
Good: okay story, awesome graphics and animations, great music
Bad: can get very frustrating
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Slain: Back from Hell is a love child from Andrew Gilmour that has released quite some time ago. However, at the time of release it didn’t score as good, but the game has been worked on extensively and the comments have been heard. Right now, we’re having a look at the game in its current state. Get lost in this heavy metal inspired arcade combat game with great visuals and old school gameplay.



You play as Bathoryn, a fearless warrior who really seems to like metal music. You were in slumber when suddenly a spirit comes to awaken you. It’s not the first time you’ve seen this spirit, and this time it wants you to fulfill your destiny: to clear the lands of demons. You have to liberate the six cursed realms from all of their deadly overlords, only then will the land be cleansed once again and you can continue your slumber.

The story in Slain: Back from Hell is pretty okay. It has a nice setting and explains quite well what is happening and what you’re supposed to be doing. Every time you visit a new area, you get a short setting of that area as well. There’s also some dialogue here and there which provides some more small story fragments.

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Graphics and animations are definitely what makes Slain an awesome feeling and looking game. It doesn’t look extremely modern like all of the triple-A games out there, but it looks retro and the pixel art is pretty amazing. The game has a very gothic feeling to it and everything just looks great, from the background to the sprites and also projectiles. The animations are equally as good and make fights look extremely cool.


The sound and music is another feature that makes Slain enjoyable to play. It’s inspired by metal and this is definitely reflected in the soundtrack. The complete soundtrack has been recorded by Curt Victor Bryant from Celtic Frost, a former extreme metal band. It fits perfectly with the dark, Gothic feeling and look of the game, and your character even headbangs sometimes.

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Slain: Back from Hell is an arcade combat game with some puzzle elements here and there. It’s played in a 2D space where you advance by killing enemies and maneuvering past obstacles. The game can be played with both keyboard and mouse or with a controller, and both are equally as enjoyable to play with. Control wise, the game is also fairly simple: you have your move buttons, jump, attack, block, dodge and magic. There’s also some buttons to switch weapons, but that’s it when it comes to keybinds.

The gameplay in Slain is fairly straightforward, but it’s extremely challenging. Every realm has a couple of levels to go through, and at the end of every realm there’s a boss that you have to fight in order to cleanse that realm. There’s usually only one path you can take in order to progress so it’s not really possible to get lost in any way, but there is a secret that can be found in every realm. Throughout the levels, you’ll have to fight enemies, solve simple (jumping) puzzles or fight bosses.

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What makes the game challenging is that it’s very unforgiving. Every level has a couple of checkpoints that will restore your health and magic once activated, but in between that there is rarely a way to regenerate your health. The enemies in Slain can be pretty tough to get through as they can do quite a bit of damage. Every enemy has its own attack pattern, so if you study that and act accordingly it should be easier to progress, but a lot of enemies on a single screen can still make it very challenging, add flying enemies to that and you’ve got yourself a (sometimes) frustrating game.

In order to progress as smoothly as possible, enemy attacks should be dodged or blocked. These are your only defensive skills you can use and mastering them is the difference between winning or being slain. If you block at the right time though, you’ll parry the attack and the enemy will be staggered. This will give you the opportunity to deal a huge amount of damage to the enemy. Doing this in boss fights can greatly help with killing speed.

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There are also some combos you can do with your weapons in order to make your life easier. For example, you can charge up your sword attack and release it at just the right time, which will make you dash forward and do a lot of damage to the enemies you hit. Your magic can also be charged up in order to release a big bolt of magic that pierces through enemies. When your magic is full and you activate it while crouching, you’ll do a really cool move and do big damage to enemies on the screen.

Once you’ve made it through the game, you can go hunting for all of the secrets you’ve missed (if you missed any), which is something everyone likes to do right?…


All in all, Slain: Back from Hell was definitely fun to play in its current state. The release of the game didn’t go as smoothly and a lot of people didn’t like it, but the developers have listened to the community and made it the fun, challenging and sometimes frustrating game that it is now. It features awesome retro graphics, great music and fun gameplay.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Slain: Back from Hell - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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