Shepherd Slaughter is a top down adventure game portrayed though old ‘skool’ graphics. This game has a rather impressive list of features within its randomly generated worlds. With the massive number of monsters and environments there is much to do within this game. However I feel I must state this now, Shepherd Slaughter an extremely complex game and there for walks upon a knifes edge between complexity and enjoy ability.
As with many adventure games, the start opens with a narrative outlining the story and introducing you to the world. The adventurer, you, steps in the game with the goal of discovering an ancient artefact with the power to kill the immortal tyrant ruler of their home. You begin the game on a beach with an old man who will ask you some questions, and based upon your results you will be rewarded with some gear relevant to your indicated gameplay style. These various gameplay styles are categorised in to the following, Knight, Sorcerer, Warrior and marksman (there is properly more however these are the only ones I was able to play). These will affect your fighting style early game, later games this has a much smaller effect.
After this choice has been made you set out to explore this island. As mentioned before this is randomly generated as each panel is discovered and can cause some longer than expected load screens between the panels. This only happens when entering a new panel however when exploring this can be rather tiresome with soo many loading screens.
The actual gameplay of Shepherd Slaughter is a top down adventure combat game with a wide verity of weapons and tools. All the weapons and have secondary uses that provide non-combat abilities such as the ability to chop down trees with an axe or to dig though dirt with a shovel. This can allow you to access some blocked areas or to just make movement faster on a commonly travelled route. On the subject of movement, this can be a little clunky at times causing some minor irritations but this is not a major issue with the game. Just something you need to be aware of.
Combat is the meat of the game with some well designed and implemented mechanics. Combat is all about timing your attacks aiming correctly and avoiding incoming blows. This can be rather repetitive as the opponents you encounter become more and more powerful as the time taken to destroy them greatly rises. Ranged fighting such as the bow or spells can generally the safest form of combat with limited retaliation available, the main weakness of ranged combat is the need to aim well, especially against the faster opponents.
Throughout the game and combat you will slowly unlock skill points that are used to upgrade the skills such as strength and spell power. With such a verity of starting choice, skill placement and armour you can really make the avatar play how you wish. This ability to customise your character with the random world generations really makes each play different from the last creating a unique experience every time you play.
The overall goal of this game is to collect all the necessary items from the ten dungeons scattered across this randomly generated. To access these dungeons you need to find a key and these are also randomly located across the map, normally they are near the dungeon, this will not always be the case though.
Shepherd Slaughter is a single life game providing a great challenge actually completing the game. This might not be to your liking however it suits the play style and ideas of this game. This does not mean that you don’t have to complete the game in a single sitting as you can save however upon death you are given an overall score and then your save is deleted forcing you to restart the game.
If the adventuring of the game is not your idea of fun then you can do the survival mode that offers the usual wave challenge. This does have some interesting mechanics such as the ability to build walls and traps to keep the enemy’s away. This game mode will not provide much entertainment for long however it is a nice break from the actual game; it is also a good place to build up your skill with the controls of the game.
Shepherd Slaughter graphically is not much to look at, personally it did bring me back to the good old days of gaming however with its top down pixelated graphics. Some could call this unrefined or in-complete however in my opinion this complements the style of game. That does not mean the graphics can’t be improved upon. The music of the game sets the atmosphere perfectly with sense of adventure and exploration. The game is currently lacking in the sound effects making combat seem a little dull, however as stated this can easily and quickly be fixed.
Overall Shepherd Slaughter is a good enjoyable game for someone looking for an adventure game from the classic era of gaming. This will not be to every ones taste however with a free demo available everyone should give this game ago if adventuring is your idea of fun.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.