Axiom Verge is a game developed by Thomas Happ which falls under the subgenre Metroidvania. Thomas Happ has experience in game development, working on such games as NFL Street and Tiger Woods PGA Tour. Although those two titles are nothing to sneeze at, Axiom Verge has certainly made a name for itself and the Metroidvania Genre.
Before we can tell you more about Axiom Verge, we should first explain what Metroidvania is. The general definition of this action-adventure subgenre is a game that has concepts similar to the Metroid and Castlevania series—more notably Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
These games will usually feature areas of exploration that offer challenging platforming and enemies. Access is usually blocked off in the form of protective doors or switches that are inaccessible without the proper power up. There’s more to it like level design and a focus on storytelling that make up the Metroidvania genre but I think you get the gist of it.
Axiom Verge tells the story of our protagonist Trace, who awakens in an alien world after seemingly dying from a freak accident. This world is called Sudra and our protagonist is greeted by a mysterious voice named Elsenova, asking for his help. It is at this point where Trace embarks on his quest for survival and understanding with Elsenova’s voice as guidance.
Each area in Sudra feels like its own little world with its own set of colors and a multitude of strange alien lifeforms ready to kill Trace at a moment’s notice. Luckily for our protagonist, Sudra is full of power-ups and items that will help you along the way. Unfortunately for the player, they will take a mix of hard work and brain power to get them but they are worth it.
As you advance you’ll soon learn that the games sheer difficulty hides behind a relaxing soundtrack and vibrant visuals. Its gameplay is challenging but with weapons like the Kilver which fires a short-range burst of electricity and the Nova which fires a projectile that detonates, Axiom Verge offers you the tools you’ll need to discover what mysteries lie within this Alien world.
It’s safe to say that Axion Verge lives and breathes Metroidvania, providing a challenging combat driven platforming experience that pays respects to the games that inspired it.