Games

Source of Madness, analysis. An otherworldly roguelike

The roguelike, also in its roguelite version and other derivatives, has become one of the most popular genres in recent years. A formula based on repetition, learning and the need to acquire knowledge through death, in which we have seen numerous independent titles stand out, such as Rogue Legacy, Dead Cells, Returnal, Slay the Spire, Risk of Rain and the acclaimed Hadesamong others.

We are approaching the halfway point of 2022 and the genre continues to try to surprise us with bets as disparate as Loot River, Rogue Legacy 2 and the one we have in hand today: Source of Madness, the most lovecrattian we’ve seen to date. A most eccentric experience, which combines platforms, exploration and combat with an unmistakable —and daring— visual section.

Source of Madness review Roguelike Lovecraft PS5 PS4 Xbox Series X PC Nintendo Switch Carry Castle Video game releases 2022

An inherited formula

The first thing that strikes you about Source of Madness is its commitment to recycle characters in the form of legacies, in a way that is practically identical to that of Rogue Legacy, one of the most popular titles in the history of the genre. When we die, we are reborn in the skin—or rather, in the tunic—of a stranger; We can choose between three of them and each one has a series equipment, a set of statistics and characteristics such as elemental affinities or weak points.

As we progress and invest the blood harvested along the journey into developing each class, we can lay the groundwork so that future games start with a character stronger than usual. After all, the progress system is not too far from other similar games, although it must be said that it is not exactly fast and we are facing a title in which, while it is very rewarding to progress and unlock upgrades and items, it also requires patience and involvement by the player.

Source of Madness review Roguelike Lovecraft PS5 PS4 Xbox Series X PC Nintendo Switch Carry Castle Video game releases 2022

Repetition is part of the experience and that is not a flaw in and of itself; it is part of the genre and should not surprise anyone. However, in Source of Madness it ends up becoming a problem, due to the limited variety of weapons, enemies and scenarios. Combining a formula based on trial and error with a set of elements that do not have much experience has not been a good idea, because in the end we are left with a video game weighed down by monotony.

the hunt begins

There is one aspect of Source of Madness that has particularly surprised us, and we don’t know if it’s for the better or for the worse. This is the bestiary, a compendium of creatures that could have been described by the very H. P. Lovecraft. We are not sure if they come from the sea, but we are sure they are not from our world. Lumps of flesh that seem assembled by a twisted mind, lacking in intelligence and unable to coordinate their own movements.

Source of Madness review Roguelike Lovecraft PS5 PS4 Xbox Series X PC Nintendo Switch Carry Castle Video game releases 2022

Looking most menacing, these creatures roam the stage and move erratically; they jump, they stumble and on some occasion they release a kind of whiplash when they perceive our presence. The idea is fine, but its peculiar behavior often leads to confusion; Its patterns are not clear, nor is it easy to detect its hit box. It is a somewhat strange decision that, without a doubt, offers a different combat system than that seen in other exponents of the genre.

It should not be forgotten that Source of Madness is a roguelike starring wizards, so forget about carrying swords and armor; here we only wear a tunic and all hits are based on magic, channeled through different rings. We fight using the triggers of the command, one in each hand and always keeping the elements in mind. The Slash ability is the closest thing to a physical blow that we find, since it is a kind of spectral projection similar to a sword cut that we can guide with the right stick. Beyond that, almost all other rings are used to fire projectiles of elemental magic.

The game responds well to the controls and the fights work well, despite the fact that its simplicity and lack of depth leaves little room for surprise. In addition, it is a title that requires spending a good time experiencing the inertia of dodge movements, jumps and the recharge time of attacks, since we are facing a much more strategic proposal than it seems; although it seems slow and somewhat random, with calm it can be completely mastered and it is not even a particularly demanding title.

Source of Madness review Roguelike Lovecraft PS5 PS4 Xbox Series X PC Nintendo Switch Carry Castle Video game releases 2022

Regarding the progress system, every time we die and inherit a new legacy we start in a huge cathedral where we can talk to various NPCs, use the blood obtained to develop a huge skill tree and replenish our strength before going outside again . In this sense, the game is based on the basic rules of the genre, although as we said above, the limited variety of environments and enemies means that it doesn’t take long for us to get caught up in the fearsome monotony.

CONCLUSION

Source of Madness offers unique elements that allow it to distance itself from many alternatives in the genre. The theme, the audacity when it comes to confusing us through sight with an art direction that will not leave anyone indifferent and the dark background of its history make the title of Carry Castle a different experience, but not everything is gold. it glitters The game suffers from repetition issues, variety of content and other elements that lead to monotony much sooner than we would have liked.

THE BEST

  • The Lovecraftian setting is a spectacle
  • While you stay fresh, making progress is very rewarding

WORST

  • The limited variety of scenarios and enemies
  • The combat system hardly has variants
  • Visually it is confusing; it’s not easy to navigate

6.5

Correct

It’s not the latest or the most original, it doesn’t have the best execution either, but it can be fun if you like the genre. Good, but improvable.

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