Our Severed review takes a closer look at this iPhone/iPad remake of the slash-em-up PS Vita game, a classic tale of revenge with a hearty dose of limb severance scattered throughout. Here’s our full Severed iOS review as well as our beginners’ tips and tricks guide to help you beat the game.
Severed (iOS) game review
We’re happier than a barrel of frogs now that cartoony revenge tale Severed has been ported over to Apple devices. Severed’s simple slash-em-up gameplay is perfectly suited to the touch screen of the iPhone and iPad, while hacking off the arms and legs of various vicious beasties has proved to be a stress-busting, therapeutic way to kill a frustrating commute. That probably says quite a lot about us here at Recombu HQ, but hey ho.
Severed’s story isn’t particularly original, but the way that you’re fed mere snippets of the tale at a time kept us intrigued throughout, despite a slow start. You play as a one-armed warrior, battling her way through jungles, ruins, temples and other dangerous places in search of her missing family. Along the way you’ll be confronted by scores of cool-looking creatures, and your only defence is a kick-ass samurai sword. Bring it on, as they say.
Gameplay and the touch-based controls are as simple as pie, which makes Severed well suited to mobile devices. You can glance around each location by dragging with two fingers, before moving either north, south, east or west with a tap of your finger. Enemy encounters happen regularly and are signposted by a wisp of flame-like cloud; once you move into them, the fight begins.
Battles themselves are a case of learning each beastie’s attack patterns and countering their blows with a well-timed swipe, before laying into them with vicious counter-attacks (basically, swiping like a mentalist until they recover – although longer swipes deal greater damage). And just when you think you’ve mastered these melees, Severed hits back with complicated multi-directional fights where you’re constantly twisting around to parry attacks.
Each battle is made more tactical by the addition of a combat meter, which you have to max out to win the chance to harvest the creature’s limbs. This meter is filled with every successful blow, but also degraded if you yourself are hit, or your blows parried. Hence, timing and careful judgement are a key part of victory, rather than simply slashing frantically until the other being drops dead.
“Hey, wait a second there, chum. Did you really just say ‘harvest their limbs’?” Yes, stealing the severed organs of your fallen foes is a key part of the game’s upgrade system. Forget coins or gems, you trade dripping chunks of flesh for new abilities in Severed (approporiate given the game’s title, we suppose). It’s a pretty basic upgrade tree, with a small choice of different powers to select from each time, but it adds another spark of interest and gives you a real reason to master Severed’s combat.
Presentation throughout is excellent, with gorgeous neon graphics to stare at and unique creature design proving a highlight (although too many of the same foe keep popping up for our liking). Sadly there’s not much interaction in Severed, however. You can smash the occasional vessel, but quite often you’ll just be roaming through good-looking but eerily empty environments.
If you’re after a simple but fun little action game to while away the commutes, Severed is a solid choice. It may feel rather sparse, but the tactical combat is a joy and we love the cartoony violence.
Severed (iOS) tips and tricks guide
Struggling to slash your way through Severed’s campaign? Here’s our Severed tips and tricks walkthrough to help you beat each battle and get upgrading.
Remember to look around every location that you come across, by dragging with two fingers rather than tapping at the edge of the screen. Otherwise you might miss a valuable pot or something else that you can smash/grab. Sure it’s more time-draining, but it’ll make your job (revenge!) easier.
Likewise, make full use of Severed’s mini-map in the top right corner; just give it a tap and look for darkened rooms, which haven’t yet been explored. There are quite a few locations in the game which don’t have to be checked out to progress, but which may be hiding precious upgrade organs.
If you’re not sure if there’s anything left to find in an area (and remember that quite a few locations have hidden bits to unlock), just head to the mini-map and tap the ‘details’ tab. This will tell you exactly how much of each area has been explored, including any secrets left to discover.
If it looks like it can be smashed, chances are it can. Pots and vases can usually be dispatched with a quick swipe and often contain valuable power-up pieces. Likewise, anything glowing can be tapped to interact with it.
In battles, you really want to be maxing out that combat meter. The easiest way to do this is wait for an enemy to begin its attack, then swiping in the opposite direction across its glowing limb before the blow lands. This will counter the attack and boost the meter, while also leaving the enemy vulnerable to your counter-attacks.
Long swipes are more powerful, so really drag your finger from one end of the screen to the other to inflict maximum damage and seriously boost the combat meter.
If you’re taking on more than one enemy at a time, you need to get really good at keeping an eye on each beast’s attack icon at the bottom of the screen. When an icon’s border starts to fill, that means it’s preparing an attack. Once the border is filled, the creature will strike. You need to be facing it ready to counter just as it maxes out.
Thankfully you can quickly switch view to an enemy who is ready to strike simply by tapping its icon. And if there are no enemies ready to attack, then try whittling away another foe’s health as long as they aren’t blocking.
Got any Severed cheats, hacks, tips or tricks to share? Let us know in the comments below.