[Beyond PlayStation] Shovel Knight: Specter Of Torment Review
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is a prequel to the first game in the series. In it, Specter Knight is basically tasked by The Enchantress to find the members of what will be the Order of No Quarter. If he manages to be successful, he might be able to regain his humanity and break free from the chains that weight heavy on his shoulders. Want to learn more? Then read our Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment review!
The starting area for the game does a great job at teaching you the basics of controlling Specter Knight. You’ll learn how to attack with his scythe, or how to run up walls to climb to higher ledges. You’ll learn how to wall jump, and how you can walk up all types of walls.
The game will also show you the Red Skulls that act as the new collectible in this new campaign, in a way to how Plague of Shadows had its Cipher coins. Red Skulls can be used at the tower to purchase special items for Specter Knight to use – they’re called Curios and take the place of Shovel Knight’s relics and Plague Knight’s Arcana. Specter Knight will use darkness itself as the fuel needed to activate Curios.
The fun thing about Curios is that not only do you have to pay for them with Red Skulls, you also need to escape the deadly areas in which each one is located. Your scythe will be useless in each of this short stages, so you’ll be forced to use your new purchase to get out alive. Curios can be upgraded in the tower once you pay some gold to unlock the option, and this will make a huge difference. Take for example the Throwing Sickle Curio. It is a handy weapon, but once upgraded it will pass through obstacles and recover gold for you, thus making it even better.
But then most important gameplay mechanic you’ll get to learn about is the slash. With it, Specter Knight will be able to slash upward through the many lanterns he’ll find on his journey, as well as jump dash attack enemies while he’s jumping. A fiery diagonal line will let you know where Specter Knight will be able to attack, which is a nice prompt for you to get the rhythm for it just right. If you’re below an enemy, you’ll slash upwards. If you’re above an enemy, you’ll slash downwards.
While Shovel Knight and Plague Knight had health bars, Specter Knight has a will bar. It is his will that keeps him alive, and you must make sure it is always as full as possible so that you can be ready for anything. You’ll be able to find special containers that will grant you extra will, as well as containers that will boost your darkness.
Since Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is a prequel to Shovel Knight: Shovel of Truth, a lot of things will be different in comparison to the main game in the series. There is no overworld map for you to select each level. Instead, you can travel to new locations from a special room in the tower you call home. Boss fights are also different, and this is immediately apparent as soon as you run into your first fight with Black Knight. Levels, while sometimes familiar, feature new enemies, new areas and new ways for you to traverse its environments. There’s also flashback sequences that allow you to play as Donovan, the man that Specter Knight used to be before darkness caught up with him.
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is an excellent action platformer with a lot of content to enjoy and plenty of bonus challenges to endure and feats to complete. It raises the bar for the Shovel Knight series and makes me look forward to seeing what Yacht Club Games manages to do for King Knight’s campaign. Nintendo Switch owners get to enjoy Specter of Torment as a timed exclusive, so if you want to give this excellent game a try before it makes its way to other consoles, now is the time to do so!
[review pros=”Excellent action platformer.
Great new campaign for the series.
Awesome music.” cons=”No complaints.” score=95]
This Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Yacht Club Games.