Originally scheduled for an August release, Decay of Logos has finally launched on Nintendo Switch. An action RPG from developers Amplify Creations and published by Rising Star Games, offering action adventure with an emphasis on exploration, challenging combat with a high risk-reward battle system, an Elk companion to assist with puzzles and deep lore throughout a high fantasy world. But does Decay of Logos live up to the expectation? Let’s take a look.
Decay of Logos begins with a baptism of fire
Surrounded by a burning village you assume control of a young girl “Ada” as she miraculously fends off a sinister-looking knight only to find her family have been slaughtered. As she drops to her knee’s in sorrow a large Elk emerges from the smoke whom Ada befriends and rides off with. The real adventure begins as a seemingly older Ada and her Elk friend arrive in a new land filled with danger.
From here Logos pretty much leaves you to your own devices. As you head down the provided pathway a few stones can be interacted with granting sage advice on the basics such as controls and item use. A couple of small enemies are thrown at you to get you into the swing of things such as locking on, evading and use of light and heavy attacks before heading over a hill and seeing a sprawling landscape before you, ripe for adventuring.
As you venture forth you’ll encounter enemies that primarily look like Groot’s relatives, they vary in fighting forms by wielding shields, swords and bows along with a handful of insect-based enemies and some pretty large boss creatures. With adventuring being the order of the day it’s not long before you find some ruin’s to explore, treading carefully will see you through without falling victim to traps and ambushes. So far so very Dark Souls and this is the gameplay style you can expect. As the adventure continues you will navigate various locations from Greenlands, swamps, forests and ruins of all kinds and along the way, you will meet characters that fill in the details of what is happening to the world as well as discovering lore.
On paper, the idea of a take on Dark Souls with a bit more forgiveness sounds appealing but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Decay of Logos will vary in length depending on your skill and patience and patience is something you will need plenty of. The Soul’s formula is not for everyone, designed to be highly punishing yet balanced enough to provide a sense of achievement for overcoming a particularly difficult area of enemy. Decay of Logos misses the mark considerably with this formula, area’s are varied but offer little incentive to want to explore. The mute Ada plod’s along fighting the same enemy types over and over, most of which can be defeated with little effort providing the game responds to your button presses on time.
Animal companions in games can work wonders
The Last Guardian is a recent example. Your Elk companion in Logos will follow you and also act as storage for items and potions you pick up along the way. When it becomes nervous in the face of enemies you can feed it berries to calm its nerves so it’s always worth picking some when you see them. however, try to ride it and you may as well ask Stevie Wonder to enter a paint by numbers competition. On the off chance you enter an area large enough to benefit from riding the Elk, it’s movements and controls are so infuriating you will give up on the idea almost immediately meaning any puzzles that require you to navigate the Elk onto a pressure switch become an eye-rolling affair just getting the creature to walk three steps in a straight line.
It’s issues like this that really made Decay of Logos unravel quickly and what begins as a promising adventure with tones of Dark Soul’s and Breath of the Wild turns into a tedious and soulless slog. Combat, as mentioned before, is basic and generally a breeze with most enemies. A few larger bosses require a bit of strategy and occasionally you will encounter a foe that can kill you in one hit which only results in the respawn and trudge back to that location even more annoying given the sluggish movement and clunky framerate, trying to avoid enemies is pointless as once they see you they will follow you relentlessly meaning you will wind up with a whole levels worth of enemies on your heels making the groundhog day style of death and respawn a complete slog amplified by questionable hit detection.
Logos is not devoid of positive elements
Similar to souls, when you die you return to the last shrine you prayed at, instead of loosing held XP your general stat’s take a hit-making you weaker until you find somewhere to sleep and recuperate. This makes the process of levelling up more streamlined as stats auto increase when you hit a new level. The small caveat is that while sleeping you are open to ambushes so you maybe awoken suddenly to fight a few enemies. Weapons and armour are also varied with each piece wearing down over time. As you defeat enemies or locate chest’s you will find greaves, shields, helmet’s and so on that can be swapped out if you’s current items have seen better days. Certain armour will also offer stat’s relating to elemental defences so keeping a few options available on your Elk is a viable option.
Overall graphics start out okay, aiming for a stylised look that resembles BOTW but unfortunately, the similarities end there with every location full of bland textures and smeary lighting. This becomes particularly annoying in the darker areas with many traps or holes blending into the environments so you can’t see them until you are right on top of them. Camera angles also leave something to be desired especially while locking onto enemies or scanning the terrain, tree’s and rocks will pop in and out of view at will and generally become an annoyance at any given moment.
On paper Decay of Logos is a winner, taking inspiration from two of the most renowned titles of recent years and blending them together with a decent story with some expertly voiced NPC’s. Sadly the whole experience falls apart all too quickly with jerky framerate, input latency, dumb enemies, twitchy graphics and a handful of popular gaming mechanics that have been poorly executed providing a generally unenjoyable experience. If somehow the developers can patch and fix the experience then it could be a great title, until then, best to avoid.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, Nintendo, PS4, Xbox
Release Date: 28/11/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Action, Adventure, RPG
Developer: Amplify Creations
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Download link: eShop