‘Ancient Weapon Holly’ First Impressions: A Promising Concept That Falls Too Short

Ancient Weapon Holly, an indie game developed by ACQUIRE, attempts to blend elements of action, adventure, and puzzle-solving in a unique and intriguing world with a roguelike approach. The game takes place after tens of thousands of years, when the ancient weapon Holly awakens and begins her revenge against humanity.

Offering a mix of combat, exploration, and repeated grinding, players control Holly, a skilled warrior wielding ancient weapons, as she battles through hordes of enemies and navigates treacherous environments where enemies lurk everywhere, including the blocks of rock you will have to clear to reach your goal at every level.

The goal for Holly is to destroy summoning gates that summon “elite” minions that always march to destroy your tower, adding a weird element of tower defense that actually works in this setting. The game starts you from the 10th floor and you must work your way to the 1st floor where you will escape the prison that your captors have sealed you in.

While the game shows promise in its concept and storytelling, it falls short in its execution, ultimately leaving players with a mixed experience. Midway through the game, we found ourselves able to become so overpowered that your enemies just become fodder, lowering the impact of the game’s roguelike aspects. While gameplay is engaging initially, with a variety of weapons and abilities to master, but it quickly becomes repetitive due to limited enemy variety and easy resource gathering.

We also experienced several technical issues and bugs that hindered our game experience, from enemies not dying after Holly’s burial move, to enemies killing me outside of their hitbox zones. The game’s combat and control system also felt clunky and unresponsive at times, making it frustrating to engage in combat encounters. (It’s worth mentioning that we played the demo version of this game, and it’s possible that some of these issues were fixed in the final build.)

The strongest quality in Ancient Weapon Holly is its story and atmosphere, as you unlock Holly’s memory and what transpired in the past which eventually led to her being sealed. Although the storytelling was hindered at times by awkward dialogue and pacing issues, making it difficult for players to fully immerse themselves in the narrative. The game’s art style is also good but requires more polish to compete with the games of today.

All in all, I am definitely the target audience for this game as I love me some grinding roguelike action. While it offers some enjoyable moments and interesting ideas, it is ultimately hindered by technical issues and repetitive gameplay. With some refinement and polish, Ancient Weapon Holly could have been a standout indie title, but as it stands, it doesn’t quite live up to its potential.

Check out Ancient Weapon Holly for yourself on Steam, and top up your Steam Wallet on Codashop.

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