Eastern Exorcist is a 2D hack and slash where you play as Lu Yunchuan, a skilled exorcist who must purge the lands of China from a demonic infestation.
AT A GLANCE
GENRE: Action, Adventure, RPG
DEVELOPER: Wildfire Game（无锡野火数字科技有限公司）
RELEASE DATE: 14 Aug, 2020
After the demons slaughter your brothers in arms, you set down a path of revenge and redemption to wipe the forces of evil from the land. The story is very barebones at this moment but there are some interesting themes at play here, especially with the concept of good and evil.
Almost of all the characters you meet in the game, including the bosses have some backstory to them. I often didn’t find the satisfaction of vanquishing a tough boss because it felt like I was cutting down someone who hands were tied, like they were not responsible for their actions. Of course, there are the occasional vile creatures that I had no regret in defeating but it’s an interesting play on the traditional stereotype here.
Something that definitely needs some work is the english script. Some of the words felt awkwardly placed and failed to create the required emotion.
The meat of the game is in it’s gameplay and this is where Eastern Exorcist truly shines. I know people hate whenever a reviewer compares a game to dark souls but Eastern Exorcist does take some cues from the souls franchise, especially Miyazaki’s latest creation, Sekiro. The gameplay is brutal and requires you to study the attack patterns of your enemies, and patience in order to win. You need to utilise careful timing as well as quick reflexes if you want to kill your enemies without dying a hundred times. The enemies are quick and the hitboxes can get a bit questionable but I never found it annoying.
A unique mechanic that is tied to the theme of being an exorcist, is that you’ll have to dispel fallen enemies within a certain time. If you fail to do so, they’ll recover and become even more powerful, and you will have to defeat them once again.
Defeating enemies grants your XP or Aura as it’s called in this game, and this is used to unlock and upgrade your skills. Exorcism Arts are unlockable abilities that allow you to do special moves such as summoning a shadow clone to aid you in battle, and are vital to winning the tougher sections of the game.
Shrines function as the role of checkpoints, and are used to save your game, level up, fast travel, as well take part in challenges. These challenges require you to do special feats in order to unlock rewards.
Eastern Exorcist is absolutely gorgeous. While it doesn’t feature any fancy visual effects, it has a beautiful hand-drawn art style that makes the game look like an ink painting.
There is no dubbing in this game and all of the dialogue is in Chinese, so you will have to rely on subtitles, unless you understand the language. This doesn’t take away from the experience however and only adds to the immersion. I only wish the subtitles were better in terms of the overall fluidity.