Ratalaika, the studio that brought you Bouncy Bullets and A Summer with the Shiba Inn comes The Guise. A dark Metroidvania fairytale that features a young boy named Ogden attempting to hold on to what makes him human. The Guise was released on March 16th of this year. It is available on PlayStation, Xbox and Switch.
How do you stop yourself from becoming a monster?
I personally was not aware of The Guise, however, when it became available I was intrigued. I must say that however, I was pleasantly surprised. The Guise definitely exceeded my expectation.
The Guise offers engaging storytelling, with a mixture of exploration. Platforming and combat, which is sure to draw you in.
The story begins with a young orphaned boy named Ogden. Whose curiosity gets the better of him as he places on a cursed mask, turning him into a monster. Your job is to try and hold on to what makes Ogden human. Completing quests and defeating bosses in order to do so.
The story offers vast exploration, especially for such a small game. Its dark and eerie atmosphere really adds to the horror of the dilemma that Ogden is facing. It is your job to ensure that he is able to defeat the monsters that have run somewhat wild in the world.
There are a number of different enemies that you face, including mutant rats, bats, and crazy hybrid bosses. However, the majority of creatures within the game are quite easy to beat, as the slow wind up mechanics means it is easy to just walk past them.
Tough Challenge Ahead
If it’s the harder difficulty that you’re after then the bosses do offer a turn up of the pace. However, it is still not that hard to defeat them. There is however an incentive to defeat the bosses, as Ogden does gain abilities for doing so. My favourite ability was gained through defeating a boss with the ability to spit venom. You gain this relatively early on in the game, and I could argue too early. Considering it is easily the best ability, may be something that should be unlocked later on in the game. However, I can’t complain too much, as it is a great help.
Another thing to consider when playing The Guise is that there are no auto-save points. With save points being scattered it is important to think about how far you have progressed since the last time you saved.
Graphics & Audio
Playing on the PS5, with no frame rates or graphical issues. My play-through was seamless, with load times being quick between each section of the world.
The contrast between Ogden and the backdrop of this world was something that I really liked. Ogden is presented as a vibrant purple monster, which I think is showing that although he is a monster physically. Morally he is still trying to hold on to being human. This is directly contrasted with the backdrop of the world, which is dark, ominous and spooky. Although the music throughout the world is somewhat fitting with the style. That being somewhat dark and depressing, it does not add to the overall feel. This is because of the light piano music that doesn’t really add to the atmosphere. However the boss music is different for each one, and I believe the music used in these sequences was used very well. For example, in the boss fight with Holden, the music was similar to the style of fighting that Ogden was facing (this being somewhat like in a bull ring, with the boss constantly running at you with a forward head motion).
Although the music does not add to the overall atmosphere, a small added bonus I liked was the use of the DualSense controller. When in the world, there is thunder and lightning that works on a clock. When that lightning hits, the DualSense haptics vibrate. This adds to the overall feel of the game, making you feel like you are actually in this world experiencing this alongside Ogden.
The Guise is a relatively short game but does offer an engaging storyline that I do believe is worth playing. I took around 5 hours to play through the game, but I do think you get your money’s worth. If you are the type that wants ‘easy’ platinum, then this can be completed in a mere 35 minutes, so there is something for everyone.
I really enjoyed The Guise, and I was pleasantly surprised at the engaging storytelling. The mix of exploration, combat and platforming blends really well, and Rasul Mono, the creator, has definitely created a beautiful game that is well worth checking out. I do not think you will be disappointed. I will be awarding The Guise a Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.