As I’m seven hours into Testament: The Order of High Human, and with an estimated 20 hours of play time, I have summarised my thoughts of the game so far in this impression – my full review will be up next week once I have completed the game.
Testament is a ‘retro-style’ first-person single-player action-adventure game by Fairyship Games which uses RPG, Metroidvania, and Souls-like elements. Part of me wants to crawl into a hole and cry at the concept of a game that looks like it’s from the 2010s being considered ‘retro’.
We play as Aran, who, after being betrayed by his brother, Arva, wakes up stripped of his powers and being tended to by a Nature Father. After leaving the Nature Father’s hut, which pisses him off for some reason, we embark on our quest to regain our powers and find out what happened to our kingdom, Tessara, and stop Arva from destroying the world – because of course he wants to do that for some reason.
Aran belongs to an immortal race known as High Humans, who oversee the realm as instructed by a higher species known as The Seekers. We reclaim our powers by finding The Seekers’ temples and solving a boat-load of platforming puzzles. While these puzzles have certainly gotten more entertaining as they’ve become more difficult, I think they tend to go on for too long which takes the enjoyment away.
Aran has three weapon choices; his sword which he can use to deflect attacks, his bow which also acts as a tool to solve certain puzzles, and his magic. He can also equip temporary powers which are craftable using the in-game currency. In my opinion, some of these are a little too powerful, as a few make you immune to attacks for 30 seconds, meaning you can finish a fight by just charging in head first and being aggressive with your attacks.
The general combat is a little clunky. I also think Testament fails completely with its controller support. Since half the buttons don’t work on my controller, I would say there is no controller support – which becomes a problem when you take into account the Souls-like combat which includes deflecting and dodging. In short, I had some serious problems with hand cramping from trying to play Testament on a mouse and keyboard and I really hope this is resolved on release.
Testament also has a problem with enemy variation. Although some of the boss fights have been fun, each area has one core enemy type which it sticks to throughout with hardly any variation. This makes the general gameplay outside boss fights really tiresome.
On top of some really shoddy voice acting, the storyline just doesn’t capture me so far. It’s filled with MacGuffins, expository monologues, and a villain whose core writing resolves around the fact that he is ‘bad because he uses dark magic’. It’s really flimsy. I feel like 15-man developer team, Fairyship Games, have really taken too much on their plate with Testament, though I’m hoping the later game will change my mind.
Jess is playing Testament: The Order of High Human on PC with a review code. Jess’ full review will be published next week.