Review: Animus-Stand Alone (Xbox One)

Animus - Stand Alone

ANIMUS is an Action RPG that calls upon you to bring an end to a dying world. Button mashing will get you killed. Keep a keen eye on your stamina as you block, dodge, and strike down your enemies.

Pros:

  • Awesome graphics.
  • 2.46gb download size.
  • 1000 Gamerscore.
  • Opening tutorial and a boss level.
  • Action RPG gameplay.
  • Control options-sensitivity sliders, invert axis and auto lock-on on/off.
  • Player stats screen.
  • Five starting weapons (you get one of each and can freely swap between them) sword and shield, big sword, gauntlets, lance, and dual blades.
  • Earn EXP and level up to get points to put into the skill tree that expands as you level.
  • World map level select.
  • Dark Souls and Monster hunter inspired.
  • Powerful orchestral soundtrack.
  • Forge- reinforce equipment/sell/disassemble items into shards.
  • Black market-buy items with gems.
  • Shards-two types for armor and weapons, found in level and from disassembling unwanted gear.
  • Gems- a lot harder to get, used to buy much better items like a cape with a buff, extra skill points, etc.
  • Gold-earned in the game and from selling items and used in conjunction with shards for upgrading.
  • Levels are like a short gauntlet run against mobs then a boss fight at the end.
  • Levels are timed and have 3 rewards based on this.
  • Hidden collectibles in the game.
  • Fast loading time.
  • Actions-dodge, block, parry, backstab, attack and heavy attack along with a special charge-up move.
  • Checkpoints throughout the level.
  • Destructible environment in places.
  • Can replay levels and farm exp and shards.
  • Can knock bosses down by breaking their poise, doing this allows you to carve them for bonus rewards.
  • A lot of Replayability.
  • Enemies/bosses don’t level with you.
  • Amazing looking boss creatures each unique.
  • Can summon Ai partners in certain encounters. Fighting is fluid and uses a combo like system whereby pressing A 3 times does a crazy combo whilst mixing a B press mid-combo changes it up etc.
  • Gimmick-you can revive from death once per run otherwise you reset to a checkpoint losing some of your loot in the process forever.

Animus - Stand Alone

Cons:

  • Only one control scheme.
  • Takes a while to adjust to the controls as it uses the face buttons for everything.
  • No help/explanation of the menus, world map or anything.
  • Really small text.
  • Slowdown.
  • No screen adjustment and it feels a bit off.
  • Inconsistent difficulties.
  • All levels start to feel the same.
  • Occasional crashing.
  • Stingy loot drops.
  • Never sure if it saved.
  • Lock-on is a crapshoot.
  • Can get very grindy.
  • Enemies/bosses don’t level with you.

Animus - Stand Alone

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
7.8/10

Summary

Animus is a game that starts off badly, yeah you get a tutorial and a boss fight but in terms of help that’s your lot, you are thrown in with a foreign feeling control scheme that can take a long while to grasp. Once you feel comfortable attacking and dodging you then have to work out how and why you play the game. Turns out you have to complete gauntlet boss run style levels over and over to get shards and upgrade your gear. The world map level select has you going backward and forwards as another fight open up. Appearance wise it is very Dark Souls all the way down to the boss creatures and music, it shoe horns in Monster Hunter terminology by having you carve bosses for rewards, but in truth the game is just an action game and doesn’t actually play like Dark souls really. You get to revive on the spot once per run otherwise its back to a checkpoint, you lose stuff and can’t get it back so not very Dark Souls. At the end of the day regardless of its genre and poor reward and loot drops, I find myself playing it over and over, yes the controls still get me (thanks to the constant Dark Souls references you instinctively do the Dark Souls inputs) but the loop is just fun and I love the boss encounters, sometimes you can summon a Ai partner or two, bosses get bigger and bigger and its just a lot of fun! It does lack variety level wise and leaves you islotaed but battle through and you get a solid action game!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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