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'Severed' Is Perfect For Switch Owners Looking For Something New

The touch-based combat game has appeared on other platforms before, and is right at home on Nintendo's new machine.
Image courtesy of Drinkbox

You'll be hard pressed to find a bigger Switch enthusiast than yours truly, someone on the lookout for a game that can be carried around the house, as I try to keep my kid out of trouble. That's how Severed caught my eye, as I poked around the eShop. I'd previously heard loads of good things about the touch-based hack 'n slash from the developers behind the tremendously fun Guacamelee, a game that's been bouncing from platform to platform—Vita, Wii U, iOS, 3DS, now Switch.


As an owner of every single one of those machines, there's no explanation for why I haven't played Severed until just now, except for the reality of the present: there are too many video games, and some slip through the cracks. That's what makes the ongoing ports of older games to the Switch a simultaneous delight and frustration. If it's a game you've already played, there's not much for you. If it's a game that's new, it's a delight! For me, Severed is the latter.

The premise for Severed is bare bones. You wake up in a house and your family is gone. It's your job to track them down and rescue them, fighting monsters along the way. What makes Severed tick, what makes it memorable, is the striking combat.

When you encounter an enemy in Severed, you swipe the screen to attack. The longer the swipe, the more damage. Each attack builds up a meter (focus), and if you combo attacks, the meter builds faster. The goal is to have a full meter when you strike the killing blow, giving you a brief moment to slice off their arms and other appendages, which can be collected and used to upgrade various stats—strength of attack, how long you have to slice off monster parts, defensive buffs, etc.

This gets complicated when multiple enemies are involved; you can only fight them one at a time. At the bottom of the screen, however, the game visually signals when an enemy is gearing up for an attack, which allows you to swap over, and swipe at the incoming strike to block it (or get hit). This back-and-forth, combo-and-block rhythm becomes increasingly satisfying, as the game introduces different enemy types, forcing you to bounce between at different speeds, if you want to build combos and achieve a full meter. It's the right kind of simple.

Otherwise, you're crawling through dungeons and solving simple puzzles to unlock secrets. It's possible the story goes to some interesting places as things progress, but I won't be upset if it doesn't. The combat in Severed is gripping enough that it's exactly what I'm looking for in 15 minutes of downtime, when my kid is chowing down on some food, and I'm trying to pretend she's not laughing at those horny yellow demons called minions on the TV. God damn minions…

The nice part is, like I said, Severed is late to the party on Switch. Even if you haven't been able to track a Switch down yet, chances are you own one of those over devices. Severed's worth a roll of the dice.

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