This title is exclusive to PC and was reviewed as such.
Considering that I prefer Sonic over Mario, it is somewhat obvious that when it comes to platformers, the faster the better. So when Razed was given to me to review, and I checked out its Steam page, I was immediately interested. A fast-paced platformer complete with a distinct art style? Sign me up. But is it as good as it seems at first glance? Let’s take a look.
Razed has a very distinct art style right off the bat, and it’s very eye-catching. It is largely made up of polygonal, mostly untextured objects, but it’s put together in a rather charming way. The game also has a solid use of colour throughout, with levels having plenty of purple neon, and the skybox has plenty of colour variation, with light blues and greens, making the game visually pleasing overall.
As a platformer, its goal is as simple as can be: get to the end of the stage. However, Razed does have some unique elements to it to help it stand out, the main one being its energy bar and shoes. You have 2 shoes, aptly named Righty and Lefty, who talk to you throughout the game. Lefty gives you advice and makes use of upgrades you get throughout the game, and Righty just wants to explode, and he isn’t kidding. As said, you have an energy bar throughout the game’s levels. The energy bar regens by running, but drains when you’re not running. Certain abilities, like jumping, also cost energy, and you can’t jump unless you have enough energy. If you run completely out of energy at any time, then Righty will fulfil his promise and explode, vaporising you and leaving Lefty behind. The whole energy management aspect really adds some depth to the platforming, and it ends up being more engaging as a result.
The game has plenty of levels to do said platforming in, and they’re all varied and solid. The game also does a great job at encouraging replayability as it keeps track of your time and grades you on it, encouraging you to go back and get the best time you can on each level. Some levels even have upgrades to collect, usually in hidden or out-of-the-way areas. There’s also boss stages, although they are largely uninteresting. They aren’t actually boss fights, more just longer and somewhat more difficult stages.
The game also has a much bigger problem hidden within it: the controls. The controls honestly ruin this game when playing on a keyboard. Whether it be the delay between pressing the keys and the character reacting, or the fact that the jump just sometimes doesn’t work, even when you have more than enough energy. The jumping issue seems to be caused by the fact your character rolls after some jumps, and it gets really annoying. There’s also some instances where my character got stuck in some of the level geometry, forcing me to wait until Righty blew up because there was nothing else I could do.
The game is rather mixed in the audio department. It is largely light on sound effects, but what’s there is decent. The music itself is also competently done, but gets very repetitive after a while, and none of the tracks were memorable sadly.
Razed has some neat ideas within it. It looks solid thanks to its distinct art style, and manages to break the platformer mould thanks to some interesting mechanics with energy management and Righty wanting to blow up. The game also has plenty of stages and is great at encouraging replayability. However, its controls are massively flawed and the game has a knack for getting you stuck in the geometry. The game’s audio also doesn’t live up to its visuals, which is a shame.