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CARRION is a new twist on the classic metroidvania formula that is tried and true. Taking a more violent and scary approach this game looks like it could be something special. In a market oversaturated with 2D platformers will CARRION be able to set itself apart? 

Gameplay

CARRION is a gorey mash-up of Metroid and Alien with a classic premise: rip and tear through enemies and obstacles as a giant parasitic monster and expand your arsenal with a variety of abilities. The controls are simple and intuitive: the left joystick moves the monster freely around the environment and the right moves the monster’s tentacle that can be used to open doors, pull levels and eviscerate scientists.

True to the metroidvania formula you must explore and find new abilities to progress. The combat is frantic, brutal and undeniably fun. You often have options when engaging enemies: you can either burst in and attack wildly or be stealthy and pick foes off one by one. Both styles are rewarding and exciting, and the strategy element makes for a richer experience. CARRION also has a variety of abilities that make exploration and even backtracking fun. All in all CARRION is incredibly enjoyable to play.

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World / Level Design

The maps in this game are expansive and varied. While they are relatively linear, there are enough environmental obstacles to make backtracking fun, allowing for a satisfying sense of progression. The aesthetics and layouts are also incredibly varied. CARRION is yet another 2D indie game that has shown up the mainstream giants when it comes to level design.

Story / Personality

The story for this game is entirely optional. If you so choose to pursue it, you’ll see flashbacks of the events leading up to the host organism’s corruption. These scenes provide a nice change of pace from the main game, but they don’t drag it down like we’ve seen in big games like the Mary Jane segments of Insomniac’s Spider-Man or the excessive plot limitations of Metroid: Other M. If you choose to ignore the story missions, the escape/revenge framework is still satisfying. It’s a win-win.

Graphics / Art Direction

CARRION‘s graphics are something special. The visceral nature of the monster is captured excellently in its pixelated form, and the dark and creepy environments are rendered beautifully. The tone set by the story and music are complemented well by the melancholic violence of the graphics. The game also runs incredibly smoothly and in the entirety of the game, I never experienced any drop in frame rate or crashes.

Music / Sound Design

The music really helps build the excitement and suspense that comes from the entire experience through fast paced melodies, akin to thriller film soundtracks. It helps make an already-rich game feel like an even fuller experience.

Final Score: 94%

CARRION is a hyper-violent sci-fi game that draws inspiration from films and other games, but still carves its own bloody path. The gameplay and aesthetics are absolutely amazing. This is an easy game to get into and even easier to enjoy. CARRION is one of the best games I’ve played this year.

Thank you for checking out our CARRION Switch review, thank you to Devolver Digital for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:

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Posted by Dylan Covington