Severed is Really Something

By Jenni . December 13, 2014 . 3:27pm

I want you to be excited about DrinkBox Studios’ Severed. Why? Because I’m excited about it. This may seem odd, since I didn’t know it even existed until the PlayStation Experience. Yet instead, there I was, at 1:50am on December 8, 2014, writing about the demo I experienced for Siliconera instead of sleeping. This game, even in this early form, got to me, and I want it to get to you, too.


The Severed demo didn’t offer much in the way of introduction. Instead, it offered a look into a vivid and colorful world like the one we explored in Guacamelee!. A disembodied voice warned me that the more time I spent in, well, wherever I was, the harder it would be to leave. Fine. Okay. I get it.


“But Jenni, this is Siliconera! We like to focus on import games and stuff. Why should we care about a domestic, indie title like Severed?”


Okay, I’m imagining you’re saying that. Listen, I played a lot of really amazing indie games at the PlayStation Experience, many of them inspired by Japanese games, so bear with me. The reason you’re going to like Severed is a good one. Even though it was inspired by games like Infinity Blade and has you slashing and parrying through enemies with Fruit Ninja-esque swipes, it feels like a 1980’s or 1990’s, first person, dungeon crawler.


The heroine is wandering through a dreamlike world. You’re seeing everything through her eyes, and a map is automatically created as you adventure. Sometimes, you’ll see special events. The first of which is one where she looks in a mirror and you see one of her arms has been cut off. Severed, get it?


It isn’t only about losing that one arm, though. Despite the impairment, the heroine is still a swordswoman. A flashback teaches the basics. When presented with an enemy, a real-time battle begins. The creature must be slashed with the sword to do damage. If the opponent attempts an attack, parry by slashing in the opposite direction. A gauge will fill with successful attacks, allowing her to tap an enemy to enter a mode where she can sever their limbs. These can then, eventually, be taken to help craft armor for her.


Did I mention severing arms was a really big deal in the demo? There was also even a disembodied arm that seemed to be leading her somewhere important.


Severed had this sense of familiarity about it. Normally, I’m not big on games that rely on some sort of gimmick mechanic for combat. Clearly, the other elements of the game made enough of an impression to go beyond that at PSX. It got my imagination working. I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps this swordswoman was caught in her own mind. Maybe there was some traumatic incident which left her physically impaired, and she’s trying to overcome that and overcome the nightmares that haunt her by removing the limbs of the monsters in her head. I guess you could say I’m hyped.


Or, perhaps the PlayStation Experience was an exceptionally engaging one that served to get my mind racing about all of these forthcoming games. I’m not quite sure, as I haven’t had enough time to step back yet. There’s one thing I’m sure of, though. I have a strong feeling that Severed will be a powerful game.

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  • straightthrucru

    I’m really excited for this! I like how it actually uses Vita-unique features and hope that it remains an exclusive for the system.

  • I don’t remember where, but I saw something about Severed the other day and was really taken in. It reminds me of SMT: Strange Journey a bit (between tone, presentation, etc) and looks fantastic.

  • I hope it makes it to wii u. Guacamelee was excellent.
    How do the controls work?

    • All touch screen for attacking. Analog stick for movement. If you see an object on screen, you touch/tap it to collect it. No PSTV compatibility here.

      • darke

        Could be shoe-horned in on a PS4 controller’s touch pad I guess. I also don’t get why you can’t emulate ‘sword swinging’ with the right stick either. I’d certainly prefer to play it that way rather then be unable to see a screen that my hands are bigger than. :(

  • Big fan of Drinkbox’s other games and I can’t wait for this one. :3

  • Souffrir

    “Even though it was inspired by games like Infinity Blade and has you slashing and parrying through enemies with Fruit Ninja-esque swipes”

    I’m guessing I’m not gonna be playing this on my PSTV ever.


  • Alex Jones

    I remember seeing/reading info about this title either here or at this Vita-centric gaming site( is it ok to mention its name here? )..
    The moment I saw the teaser trailer I was so intrigued <3

  • Rentekabond

    I remember really being excited for this when it was announced cause I really like Guacamelee, but all touch controls is a huge turn-off.

  • WhyWai

    good to see Dev still working on specific game Vita touchscreen. kudos to Drinkbox!

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