Metal Never Dies: Slain Back From Hell With New Update

Slain [official site] was full of retro \m/etal style, with pixel art skulls bathed in lurid lighting, skellingtons to bash, blood and slime all over the place, and music by a former member of Celtic Frost. It’s a shame that the hack ‘n’ slash platforming all that is built upon was kinda blah. The developers had rushed it out, see, planning to patch later. Unsurprisingly, its launch was not graceful. But! They have followed through with the patching, and after several months it’s now reborn as Slain: Back From Hell with a whole load of fixes and new features.

You can read up on the changes over here. They include giving enemies extra abilities and improved AI, adding three new bosses, improving hit detection, tweaking movement, expanding combat with new types of timing-based attacks including parries and ripostes, giving enemies vulnerabilities to different types of weapons, making the camera follow you better and cut down on ‘leaps of faith’, rewriting the dialogue… and a whole load of other things folks had complained about.

Those sound like good changes? I’ve no idea how much better the game actually is now, mind. Here’s a new trailer to celebrate the launch:

What went wrong in the first place? Well, when Slain launched it was already ten months behind estimates made with its Kickstarter, and it had been delayed several times. Lots went wrong.

“Obviously there were some major troubles towards the end of development, and given the amount of slippages there had already been, we (wrongly) decided the right idea would be to ship and patch fast based on feedback, but then we lost our programmer… in hindsight Early Access would’ve been the way to go,” the developers said a few weeks after launch. “Again, we spoke about this internally but (wrongly) decided against it.”

As a bonus, folks who bought Slain the first time around are receiving a free gift code to give a copy to a pal.

If you’re feeling bold and can’t scrounge a key, Slain: Back From Hell is on Steam at £9.99/12,99€/$12.99 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Slain’s on GOG too but doesn’t seem to have been updated there yet.


  1. Herzog says:

    Still looks awesome, might get it now. Lets wait for a few customer reviews to pop up and check the Steam forums!

    • Suits says:

      I guess this is where the ‘Recent’ Steam reviews will come in handy

  2. Integer says:

    Warning, some spoilers up ahead:

    Played through this game a couple of months ago. There were a few issues (the stages where you’re turned into a wolf were particularly clunky since they were all about platforming), that f**king statue thing that randomly kills you as you’re trying to pass it (never managed to work out what would trigger it to activate) and the somewhat anticlimactic ending where you never got to fight the main antagonist, but otherwise an overall decent action side-scroller with a thematic visual style, really good music and a solid, meaty feel.

    Now with this current update we’ve further improvements, the addition of the main antagonist boss fight, alongside two others, yeah, I think I will definitely come back and play through Slain again. It’s not half as bad as it was upon release, and if you’re into metal music, pixel art and side scrollers, you might just be surprised by this very capable game.

  3. Jalan says:

    Just reading the news post on the Steam store page and having a laugh over the amount of begging to get the free copies from people. I don’t know what it is with people who feel like they can wring a bit more sympathy from others by concocting silly stories like “im broke after a big move and spending all my money on that”/etc.

    Personally I’ve always felt more inclined to give stuff away if people just came honest about why they wanted it. A simple “you got it already, I don’t – can you give it to me?” goes a long way vs. coming up with your own “family killed by ninjas, need money for kung fu lessons” malarkey.

  4. PancakeWizard says:

    First time I’ve heard of this, and I’ll be making a purchase.

    I’m glad they didn’t go Early Access, though. I can’t think of anything more inappropriate for a 2D platformer.

  5. cablechip says:

    I’m getting some serious Legacy of Kain vibes from this. I must’ve glossed over it when it was first released. Definitely interested now though.