Developer: X PLUS
Publisher: DANGEN Entertainment
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 22/04/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
There is something about Smelter that just grabbed me, from the writing of Smelter to the mix of platformer and RTS. It all mixed to make a great game.
You play as Eve after the destruction of the Garden of Eden, being speared from her beloved Adam. As Eve sets off to find Adam she comes across a strange overly confidant winged creature Smelter. Who says he can help her if she helps him. Now fused with Eve, Smelter gives her powers that she could never imagine, as long as she helps him he will help her.
The story is strangely captivating while being fairly simple. For me its Smelter and how much of a total pain in the butt he is while being funny at times.
Smelter mixes RTS gameplay with Rock Man style platforming, and if I am honest, it is really well done and fun. Both working well as part of the story as well as mecahnically.
EVE – Platforming
Te platforming sections you will take control of Eve and Smelter being fused to her. As you would expect, there are plenty of jumping puzzles, traps, upgrades and status freezing blocks? These platforming sections are fairly standard until we mix in the abilities of Smelter he added an extra layer of gameplay. First, he and Eve look cool and has a glowing hand that comes out of Eve’s back. This is not just for looks, it is one of Eve’s most invaluable powers. It has a few uses; IT can pull enemies towards Eve for an ass kicking, after defeating enemies some will float in the air with a green hue around them the arm can grab and replenish health for Eve and it can also freeze falling blocks to make new paths for jumping puzzles. Did I mention it looks cool?
Along with the arm Smelter also grants Eve a block that will negate most damage, and timed right will bounce projectiles back to its origin. He can also change his density to negate updrafts, whip attack hand on walls grab walls for a long range dash. As you progress though the game Eve gains access to different ruins that will augment the way she will play allowing for a good mix of styles that can be used whenever you like.
Each level as Eve will have a few items to unlock, from power up coins, apple cores and moxxi. Each of these items had a use in the RTS section of the game.
SMELTER – RTS
After a platforming section, the games truns in to a RTS style game where Smelter and his Zerms army to take over lands and expand his powers. It is a fairly simple gameplay loop that will see Smelter build up one of four buildings, houses, orchids, ranged and melee barracks. Smelter selects a free bit of land and builds there, however, he must have enough houses for Zerms and orchards to feed them in order to have units in the barracks. It is a simple resource management but can get tricky as you progress.
Once the units are all set and ready, there will be an even that will see enemies attacking your structures. Zerms will auto attack enemies automatically, this has one major flaw, Zerms will walk the entire length of the map to attack enemies and this will leave that area defenceless. It would have been good to limit how far they go. However, Smelter offers support by being able to heal buildings ad attack the enemies with the use of the right stick.
The resources gathered are used here, the apple cores are used to upgrade Smelters base allowing for more of everything and extra power to him. Moxxi is used as currency to build, and tokens can be used on the map to unlock new abilities. Making both elements of the game as important as the other for progression.
I must add that Smelter is not easy, it is bloody challenging and will more than likely need a few attempts to complete sections. I love a good challenge in games but I am sure this will put some players off.
Overall Smelter mashes two different gameplay styles in to one great wee game. That makes both elements as important as the other. Even with a high skill level needed to play, Smelter never feels cheap with how many times you will fail, but it is possible to learn and overcome these elements.
I would recommend this game, if you want something a little different.