If you’re Sasha, the heroine of “Severed,” you take the living sword the shadowy creature is offering and go out to fight some monsters. You may have lost an arm, but by the end of the day, most of those in your path will have too.
The controls to “Severed” are simple, relying on the joystick to move and the stylus to interact with objects and attack. Yet it works with that well, using a first-person perspective and a simple but effective map to let you navigate through an expansive world. There are brief instructions or tutorials, but most of the learning is done through experience.
Combat is done almost entirely with the stylus, swiping across the screen to slash at openings and deflect attacks. You may prefer to land multiple light hits in a row, or swipe wide for a longer, more powerful slash. Guarding is done via deflection, requiring a precise swipe to knock an oncoming blow away (although I found deflecting blows coming from the right were a lot easier to deflect than those from the left).
The art style of the game is unique; it’s 2D, and rather flat and linear, but uses perspective and shadowing just right to provide some great depth to each scene. The environment really does feel like a strange world, filled with bizarre and dangerous creatures, which you slowly learn more about as you progress. Of course, the soundtrack helps set the environment nicely, providing an ominous but catchy tone.
Overall, “Severed” is very enjoyable. It’s unique, features a good learning curve, and creates a dark but intriguing world for the players to explore. If you have 15 bucks to spare, and like the idea of chopping off monster limbs, then give it a look.