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Scurge: Hive Review

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Fast-paced, sci-fi adventure with lost of action.

★★★★

A slinky female bounty hunter trapped on a remote planet crawling with parasitic aliens... sound familiar? But even though Scurge: Hive sounds exactly like a Metroid game, the similarities don’t stop with the plot.

Like Nintendo’s hallowed sci-fi series, Scurge is a fast-paced action adventure that seamlessly blends blasting, exploration and puzzle solving, the enormous game world gradually revealing itself as you collect new items that allow you to explore areas that were previously out of bounds.

But while Scurge is a shameless Metroid rip-off, it’s a great game in its own right; the stylish isometric graphics are beautifully detailed and create a convincing illusion of three-dimensional space, and the fact that the game world is presented as one huge environment - rather than carved up into choppy levels - makes for one of the most immersive settings ever seen in a handheld adventure. The puzzle and shooting elements are also skilfully integrated, the weapons you collect giving you the power to solve new brainteasers as well as slaughter tougher, more aggressive monsters. And while lazy gamers will be frustrated by having to backtrack regularly to the sick bay as the heroine is cursed with a wasting disease, the strict time limit adds extra pace to the traditional action, making for regular moments of genuine, heart-pumping panic.

The camera perspective sometimes makes it tough to judge where your shots or grappling hook are headed, but this is only a minor niggle with an otherwise gripping sci-fi escapade.

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