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[PlayStation 4] Helvetii Review

[PlayStation 4] Helvetii Review
EdEN
  • On August 24, 2023

2D roguelite action game Helvetii from Red Art Games and Team KwaKwa is ready for you on PlayStation 4. Learn more about it in our Helvetii review!

 

2D roguelite action game Helvetii from Red Art Games and Team KwaKwa is ready for you on PlayStation 4. It’s a fast-paced experience that takes Gallic and Celtic mythology, as well as other mythos from various cultures, for which you’ll be able to play as one of three different characters – a young warchief, a naïve and nimble fox-turned-man, and a cunning druid wielding primordial powers – as you try to progress further and further in the game as you learn from your mistakes and make the most of the skills you gain access to.

Since this is a roguelite, that means that for each run, you’ll be taking on a randomly generated set of rooms, enemies, and power-ups to collect, which means you won’t ever know what you’ll be running into. When you die, you’ll be sent back to square one and will need to make the most of the Cores that you collect so that you can unlock permanent upgrades and skills that can make subsequent runs a bit easier. You can exchange Cores for Sigisl that will increase the HO or MP of all characters, grant theme extra coins to start each run, grant extra keys, or even allow a character to revive when all HP runs out!

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The game was taken to Kickstarter back in 2019, seeking 20,000 Swiss Francs for its development and eventual Nintendo Switch release with a Q4 2020 launch window. Thanks to the support of 775 backers, the crowdfunding campaign ended up with a bit over 24,000 Swiss Frans. Unfortunately, COVID-19 hit the following year, which completely changed the team’s plans. It’s now 2023, and after RedArtGames stepped in as publisher, the game was launched not only on Nintendo Switch but also on PlayStation 4.

 

Each of the three characters you can play as will have different stat values for you to consider. Divico – the young warchief – is the most balanced of the trio, with good values for HP and MP, as well as for strength, agility, dexterity, and luck. Renart – the fox-turned-human – has lower HP but higher HP and favors agility and dexterity. Nammeios – that would be the druid – has the lowest HP of the bunch but has a ton more MP to make up for it. As expected, Nammeois favors dexterity and luck while also having access to spells that can be cast from a safer distance to attack enemies and bosses.

Once you dive into the action, you’ll control your character with the left analog stick or the D-Pad and can move the camera around as needed by using the right analog stick. Your character can jump with the X button and attack with the Square button. You also have a stronger but slower attack mapped to the Triangle button. Pressing up or down on the left analog stick or the D-Pad while attacking will unleash different attacks. You can also press and hold down the attack button to charge up your attack so that you can then release it to deal more damage.

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Pressing the Circle button will allow your character to launch a projectile. Do know that doing this will cost some mana. Pressing the R1 button will make your character dash. Dashing can be useful for avoiding attacks, projectiles, and hazards, but you won’t be able to use it to avoid critical attacks, which will glow red. You can interrupt critical attacks by acting fast and attacking with the Triangle button, and landing a hit on your opponent. This attack can also be used to break an enemy’s guard. Pressing the L2 or R2 buttons will activate your Godly skills depending on what pact you’ve entered into – more on this in a bit.

 

How is each character different? While Divico has its slower but more powerful attack to cancel an enemy’s critical hits or to break through its barrier, Renart can press the Triangle button to parry an enemy’s attack by timing it just right, which will automatically allow him to counter said attack while dealing considerable damage. As for Nammeios, pressing the Triangle button will activate her mana burst, which will consume a chunk of mana while powering up her attacks, which will then be able to cancel out critical hits. Mana will continue to drain at a steady pace while the mana burst is active, but projectiles won’t cost additional mana.

As you defeat the many enemies on your path, you’ll be able to collect coins that can be spent at the shop that you’ll run into as you explore each area. You can purchase food and items at the shop that can aid you on your run. Buy a delicious piece of bread to boost your character’s max HP, or go with a scrumptious roaster boar to not only increase your character’s max HP but also provide a boost to strength. Or maybe you’d like to purchase a key so that you can open up a treasure chest along the way?

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Treasure chests are important since you can find powerful items inside. Run into a Phantom Blade, and you’ll be able to equip it to deal less damage while having a chance of landing a double hit. Unlock a treasure chest and find a Dexterous Throw, and you’ll get to have Divico’s axes travel faster and deal more damage. You might find a very useful item like Focused Breathing, which makes high combos regenerate mana.

 

In some rooms, you’ll be able to locate a special shrined where you can enter pacts that can reward you with new abilities… for a price. Sacrifice some of your max HP, and you could find an ability to make you invincible for a short period of time, a skill that can certainly prove to be useful during boss fights. On top of that, you’ll also receive a passive skill that could help you. Becoming immune to some status effects can make a big difference in some stages. Or you could end up with a passive skill that won’t favor your current build or character, which means you’re really going in blind into a pact and won’t know if it was worth it until you’re on the other side.

The game has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy, with a list that includes 4 Bronze trophies, 8 Silver trophies, and 8 Gold trophies for you to work on. There are a handful of trophies for completing each of the levels you can take on during each of your runs. The other objectives you’ll have to complete include landing a 200+ hits combo, taunting 100 times after a combo, having more than 100 coins on you during a run, getting an S rank, beating the game in Normal, Hard, and Frenzy Mode, obtain all upgrades, bouncing off an enemy’s head 5 times, and buying a costume.

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Helvetii is an indie 2D roguelite action game that is a fun experience on PlayStation 4. After a successful run on Kickstarter – and a delay due to the whole COVID-19 pandemic – the game was finally released not only on Nintendo Switch but also on PlayStation 4 thanks to publisher Red Art Games. It’s not going to set the genre on fire, but it’s a serviceable roguelite to take on. Helvetii is out on PlayStation 4 with a $16.99 price tag.

Disclaimer
This Helvetii review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Red Art Games.

Review Overview

Indie 2D roguelite action experience on PS4
7
7

Rating