Stay for the stunts with ‘Severed Steel’

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Severed Steel key art of female protagonist Steel with weapons aimed.
Image courtesy of Digerati

With Severed Steel, you shoot first and ask questions never. The title is the debut for Greylock Studios, published by Digerati. It is a first-person-shooter, reportedly inspired by the likes of games such as Black, Mirror’s Edge, and F.E.A.R. Severed Steel launches on September 17 for PC via Steam, Epic Game Store and more.

Piloting the games’ protagonist Steel, players are instructed to do one thing and one thing only: kill them all. Or rather, shoot enemies, walls, computers, canisters and anything else that will get you through to the next objective. There’s little offered as far as story here. The protagonist finds herself dumped off, injured, and thirsty for revenge against someone (it never grows terribly clear). However, the plot really isn’t the point with Severed Steel and is quite honestly okay in the face of its gameplay.

Story is told through a smattering of art panels.

Much of the game’s action revolves around its stunt and shoot system. Players are encouraged to wall run, flip, slide and dive through levels in order to avoid enemy gunfire. The pace of the gameplay is frenetic at times, with enemies unrelentingly pursuing Steel. There’s hardly a moment to breathe between foes, which is part of what makes the game thrilling to play. It also means that the difficulty is tough. Players will have a hard time trying to cheese their way around things and a few well aimed shots could send you back to the start.

Severed Steel stirs reminiscent memories of Max Payne bullet time fun with Miami Hotline battle aggravation. No one level really plays out the same as far as the enemy AI is concerned and, paired with the assortment of moves and the procure-on-sight weapon options, the game manages to make each level challenging. The game is fairly short, but in a welcome way. Instead it offers a number of difficulties, challenge modes, and a level editor to keep players engaged.

The game exceeds in style points from cyberpunk-esque levels to neon enemy damage markers.
The game exceeds in style points from cyberpunk-esque levels to neon enemy damage markers.

Despite the fun it offers, Severed Steel does have a few issues. The gameplay at times can be buggy when things get really hectic. Doors flip between automatically opening or being kicked in only. Some windows take multiple shots to shatter, while others come away like tissue paper. Also surprising was the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it mention of how to use bullet time during the tutorial in a single line of text. The stunts sometimes work against the player, especially on a level with a train, where sliding or diving had a 50/50 chance of sending me over the side of the vehicle to my doom. Some instances would lead Steel to clip through the environment at certain angles. The content warning for flashing lights was appreciated, but in one particular stage it became nigh impossible to see where enemies were spawning or moving due to it.

Severed Steel is a fun game where players can fulfill their greatest John Woo fueled fantasies of jumping through windows and firing weapons (sans doves flying everywhere). It’s stylish and to the point, which is all it really needs to be. Guns, stunts, and a quick load time.

Severed Steel final score: 3/5 stars

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Severed Steel is now available on Steam, Epic Games Store, and other various digital PC storefronts. The game will be reportedly release on Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S and Nintendo Switch at a later date. Watch the launch trailer below:

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About the author

Christen Bejar

Christen Bejar is a freelance gaming writer who started the local blog The Pause Button while studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. For Nerdvana, Bejar reviews video games and also previews, recaps and photographs many local events from a gamer's perspective.