The hack and slash genre is generally teeming with over the top action and stylish flowing combat. Games like Bayonetta, Devil May Cry and even God of War have perfected the formula so what does newcomer, Assault Spy, bring to the table? The answer is quite simple – Hack and slash Anime combat goodness at a fraction of the cost.
In Assault Spy, gamers will take control of Asaru, a corporate spy. Asaru has a laid-back personality and is accompanied by fellow spy, Kanoko. Kanoko however is a complete airhead and sticking with anime tropes, she more often than not just gets in Asaru’s way.
The characters are likeable and thankfully, are fully voiced by Japanese voice acting veterans.
Assault Spy developers, Wazen, clearly know what makes the genre tick as players are treated to fast paced action packed yet highly rewarding combat. Asaru can make use of a range of combos to dispatch foes and these are relatively easy to pull off. Fighting enemies is difficult but incredibly rewarding in the sense that when foes are defeated, players will often be treated to massive explosions or slow-motion close-ups that emphasize the game’s gorgeous anime aesthetic. One minor gripe with the game’s combat is that Asaru moves at a snail’s pace when not dashing about. He’s also quite difficult to turn while moving for some strange reason and this will hopefully be rectified in the final version of the game.
The story so far is incomplete but from what we’ve played, it’s intriguing enough to keep you coming back for more. The visual novel-esque story progression is also quite a welcome sight since the characters have unique designs that are quite appealing. New characters are introduced later on in the game and along with new combat mechanics, this naturally leads players into harder and more rewarding battle scenarios. Enemies are also varied enough and surprisingly, are quite tough to beat at first. Assault Spy definitely has a learning curve that takes some getting used to.
Since Assault Spy is still in Early Access, the minor glitches and mishaps experienced can be excused for now. Most notably though, the game seems to have issues with opening doors. More often than not, Asaru would walk towards a door and it would not open. Additionally, upon going through a door, Asaru would sometimes seemingly get stuck and refuse to walk forward until a jump or dash maneuver is executed. As an early access title, the developers are hard at work on the title and hopefully these minor grievances will be rectified soon.
Assault Spy is a hack and slash anime fan’s dream and for less than $15 on Steam, it’s well worth picking up. Just be sure to grab a controller because playing this type of game with a mouse and keyboard is not ideal.