Wrath: Aeon of Ruin – PC Review

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Wrath: Aeon of Ruin is an action retro-shooter developed by KillPixel and released in November 2019 for early access. Its main source of inspiration comes from 90’s shooters such as Doom, Quack, Blood and many others. I checked out the game on Steam, but KillPixel does plan to release it on PlayStation, Switch and Xbox. The game is available now on Steam for £20.99 for those looking to play before the full release.  

All Will Know My Wrath

In Wrath: Aeon Of Ruin, there are little to no clues as to why you’re here and what you’re doing. Armed with only a sword to begin, slaughter your way through levels, find powerful and unique items and weapons and uncover secrets within the levels. The developers are saving the story for Wrath: Aeon Of Ruin’s full release, so no one knows what the story is yet, although I look forward to finding out.

A screenshot shows two castles with a river of lava splitting them. I am currently holding a shotgun and the HUD displays my health.
I enjoyed the level design for this map.


The starting area, Mourningvale, serves as a hub world for the player, with purple portals leading to each new level. While the levels have mostly linear passageways guiding the player to the end, there’s enough wiggle room for players to explore and find their way.

Soul Tethers and Pick-ups

The player needs to make themselves familiar with the Soul Tether’s locations. You can only save at Soul Tethers, and upon death, you return to the last one you connected with. You will see how many Soul Tethers you have left by the split skull icon on the left side of the screen. Players can accrue more by collecting a floating white skull found throughout levels.

The floating white Sigel is my Soul Tether, it allows me to save in the game. The area is a dungeon with a rusted barred cage on the floor. bodies are scattered around the area.
The Soul Tether design is interesting.

Pickups lay strewn across the levels for the player to find. Blood vials restore health, armour pieces and shards provide defence, and Confounding Attar is a throwable potion that turns enemies against each other. There is a rare chance that the player will find pickups upon breaking open jars and coffins.

Weapons & Artifacts

There are many unique weapons to enact your wrath, each having an alternative fire. For example, your starting blade has a basic slice attack or charge a thrust attack, which lunges at enemies. The lunge is useful for crossing gaps, too. Another example is the Wretcher, which acts as a grenade launcher, firing single shots in rapid succession or three in a charged cluster. The cysts (grenades) explode upon impact with an enemy or have a delayed explosion when misfired.

The orange smoke surrounding the enemy is from my Artefact that turns them to my side.
Help me, random creature.

Weapons aren’t the only helpful items in Wrath: Aeon Of Ruin. Artifacts found throughout levels provide unique effects. The Trinket of Deflection deflects enemy projectiles, and the Cruel Aegis sacrifices some of your blood for temporary invincibility. The only nitpick I have for weapons is that I wish I could press Q to open a weapon wheel to make switching weapons mid-combat quicker and easier.

Graphics & Audio

Looking straight out of the retro shooter era, Wrath: Aeon Of Ruin sports classic pixel textures and cubic effects to particles such as water droplets, blood and fire. The areas and enemies are suitably gothic, gruesome and hellish to match. Having dismemberment as a feature made brutalising enemies even more fun. The weapon designs are great, with my personal favourite, the Wretcher. I love that it looks like an open metal ribcage, and its radioactive-green cyst ammo glows brightly.

A body I managed not to turn into viscera.
I almost feel bad.. almost.

One particularly great area is a snowy cliff with tombstones scattered about and mottled, twisted trees. Piercing through all the white snow is a dark chapel with menacing red light coming through the windows. I also enjoy the sketched loading screen and journal entries; they are a treat to peruse. The sound effects of walking across different terrains are satisfying. My only gripes are that I wish there were a lantern or light I could use, as sometimes it was too dark to see, and that the music was barely audible to me in contrast to the rest of the audio.


I finished all the levels in Wrath in just over six hours, but there are still secrets and enemies I missed on my first run of Wrath.

Final Thoughts

I found Wrath overall to be a stellar game with tight movement and fun gunplay. The various weapons you acquire through the game are great to use, and I never felt like one was useless. My preferred gun ended up being the shotgun since I found the alternate fire very helpful when dealing with difficult foes. I was glad to see the blade can also be used for crossing gaps instead of becoming forgotten once you have guns. 

Blood has been splattered on the snow with the body not too far away. Ammo for a gun is shown on the right of my screen with a tombstone to the left.
Haha, Blood.

The maps in Wrath are fun to explore, with The Priory being my favourite. Each map gives way for exploration and secrets like in other retro-shooters. If I were to ask for anything in the full release, I would suggest making a weapon wheel when holding Q instead of just switching between the last two weapons. I was happy with what I played overall, and I look forward to what the game has to offer on full release. I hope they have some boss fights planned.

Wrath: Aeon of Ruin feels right at home with other modern retro-shooters, such as Cult, Prodeus and Amid Evil. It aces what it sets out to accomplish as a retro-shooter with its great-level designs and fun weapons. I award Wrath: Aeon of Ruin the Thumb Culture Platinum Award.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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