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.