No Rest For The Wicked Is Brutal And Ambitious, But A Little Confused | Early Access Impressions


With Ori and the Blind Forest and its sequel, developer Moon Studios deconstructed the fundamentals of metroidvania design and honed in on its most alluring aspects. Combined with some of the tightest platforming in the business and an entrancing visual design, the studio’s debut IP was a standout hit, leading to heightened anticipation for its next project. Yet No Rest for the Wicked could not be more different from the enchanting veneer of Ori and the Blind Forest, trading in precise platforming for punishing combat, bright colors for a dark and foreboding medieval world, and tight gameplay for systems that struggle to reign everything in.

No Rest for the Wicked is relatively rich in terms of content for an early access title, offering over 10 hours of story content and additional late game activities to stretch your playtime well beyond that. But it’s evident that Moon Studios is looking for critical feedback, and even more so that the current state of several design decisions and gameplay systems require it. The ambition on show here is noteworthy, and some of the elements from multiple genres blended together do ultimately work to create captivating results. But there’s also a lot of friction between those that don’t fit as neatly with each other, and those that will likely occupy a lot of your time as you brush up against the game’s numerous challenges. There’s work to be done on No Rest for the Wicked right now, but it’s saying something that I want to come back for more once it’s taken place.

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