Grime: A Beautifully Ugly Game
Very few games like Grime exist anymore—A game that is so proud of its unapologetically ugly art style and ridiculous difficulty curves that you just have to fall in love with it, but nothing is perfect.
Grime is a game that wants to be a Metroidvania, but also wants to be a souls-like game. What you get is a mix of genres that shouldn't work, and while they do. with it being a stamina-based Metroidvania (arguably one of the worst mechanics for a game like this), it has a lot of flaws.
Luckily, it does try to build on the formula of your typical Metroidvania, despite being held back by the aforementioned stamina system.
The game does a good job of making most weapons feel pretty unique; but when you have a lot of different styles of weapons in a Metroidvania, you tend to want to use them all, but because this game takes heavy inspiration from Dark Souls, leveling is done in the usual Dark Souls way. There are bonfires in the game in the form of massive pink obelisks.
At these points you do the usual thing of leveling up your health, stamina, strength, dexterity and resonance (magic). So, if you want to use a specific weapon, you need to do the mindless grind of getting enough Mass (this game's souls) to level up a specific stat.
Having said that, the latest DLC "Colors of Rot" does allow you to use any weapon, albeit with a severe damage penalty that makes them borderline useless anyway.
One thing to note is that the game does away with the “lose money on death” feature that so many games in this genre do. As you play, you gain “Ardor” which is a multiplier that increases the amount of Mass you get from defeating an enemy. When you die, all you do is lose the multiplier which is easily retrieved or regained by parrying enemies, and parrying is something you’ll want to do a lot.
The game introduces a Parrying feature which, when utilized correctly gives you tons of Ardor AND the ability to capture the essence of the creature you parried. On paper, this is a cool feature; in practice though, the abilities are pretty useless, and you find yourself gravitating to the 4 or 5 that have an immediate use to the character overall.
The story for Grime is meh at best. It tries to be super vague like most souls games, but you are given so little even 6 hours into the game that I just stopped paying attention. That makes it a pretty good streaming game though, since you don’t need to focus on cutscenes or talking outside of a few key NPCs; though even then, nothing they say makes much sense anyway.
Overall, I give Grime a 3/5. I liked it for its beautiful ugliness and its unique approach to the Dark Souls formula that so many games copy, but ultimately, it should have just been a normal Metroidvania. Not every game needs to try to be a souls-like game.