Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights ticks all of the packing containers of a decent Metroidvania. It delivers a colossal labyrinth that’s enjoyable to discover, and you discover cool new skills to open inaccessible areas all whereas leveling up and enhancing your character with powers and gear. I’m a sucker for the style, in order that naked minimal is often sufficient to get me on board regardless of what number of video games enter the house. However as I traversed Ender Lilies’ fantastically realized gothic kingdom, I discovered its difficult but entertaining fight and myriad secrets and techniques helped set it a lower above a number of of its contemporaries. Ender Lilies probably gained’t rope in anybody burned out on this type of sport, however these trying to scratch that acquainted itch will discover lots to like right here.
Lily is a younger priestess who awakens to seek out her dwelling of Land’s Finish in absolute spoil. A bathe referred to as the “Rain of Loss of life” has not solely devastated the land, but it surely has additionally reworked its residents into undead abominations referred to as the Blighted. Lily alone possesses the facility to cleanse the of this illness, however she isn’t a skilled fighter. Enter the Umbral Knight, an immortal protector who serves as Lily’s sword and information.
Each time Lilly assaults, she summons the Knight, who eviscerates foes with easy but satisfying hack n’ slash strikes that may be upgraded to hit tougher and carry out longer combos. These assaults look slick, and watching the Knight deal with the soiled work whereas Lily sheepishly cowers within the background is an endearing bonus. Lily’s roster of guardian spirits grows as she seeks out different cursed souls and engages them in thrilling, white-knuckle boss battles. After defeating these monsters, Lily positive factors very important skills used to entry new areas of the map. These powers are nothing new for those who’ve performed sufficient of all these video games. Anticipate a double-jump, velocity sprint, and wall soar, for instance. However I used to be all the time excited to realize extra mobility and unlock entry to a brand new space, thanks partially to the plethora of enjoyable elective minibosses hiding inside every zone.
Smaller foes – from disease-ridden mages to undead paladins – could also be weaker than the important path bosses, however defeating these enemies typically rewards Lily with highly effective new assaults that may flip the tide in your favor. I like conjuring a robust whirlwind to blow again enemies or summoning a fireball-shooting fowl for a helpful help. These powers are invaluable as a result of Ender Lilies isn’t any joke within the issue division. Although the problem is extra entertaining than oppressive, the sport calls for an above-average degree of finesse as even probably the most primary enemies can shortly annihilate lackadaisical gamers, and also you’ll quickly study that you just’re higher off when you might have extra powers at your disposal. Some skills are merely higher tailor-made for sure enemies. For instance, I discovered suffocating sluggish foes with a poisonous cloud earlier than they may attain me a fantastic tactic.
Though you possibly can beat any foe utilizing any of your assaults, Ender Lilies rewards gamers who experiment with loadouts, and I loved testing completely different methods and reaping the outcomes. Combining assaults works nicely too. It feels slick summoning a brute to launch foes skyward together with his highly effective downward strike, then impaling them in midair with a volley of arrows courtesy of a fallen archer. You possibly can solely equip a restricted variety of skills and gear, nonetheless, and it’s mildly annoying you can solely edit your loadout in save rooms. The joy of gaining a brand new energy diminishes when it’s a must to drop all the pieces to trek again to the closest checkpoint. Regardless of this, buying as many instruments in my belt as attainable grew to become a highly effective motivator to look room after terror-filled room.
The map is a huge community of rooms that had me gleefully rubbing my fingers in anticipation for every new expedition. Ender Lilies is split into attractive, visually distinct biomes, from an underground laboratory run by mages to a fairytale-like forest. I had enjoyable exploring most of those areas, save for one poison-filled swamp that was extra stress-inducing than entertaining. A unbelievable musical piece for every space additional units them aside; I appeared ahead to revisiting a number of zones simply to listen to my favourite songs once more.
Clearing a map of its secrets and techniques is likely one of the most interesting components of the style, and Ender Lilies litters its areas with engaging treasures to uncover. I used to be engrossed with discovering worthwhile upgrades comparable to further weapons slots, everlasting well being boosts, and blessings that improved the efficiency of my therapeutic capacity. Rooms additionally cover genuinely fascinating notes and diary entries that flesh out the world whereas detailing the person tragedies of its ill-fated occupants. Better of all, Ender Lilies’ color-coded map clearly communicates whenever you’ve emptied a room of its goodies, so you recognize precisely when to maneuver on. That mentioned, some objects are a bit too hidden and require an annoying diploma of tiptoeing to see that faint white glow over a spot you walked over quite a few occasions earlier than.
Ender Lilies doesn’t revolutionize Metroid’s decades-old template, however that’s okay. It’s a well-made expertise, and I had a good time pouring over two dozen hours into this journey. The presentation rocks, the motion is extra rewarding than punishing, and its gothic world and lore are alluring. Ender Lilies is a good meat and potatoes expertise, demonstrating that merely executing a well-known components at a excessive degree may be simply as welcomed as reinventing the wheel.