Reviews - Updated on March 30, 2022

When you say “soullike”, you mean something already familiar, and in some places even hackneyed. But Grime is by no means familiar. If only because the main character in this game is made of stone, and instead of a head he has a black hole.

stone head

Imagine if the works of Salvador Dali were used for something more mundane and mass – for example, for the design of a cinema. And the texts of Boris Vian from his “Foam of Days” – for brochures and signs. Both are famous surrealists. So in Grime, the seemingly familiar “soullike metroidvania” was placed in a surreal world, where stone heads and faces are all around; where a huge statue can suddenly fall from the sky, and then we will jump on its hands; where you even have to fight with heads, and pitchers can push you away with their hands.

Grime: Overview

This stone head is not what it seems.

The description on Steam is appropriate: “Extraordinary matter self-destructs as the world shudders and contracts – it squeezes you tightly and spits you out onto the uncharted shore of life. You don’t know what it hides, so alien in its recognizability, and yet you will have to fight for survival in the reigning horror around.

Grime: Overview

Yes, it smells of something dangerous and beautiful.

At first, you really don’t understand what is happening here, who we are and where we are. But still interesting, I want to consider everything around with an open mouth. Gradually, we learn that we have fallen into the world of the Open Sky, where certain Mothers whisper and pour breath into stones, and they are born as ugly boulderheads or thornheads, live their lives in the city of Lithit, protect it, some try to carve statues, make art and dream about ” ascending into admirable proportion.”

Grime: Overview

There are also wall paintings.

Our hero is just such a proportional, polished, or hewn. And his appearance here is met with admiration, apprehension or aggression. Some cry from their ugliness, and when they see us, they rush out shouting “This is how I should have been! Give me that uniform!”

But, as it turns out, our form is incomplete, imperfect – perhaps because instead of a head, the hero has a small but remote black hole. Therefore, other, more perfect representatives of the carved treat us with disdain, call the hero a fake and promise to erase him into a brick. We need to prevent this, figure out what is happening, free the stoneheads and other freaks from the tyranny of the Mothers and … However, you will find out for yourself. At some point, this surreal, the very atmosphere and events caused the feeling that everything was happening in one of the worlds of Planescape: Torment.

Grime: Overview

Here the style is strongly reminiscent of Planescape.

Yes, and the characters are very vivid. What is the funny big-headed, who, as soon as he sees us, becomes a kind of adept of the hero, gathers followers and periodically makes offerings to us, killing other fans with joy – he waves his arms so strongly.

Grime: Overview

Jon is also a darling.

Absorption of ugliness

Gameplay Grime also knows how to surprise. In fact, this is a mixture of soul-like and metroidvania, but with its own ideas. The main one is just a black hole instead of the main character’s head. It can be used to block attacks, stunning enemies, grab spears thrown at us and send them back, and most importantly, absorb objects and enemies. This allows you to build up “breath” which works like a healing potion and restores health.

Here’s how it goes.

And if we absorb some opponents (they are called victims), then we get their abilities. True, you need to devour a certain number of victims, and then on a special obelisk (local fire), the ability needs to be sprouted with the help of hunting points, which we get for killing especially strong enemies. Among these “living” skills are bonuses to stamina and endurance, the ability to restore part of the “stamina” when parrying. Or there is an ability that allows you to leave your “echo” after a successful dodge – if it takes damage, then again part of the endurance will be restored.

Sometimes you even have to absorb shields – otherwise you won’t be able to break through the shield-bearers.

Add all these tricks with echo dodges here, and at the end we get quite fresh sensations from seemingly typical soul-like battles. Often you have to think what is more useful – to kill or absorb the enemy. Sometimes one is better, sometimes the other. If health and breathing is not enough, we are looking for how to restore them in the first place. But at the same time, for killing they give more ardor, which affects the experience gained.

Grime: Overview

And here you don’t have to choose.

With fervor and heat

Yes, Fervor is a special resource that increases the amount of mass given out for killing enemies. And mass points are an analogue of souls, gold and experience, for which, on the same surrogates, you can pump character characteristics (strength, agility, endurance, health, intelligence). The mass is also used in trade – you can buy different types of weapons and consumables (throwing daggers, bombs, temporary increases in defense or damage, and so on).

Weapons, by the way, differ in damage and speed and have requirements for character parameters. In addition, each has a special attack – one knocks back and stuns the enemy, the other allows you to jump on the enemy and hit. But armor, as a rule, we exchange for found objects (for example, frescoes) or remove from the bodies of defeated enemies – in this world we literally tear out a stone torso, arms or legs. Characteristics are unknown, but all items are accompanied by beautiful and again surreal descriptions.

Grime: Overview

In a game that looks like a work of art, such an exchange is logical.

It is interesting that in the event of the death of our “black-headed” it is precisely the reserve of ardor that is lost, but the mass points remain practically untouched. And then you need to run with fervor to your frozen stone statue in order to return this resource. This allows you to level up your character faster – experience points are always with you. In the meantime, you will run to the place of death, and again accumulate enough fervor.

On the one hand, this makes the game easier and eliminates the fear of death – you really don’t lose anything anyway. But on the other hand, in fights with tough enemies, and even more so with hardcore bosses, the player’s skill, his reaction and the ability to read the opponent’s timings are still decisive. From this point of view, ardor seems to be a somewhat artificial, superfluous characteristic that was invented only to give the game more originality. Well, they came up with and came up with – the main thing is that it does not interfere.

Grime: Overview

Many of the characters also look extremely original.

Everything with legs, legs

Another point that gives what is happening hardcore, but already with a minus sign, is the very limited teleportation between surrogates. This already somewhat devalues ​​Grime as a metroidvania. There are plenty of places you can’t hit or pass until you get an ability, like pulling objects or dashing in the air after jumping. But the need, when there are no teleports, to return for a long time, is annoying. True perfectionists and lovers of metroidvanias will spit and run, but the rest, most likely, will perceive the game only as a soulslike.

Grime: Overview

Although to see this again, you can run.

But there are no complaints about the platform part – the complexity here is adequate, there are many interesting situations. Yes, and the traps pleased with their surrealism: how do you like the stone hands flying from above directly into the forehead?

Traps sometimes work both ways.

With a set of enemies, too, everything is fine. There are, for example, legged bombs that you need to throw back with a blow so that they blow up the monster that is attacking you. With an arsenal of weapons, it is more difficult: there are repeated alternative attacks, and the usefulness of the heaviest clubs is questionable – they are too slow.

Some also complain about bugs, but I have not met with them. But I would like better optimization – sometimes “freezes” happen out of the blue.

Grime: Overview

Even while jumping you look at the backs.

Grime has some game design and optimization issues, but they’re not that big of a deal. But the atmosphere, pleasure, originality and surprise from what he saw – a lot. So fans of the genre – definitely play. With fervor.

Pros: very original world; amazing story and unusual characters; intense gameplay that brings freshness to the must-have soullike program; chic visual style

Cons: the authors constantly drive the player back and forth, seriously limiting the possibility of teleportation; there are bugs; imperfect optimization.

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