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The Knight Witch Review (PS4) – Fun, Simplistic Gameplay Intermixed With Peculiar Choices

The Knight Witch PS4 Review – The Metroidvania genre has hundreds of titles living under that namesake with many more in the proverbial pipeline. What makes a Metroidvania stand out is the unique hook it delivers that separates itself from its stablemates. And, while Knight Witch does a decent job throwing its hooks out there, not all of them catch on.

Knight Witch PS4 Review – Fun, Simplistic Gameplay Intermixed With Peculiar Choices

Knight Witch sees you donning the flying boots of Rayne, a woman who previously fell short of becoming a Knight Witch. However, the four existing Knight Witches all but disappeared, leaving the civilians they swore to protect vulnerable to attack.

It’s here where the government leaders recruit Rayne to take on the role of Knight Witch and find out where the Knight Witches went all while trying to solve the current issues plaguing them.

The story in this Metroidvania twin-stick shooter is overall light-hearted and well written. At the same time, it delivers some substantial hooks as well as some intriguing perspectives on both public personas in a political sense.

It also alludes to the constant need for “likes” by showcasing Rayne’s strength based on the happiness citizens have with her, something the game calls Links. Links play a key role as a direct indicator of public approval in her work.

Link Them Up

Links also play into gameplay well. These Links behave like levels, with each Link you earn acting as an increase in level. Stats don’t increase with each level, but rather you choose between bettering your range attacks or your spells. Each Link grants one point, and you then place that point in either attacks or spells.

These Links only increase when you interact with other inhabitants in some form or another, let it be either rescuing someone or speaking in a press conference after each successful mission. Press conferences hold the greatest amount of potential Links, but they come with a caveat: If you tell the whole truth instead of a propaganda statement, you only gain so many Links.

After completing the game, I look back and wonder why these press conferences give a choice at all outside of placing a moral dilemma on the player. It’s an interesting topic to think about, but the game approaches it peculiarly, especially since the outcome doesn’t change enough to feel that telling the truth helps much.

Regardless of your press conference choices, the game provides you with a way to use shards that you collect to buy back favor from the public. You either tell half truths for more strength or tell the truth and buy back favor.

The Missing Link

While playing the game, I never thought about this dilemma. However, in looking back, I can’t help but wonder if that might have been the point. Public perception is inherently flawed no matter what you do, and what is believed as advocating for people’s best interests looks different for each figure.

I appreciate the moral quandary, but I can’t help but feel like I missed out on a lot of gameplay progress by telling the truth. In limiting my Links, I limited improvements of my ranged attacks and spells.

Boss fights grow more and more complicated simply because more takes place on-screen and more enemies face you at one time the deeper into the game you go. Limited resources make those fights much harder than they would be if you choose the propaganda choices.

No Bad Cards In This Deck

While both attacks and spells feel these limitation effects, spells feel it more substantially. Leveling attacks increases how many hearts you have, and increasing magic increases how many spell slots you have. In the case of magic, spells are then used in the form of cards that you collect as you explore the map and defeat enemies.

As you would expect, stronger spells require more spell slots to execute. The max Link level for both range attacks and spells is 10, but as mentioned above, Link levels aren’t easy to come by.

I approached the last boss of the game with level 9 in range attacks and level 5 in spells. I only had four spell slots. That did give me a great deal of range of cards to use, but I couldn’t use any of the more devastating spells that require five or more slots.

Still, to Knight Witch’s benefit, all available spell cards perform beautifully, even the lower-level ones. Plus, every single fight returns your spell slots back to you generously, even longer fights with single targets. There’s always a way to succeed, even if doing the right things makes it harder to do.

Taking It To The Enemy

What makes this twin-stick shooter quite interesting is that it allows you to switch between auto-aim and manual aim without any effort. Naturally, using the Right Joystick lets you shoot in whatever direction you want. If you don’t use the Right Joystick, the game mostly targets the nearest enemy.

I say “mostly” because too many times the game auto-targeted a bigger enemy from farther away while little enemies snuck in behind me and killed me. This does keep the game from being easy.

At the same time, with how many flying particles and enemies the game throws at you, I don’t think the added auto-aim help would make it any easier. Combine that with potentially having fewer hearts from making truthful choices, and things get harder.

To help with that a bit, the game provides vendors sprinkled throughout each map that sell different types of armor. Their benefits range from taking extra hits of damage to damaging surrounding enemies to replenishing your spell slots. These vendors sit rather closely to major fights, so you get plenty of chances to mix and match your armor.

Ultimately, there’s a balance to Knight Witch’s gameplay, but it’s a weird balance. As long as you take the time to comprehend the circumstances you find yourself in, you can make it work. However, for a game with such a simplified leveling system, this added complication feels a bit forced, especially since the game is only about 10 hours long.

A Fun Shooter Romp With Decent Potential

Overall, Knight Witch left me feeling glad that I played it. Few twin stick shooters or Metroidvania titles give me much reason to remember them anymore. Still, despite its fun and quirky nature, simple yet entertaining gameplay, and engaging card system, the overall balance of progress and skill development feels off. It’s not enough to truly break the game, but it feels like enough to disengage some players.

Regardless, Rayne has what it takes to keep everyone on board for the long haul. Knight Witch is a strong recommendation, even with its faults. They don’t always work, but the game takes risks and enough of them pay off in the long run.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

The Knight Witch makes a strong case for itself with its simplistic gameplay and charming writing. The overall balance between development and gameplay feels a bit too weird to ignore. Still, this twin-stick shooter-meets-Metroidvania has a quirky intrigue about it that makes it a worthy purchase for any fan of the genre.