Developer: N-Fusion Interactive
Publisher: Digiart Interactive LLC
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 26/05/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is based on a brief run comic Aluna Superhero. That expanded her story more from the comic. However, they went very safe with the gameplay. That is the real downside of Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards.
Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is sent in the 1500s in the Andes Mountains with the Incas and the Spanish Conquests. Aluna is the daughter of a Spanish conquistador and Pachamama the Earth Goddess. Pachamama no longer exists in her true form but in green crystals that are spread throughout the country, after she protected Aluna from a meteor. Luckily Aluna has one of these crystals that hangs around her neck giving her superpowers, however the evil priest Nagaric, want’s to process the shard and use the powers to rule over the Tairona peoples who are beloved by Pachamama and have accepted Aluna as one or their own as well as their best warrior.
Now Aluna must fight back against Nagaric and reclaim the shards of Pacamamama and protect her tribe.
After this brilliant start to the game and some good lore and world building the game quickly becomes by the numbers and there is not much of a surprise. Not to mention the fact it did not fully introduce the supporting cast in the game as Aluna already knows them from the comics. Making most characters Aluna knows have no connection to the players of the game, therefore you won’t even give them another thought.
The gameplay is super simple with a hack-and-slash style gameplay that pushes no boundaries and mix in random loot drops, makes for an ok gaming experience, not much else. They split the combat into three skill trees, melee, ranged and magic. With Melee and ranged skills locked to weapon classes and magic used as and when. As this it is simple: gameplay Melee revolves around getting groups of enemies around Aluna and dealing damage as groups, Ranged is single target attacks with debuffs like poison.
Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards will see you running around fairly sizable areas killing a tonne of enemies that get in your way, in a very basic way. The one aspect the developers have got perfectly is the button layout, the basic attack is X with all special attacks being up to six different buttons all shown at the bottom of the screen.
Then we get to the AI, it is fairly daft, they will only chase you for a set distance then they return to their start point, and do not recover health so it can be a case of whittling them down by running and while they retreat to the start, kill them. There were a fair amount of enemies standing still while being killed, more so if ranged is used.
The loot in Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is a total mess, with all drops being random, you could go from melee fighter to ranged fighter to end up being an overpowered magic user in one area alone. Weapons will increase a single stat depending on the type, melee, ranged and magic. Whereas amour can upgrade multiple stats making your whole set up needing changed to get the most of an equipped item. At least skill points can be reallocated at any point for a gold payment. The equipment randomness is mental. When I played I had the same bow equipped for the best part of 7 levels as I found nothing better than it. When I did I had to change to magic user as the stats on the item where outstanding.
There is a vender that can be used to sell items too and buy fairly good items in general, or can make specific items if your loot drops are terrible. I do not recommend this unless 100% needed, as the items you get seem to be as random as the ones dropped except this cost you, and it will eat money and most likely will get nothing good (I never)
By far the best and least used part of Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is the small comic book style cut scenes that were hands down stunning and needed to be used way more than they were.
As for the rest of the graphics they are decent, nothing again like the game play that will push any limits. As long as you don’t look too closely, they are serviceable.
Overall, Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is a by the numbers run-of-the-mill Hack-and-Slash RPG. There is nothing here to blow you away. It plays well however, there is better out there.
If you are a fan of the comics, this could be right up your ally. If not, I would wait for a sale if you want to play Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards.