Afterimage, developed by Aurogon Shanghai and published by Modus Games, is a 2D action RPG set in the world of Engardin. Players take on the role of Renee, a young amnesiac girl, who sets out on a journey to recover her lost memories and find her mentor. The game boasts a gorgeous hand-drawn world, over 170 varieties of enemies to battle, and deep RPG mechanics that allow for diverse character builds. But does Afterimage live up to the hype? Let’s find out – the game is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch, and our thoughts are based on the PlayStation 5 version.
The game’s art style is easily one of its biggest strengths. The hand-drawn world of Engardin is a pleasure to explore, and the animations are smooth and well-executed. The various enemies you encounter are also beautifully rendered, with intricate details that make them feel like living, breathing creatures. The sound design is equally impressive, with over 40 original orchestral tracks composed by the Aurogon Sound Team and fully recorded by the International Master Philharmonic Orchestra and various other musicians. It’s an approach that gives the music a richness that fits the game’s epic fantasy setting perfectly, and it’s clear that a lot of care went into crafting it.
Gameplay-wise, one thing that stands out is the game’s deep RPG mechanics. There are over 200 different pieces of equipment to collect and choose from, including six classes of main weapon, sub weapon, armor, and accessories. The talent points system allows for a diverse range of character builds, with unique weapon skills for each class of weapon. The game’s combat is also largely satisfying, with a wide variety of enemies to fight and plenty of boss encounters that provide a real challenge. The Afterimages system, which grants unique benefits in both exploration and combat, is a great addition that encourages experimentation and rewards player skill. There’s also a nice sense of progression for your character, which keeps combat from ever becoming too repetitive.
Unfortunately, the game’s non-linear world can also be a drawback. While the interconnected world of Engardin is impressive, it can be overwhelming at times, with no clear direction on where to go or what to do next. The game’s side quests, while providing some much-needed guidance, can also be frustratingly obtuse. The limited in-game map and quest log means that players will have to largely rely on their memory to keep track of where they’ve been and where they need to go. This can be a cause of frustration for some players, and it’s a shame that the game doesn’t provide more tools to help them navigate its world.
The game’s difficulty can also be a sticking point for some players. While the combat is satisfying and the boss encounters are a real challenge, the game can feel punishingly difficult at times. This is especially true in the early stages of the game, where players may find themselves facing off against enemies that are significantly more powerful than they are. The lack of a tutorial or any sort of hand-holding can make the learning curve steep, and some players may be put off by the game’s unforgiving nature due to the difficulty spikes that occur.
Overall, Afterimage is a game that will appeal to fans of the action RPG genre. Its deep RPG mechanics, beautiful art style, and satisfying combat make it a standout title. However, its non-linear world and punishing difficulty may be a turnoff for some players, and the lack of tools to help players navigate its world can be frustrating. Despite these issues, Afterimage is a game that is worth checking out for anyone looking for a challenging and rewarding action RPG experience.