Review: Crypt of the Serpent King - Upsmag - Magazine News

Review: Crypt of the Serpent King

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Growing up, I loved Dungeon Master. Its simple artistry, the large array of monsters, and claustrophobic levels got the juices flowing. However, these days, everyone wants a vast open-world to explore. Sadly, this ensures that the classic dungeon crawling games rarely get a look in. Yet, Crypt of the Serpent King aims to rectify that with its 4k remastered edition.

developed by Rendercode Games and published by Eastasiasoft Limited, this is a creepy dungeon crawler. Utilising a simple style, this won’t wow or test you. However, it is great fun to play and has a nice retro charm. Furthermore, there are 3 difficulty settings, some skills to upgrade, and a small arsenal of weapons. Ultimately, there is enough about it to pique your interest.

Hack and slash your way to victory. Hack and slash your way to victory.
What you going to do about it… Skeleton?

Crypt of the Serpent King is mindless and trivial.

Unlike the masterful Dungeon Master, Crypt of the Serpent King Requires minimal brain power. Effectively, you are asked to scour 7 unique and randomly generated stages. You’ll never know what to expect and this keeps the action fresh. Sadly, though, the core mechanics are repetitive and this undermines the experience long-term. What’s more, once you unlock everything and max out your skills, it is far too easy.

The simplicity extends to the plot. By this, I mean that it has no story. Subsequently, you are left wondering why you exist in these claustrophobic tombs. Without an explanation, you mindlessly walk around, open some chests, and kill everything in sight. Further to this, you must find keys to unlock a final gate. Once this happens, you’ll face an end-of-stage boss and progress. Unfortunately, this was a bit of a dump squib. The battle was usually underwhelming and far too easy. Even when the difficulty was ramped up, it offered little to no challenge. This can be said for every foe you face. Annoyingly, they are so easy to kill that it reduces the enjoyment.

Mediocre and repetitive action!

Any joy is well and truly sucked out of this because of its lack of challenge. Every monster has a set of attacks that are easily dodged and countered. This reduces the risk and makes this a run-of-the-mill title. What’s more, once you’ve maximized your skills, you simply avoid every enemy as you hunt for keys. Further to this, once you have the most powerful weapons, you are unstoppable.

What was most disappointing was that the potential was plain to see. With a wonderful range of creatures to slay and the opportunity to create labyrinthine stages, it could have been phenomenal. However, the lack of magic, a nonexistent story, and no unique layers will leave you wanting.

Crypt of the Serpent King looks polished.

Contradictory statement alert… this dated title looks gloomy, pixelated, but well polished. I adore the work the developers have put into Crypt of the Serpent King. Fortunately, it retains its old-school charm, while the uplift in resolution makes the details pop. Fight, the monsters look great, the lava traps are vivid and fierce, and the movement and animation are smooth. Yes, it is aimed at a niche market, but this small group of players will love its appearance.

The creepy atmosphere is complemented by the eerie audio. Footsteps echo, water drips, and creature’s snarl. Then there is the haunting music to top things off. Being hunted by your foes was terrifying thanks to the daunting soundbites. Consequently, the developers got this spot on, as it was rarely relaxing.

Move, hit, move, hit.

From the sublime aesthetics to the underwhelming control setup. If you can remember, move, hit, move, hit, you’ll be victorious in no time. Sadly, this is the extent of the button layout, and subsequently, it won’t test you. Thankfully, though, they are responsive and this helps when it is occasionally hectic.

With 3 difficulty settings, there is potential for replay value. Yet, for me, one playthrough was enough. Completing Crypt of the Serpent King takes around 2 hours and is the perfect title for completionists. During this time, you’ll be creeped out, witness some weird foes, and you’ll have found a million chests and plenty of keys.

Crypt of the Serpent King should have been incredible.

Because of its remastered status, I was hopeful that Crypt of the Serpent King would be incredible. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, as there are too many shortcomings. However, if you are a completionist, this is quick and worthwhile. Yet, for everyone one else, it’s just not good enough and is seriously lacking. I can’t recommend it, but more information can be found here! Hack your way through every dungeon, find the keys, and complete your journey.

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