Our Rating: 7/10
Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is an action-adventure RPG. This is the dynasty warriors of action RPGs. It’s based on a popular comic book series called The World of Aluna and it was written by the folks that have worked on Assassin’s Creed and Batman Arkham Origins.
The game takes place in 16th century Spain. You’ll be playing as Aluna who is given a shard at a very young age by her mother, Pachamama. What Aluna doesn’t realize at first is that this shard is crucially significant and only a “piece” of the shard. Other fragments of it can be found all over the world.
This sends her on a larger quest to collect all of them and put them back together. Unfortunately for Aluna, there are evil forces at work who want to collect these shards as well. As a result, this game will feature a lot of real-time action combat. Throughout your adventure, you will come across some fantastic comic book-style cut scenes.
Aluna offers four different levels of difficulty to choose from. You can choose Story Mode at the start of the game, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Easy Mode has reduced amounts of the legendary loot that you can come across. The Normal Mode and then there is a Hard Mode if you want to challenge yourself further.
Controls, Weapons, and Armor
Even though you can assign a variety of skills to specific buttons, the controls aren’t overly complicated in this game. To use these different skills, press the face buttons, right trigger, and right bumper.
Of course, you’ve got your standard assault. The Health Potion button on the left trigger recharges over time. As a result, in this game, you will never run out of health potions. You will, however, have to wait for the timer to reset. With the d-pad, you can magnify the camera and access the map. The dodge roll on the right stick is possibly the most important control here.
You’ll start with a simple torch to bash at your aggressors, but it won’t be long before you’re collecting loot from their bodies, and there’s a lot of it! This includes the armor and weapons that your character can use. Some of these weapons have a level requirement. As you level up, you’ll be able to equip some of the more powerful weapons.
Close-range combat isn’t particularly enjoyable. Many people would prefer to use ranged weapons such as rifles or throwing axes whenever possible. These were far more successful.
Overall, the combat in this game isn’t all that entertaining. It’s all about dodging, striking the enemy, dodging, striking the enemy, and repeating this cycle through long, drawn-out areas.
This game also has some of the worst AI I’ve ever seen in a game. At times, the enemies are either naive or downright cheap. They’ll band together and circle you when they’re desperate. Finally, getting your Aluna stuck because of the environment. It’s the only way they’ll be able to defeat you.
Some enemies, on the other hand, will use less expensive methods such as tying you up with a chain and then killing you. Or teleportation ground magics that appear beneath you with nothing you can do but take the hit. Collecting loot and upgrading your armor and weapons is fun, but it’s pointless if the combat is unpleasant.
If you make it through these areas, you’ll come across what you could call villages or towns, where you can purchase new weapons. But there’s plenty of loot to be had, and there are so many enemies to contend with! There isn’t anything you’ll need to buy. You’ll amass an incredible amount of loot along the way.
Throughout the game, Aluna performs the same role. Go through a long and tedious area, killing the same enemies with the same tactics over and over. There isn’t much of a strategy here. Arrive in a village and, if you wish, purchase something, before repeating the process. In the end, it’s a game that has a hard time keeping players’ attention.
Graphics and Sound
The presentation isn’t particularly appealing in terms of graphics. It doesn’t look bad, and the comic book cutscenes are fantastic once again. The environments, on the other hand, are extremely static. The water effects are also underwhelming. If you walk through it, nothing moves. It’s all a bit stale, to be honest.
In general, the animations in this game are quite poor. Your character, like the enemies, moves around stiffly. They had some good material to work with, but they squandered it.
The composer, on the other hand, has done an excellent job. The soundtrack is excellent, despite the lackluster voice acting. There’s a lot of great percussion in it. There are also some beautiful melodies. It’s appropriate for the various settings you’re in, so there aren’t many complaints on the sound front.
Unfortunately, there are several flaws. Enemies would sometimes vanish out of nowhere, or they would become stuck in place and unable to move. You could just keep hitting them with axes until they died. So there are a few bugs here as well.
With over 25 hours of gameplay, Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is a lengthy game. However, it may struggle to keep your attention for long periods. There’s a small skill tree to go through that’s a little tedious. This game’s combat is never-ending, and it quickly becomes nauseating. The environments aren’t particularly exciting, and the story does little to tie everything together.
Outside of waves upon waves of enemies slowly crawling to the next destination, the game could have used a lot more variety. Perhaps a few more side quests or interactive puzzle moments. We would definitely love to see more of the comic style cinematics present in the game, but outside of that, Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is tough to recommend at full price.