Out Steam Summer Sale coverage continues with a look at 5 great metroidvanias. Those are games focused on exploring a large, interconnected map, with numerous abilities you unlock along the way.
Castlevania Advance Collection
Starting things off with the “Vania” half of Metroidvania. Oddly enough, there’s no way to get Symphony of the Night on Steam, despite the fact that it’s the Castlevania game that influenced the genre the most. Still, this collection is nothing to scoff at.
The Advance Collection, as the name implies, contains the 3 Gameboy Advance Castlevania games: Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, and Aria of Sorrow. All 3 of these are considered cult classics and are praised by fans. This Collection also includes Dracula X, which is a remake of Rondo of Blood and far more linear.
If you want to scratch that Castlevania itch, the Anniversary Collection is also on sale for 80% off. It contains 8 Castlevania games that, while not metroidvanias, are still classic and totally worth your time.
Keeping with the gothic theme, Blasphemous is set in a dark medieval world named Cvstodia. The game’s aesthetic takes heavy inspirations from the Catholic Church and the Spanish inquisition to build a very brutal and gruesome world for the player to explore.
As the name implies, Blasphemous is heavy with themes of religion and faith, as well as imagery that’s not appropriate for all ages. It is also a very difficult game, with enemies that can kill you in just a few hits and bottomless pits that will return you to the last save spot instantly.
The only game on this list to lean towards the Metroid half of the genre in terms of combat (in other words, the only one with a gun). You play as Trace, a scientist who, after a freak lab accident, wakes up in a very strange world. You must find a way back home while a mysterious voice guides your actions. However, things are clearly not what they seem.
The world of Axiom Verge is very non-linear, with no real indication of where you want to go next. It’s pretty easy to get lost, but if that’s what you’re looking for, the game won’t disappoint. Gameplay-wise, you have access to several different weapons and upgrades that help traverse the world. The aesthetic of the game is quite eerie, with environments and characters that would do H. R. Geiger proud.
Probably one of the most popular games in the genre in recent memory. You play as the titular Knight, a small bug wielding an even smaller nail, descending into the land of Hallownest to cleanse it of the corruption that grips it.
One of the main draws of Hollow Knight is the map system. Instead of just uncovering it by exploring, you need to sit down on a bench to transcribe it. You can’t even see where your character is without a special item. The combat of the game is difficult, but fair, and the story is told through the environment you explore and characters you meet.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Let’s end this list the way we started it: with a game from Koji Igarashi. Created as a spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a metroidvania with a heavy emphasis on RPG elements, and a dark, gothic aesthetic. You play as Miriam, an orphan who must kill a demon lord in order to save herself from succumbing to a crystalizing curse.
Aside from Ritual of the Night, there are also two spin-off titles on sale, both 50% off. Curse of the Moon, a prequel to the main game that was later branched into its own continuity where you control up to 4 characters and plays more like the Castlevanias of old, and Curse of the Moon 2, a sequel to the spin-off that’s similar gameplay-wise, except now with a corgi piloting a steam-punk mech.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is also currently available for users on the PS Plus Extra plan.
Prices and Discounts
Prices may vary depending on your region.
- Castlevania Advance Collection (13.99 EUR, 30% off)
- Blasphemous (6.24 EUR, 75% off)
- Axiom Verge (8.99 EUR, 50% off)
- Hollow Knight (7.49 EUR, 50% off)
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (15.99 EUR, 60% off)
Which world will you explore first? Let us know in the comments below!
The Steam Summer Sale is in bloom! Check out our other highlights to find the best deals for you: