The trials of the apprentice Jedi or the rites of passage for a mystic hunter warrior are just some of the narrative devices that have been well-used over time; normally involving a participant running a gauntlet that tests their skill, dexterity, strength and mental preparedness in a dangerous circuit of death. These ideas transfer over in real life too – induction programs for the gym, and theory tests for driving. ADVERSE is a game that tasks you with tackling a trial or circuit in the most stylish way, and quickest time, possible. Are you up for the challenge, my young apprentice?
ADVERSE is a first-person action-adventure time attack platformer from those at Loneminded that hopes to test your skill, precision, and nerve. There isn’t much of a story to be had, except maybe one that you can make up in your head. You start the game with a tutorial teaching you the basics of what is required going forward, and then it’s a hop, skip and a jump over near forty levels of pain, spread across eight different worlds from a forest to a beautiful calming sea world. But what are you doing in these actual worlds?
In the tutorial, you get told the basics of the game, but I would advise you to do one little extra thing before you even begin that – sort out your gameplay settings. When I began with ADVERSE – and it has been patched prior to release – the response time for looking around and aiming was initially extremely slow, at least until you alter it. I’d highly advise you get that done or you might be left like me – very confused.
The tutorial in place gives you an idea of what to do and for the most part that is to get from the start of the level to the exit at the end, all in the quickest time possible. But difficulties emerge on your way to achieving this goal; huge chasms to fall down, moving platforms to jump on, and robots firing lasers which require death defying leaps of faith.
For you to be successful in this gauntlet of horror you need an arsenal of tricks to survive. You obviously have a jump, and the good old tried and tested double jump. You have the ability to dash in mid-air too, where mid-jump you zoom forwards in the direction you are pointing. Further to this comes a bow and arrow with unlimited ammo for your disposal, letting you fire off arrows at floating robots, who in turn are shooting lasers at you, trying to knock you off target and into the murky depths.
You see, the main peril of ADVERSE is being knocked off the platforms by the lasers, or to mistime a leap or jump and plummet to your death. When that happens you have to start the level from the beginning. This isn’t much of a problem as each stage is pretty short and the proper aim of the game is to learn the level and do it in the quickest time possible – repetition, repetition, repetition. You will also get points for perfection and killing all robots. At the end of the level your score will be put on a leaderboard, and as the game grows with additional folk playing you’ll begin to see where you place across world rankings.
ADVERSE is a game that’s quite good in the pick up and play moment, at least for a short while. You’ll probably find that you will breeze through the first world quite quickly too, but it does get a lot harder, very quickly. Yet it’s most certainly one of those games which you can leave for a bit and come back to later, mainly as it doesn’t require a lot of brainpower – just learning patterns and utilising quick reflexes.
Visually things are pleasant enough too, without being anything special. There aren’t any cutscenes or narrative visuals, but the worlds that are created look good, as do all the obstacles in the trials. Occasionally I found myself getting annoyed with the camera, but I’ll put that down to my lack of skills rather than anything in terms of poor controls.
For the price asked, ADVERSE is good for what it is – a trial action-adventure game for skilled gamers to flourish with. If you hate repeating things, or have nightmares with anything that involves precision platforming, then this isn’t the game for you I’m afraid, however if it is, there is plenty to get your teeth into. You should be warned though: ADVERSE on Xbox gets tricky very quickly and for a casual gamer it may just be too much. By all means, if you fancy a challenge and want to see yourself on the top of the leaderboards, then give it a crack, but you’ll be in need of a steady hand and a brilliantly dexterous mind in order to find success.