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Ultros Review for PlayStation 5

Over the years, the metroidvania genre has grown in its popularity rather quickly, especially with indie developers. I’ve reviewed several of them in the last couple years. “Ultros” is the latest of the bunch, developed by Hadoque and published by Kepler Interactive, this is hopefully one in the genre that will stand out from the pack. From its striking trippy artistry to adding some rogue-lite elements structured in an overall strictly strong structure of a metroidvania. There is a lot to love here, so let’s start with breaking down what the heck is going on in this game.

Ultros Review for PlayStation 5

In this psychedelic adventure, you assume the role of a spacefarer awakening aboard the enigmatic vessel known as the Sarcophagus, a domain ensnaring the malevolent entity, Ultros. Tasked with forestalling Ultros’ resurgence, you will need to navigate a spaceship overrun by lush vegetation and inhabited by a diverse array of extraterrestrial creatures. Engaging with these denizens yields valuable seeds, pivotal for cultivating nourishing flora. Which is an interesting element that makes this game stand out. Complicating matters is the perpetual temporal recurrence, plunging certain inhabitants into madness, metamorphosing them into formidable adversaries to be vanquished through combat. Armed with an arsenal of somewhat varied attacks, you will have to confront these challenges head-on. Consumption of flora and triumph over adversaries bestow skill enhancements, augmenting players’ prowess. Employing precision strikes and mastering advanced techniques empower players with potent enhancements, pivotal for overcoming increasingly formidable adversaries.

There is a cyclical nature of time in “Ultros” that will grant you the opportunity to revisit the beginning of the story, albeit with their skills reset, which is where the rogue-lite element comes in. While you may lose a lot of what you gained upon dying, there are parts that will continue which can help a bit with a newfound ease in your augmentation. You are able to plant seeds in potential common areas you will revisit often and as you die and come back you will see that these seeds will bloom and offer something beneficial for you, most of the time. I think I had one where nothing decided to grow, which was a bummer, but I like the roll of the dice aspect. The ever-evolving world is shaped by your actions in preceding cycles, unveiling new pathways which may have been inaccessible earlier. Traversal is very similar to many metroidvanias as it often necessitates platform-based maneuvering.

I really need to commend the amazing art direction on display here, it is extremely colorful and yes, psychedelic in its presentation. The strange art style really enhances you being in this crazy alien world with its awesome atmospherics, including the music. There are even some accessibility features I noticed to help fix the color and focus on some things if the game ends up looking a bit too trippy to understand everything you’re seeing on screen. I honestly don’t have any real complaints with this game, it does a great job for the most part on helping the player understand where they need to go, I may feel a little burnt out by reviewing so many games in this genre recently, luckily “Ultros” never felt like a chore to play due to constantly showing me how much I loved the genre to begin with. It truly is a true testament of what metroidvanias have to offer.

8.5/10

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Related: Nick Navarro Reviews

Gaming since I was given an original Nintendo as a kid. I love great storytelling and unique ingenuity. When both collide in a single game, I'm a happy gamer. Twitter/IG @NickNavarro87