Red Goddess: Inner World, is a great addition to the Metroidvania Genre. A vibrant and beautiful world, simple yet fun gameplay, and well-crafted platforming makes Red Goddess an enjoyable adventure that I urge you to give a try.
The first thing you will notice is the uniqueness of the art style and animation, I don’t think I have played anything similarly looking before. It is built in Unreal Engine 4, a very demanding engine, but Yanim Studio has used it effectively to build its world and make it believable.
You are Divine, daughter of the Gods, which might make you think “Hey I’m a God, I can do anything!” but that isn’t the case. From the start you are stripped of all your powers and to make matters worst, you don’t remember anything of the horrific events that transpired in the castle where you live with your family.
As I stated, the animation and graphics are unique, and there is a reason for this: Yanim Studio is also a 3D animation studio, and a very good one at that. Their experience in this field has translated marvelously on what they have achieved. The game runs at 60fps making the stages and animation feel very fluid and detailed. From mysterious caves to dangerous jungles, the world always keeps being interesting.
Lighting effects play a very important part in the game. Lights from windows, the glow that pops when you hit enemies, or the red glow that shows when you get a new power are all beautifully rendered by the power of Unreal 4.
Divine is just one of the playable aspects in this game and she has two more personas, but I will get more into those further down in the review. The most enjoyable one for me was Divine herself. She is capable of executing double jumps, clinging to walls and floating. That may sound pretty dull, but the platforming sequences Yanim Studio has created combine really well with the skills she has. There is one sequence in which a stone giant hits a mountain and rocks come falling making you have to run, jump, double jump and fight so that the rocks don’t touch you.
There were other sequences that could feel frustrating for some, but I think it all depends on how careful you plan ahead. If you rush ahead, be prepared to see the loading screen a lot.
Divine’s story is told little by little as she regains her memory and comes to understand all of the events that made her lose it in the first place. Each time you learn a new skill, you are taken to a tutorial sequence that is a retelling of past events of Divine’s life in the Castle she lived in with her godly family. I don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say that it’s really looking grim for Divine.
Divine decides to go into her own mind to repair her broken past. It’s a bit confusing but by paying attention you start seeing people from her past, even ones that have already died, appearing in other roles. For example, in a village you will see her father, who at this point, you had already seen in a tutorial flashback. The twist is that now he is a simple village resident looking for his daughter...Divine begins reconstructing her memory by using the people she knew and once held dear, to guide her to the truth of what happened in the castle she lived in.
In the end, this colorfully beautiful world has a very dark story to tell...and one that is worth knowing.
You can change the appearance of Divine using skins you collect throughout the world. Some are really hard to get, and you will die a lot trying to get them. It’s not a huge addition to the content the game offers, but one that helps give the player more depth and something else to do besides the story. Even the last boss has a skin.
Battles draw a lot from Outland and Guacamelee, in fact Yanim Studio has said those were their main inspirations. Divine switches to 3 personas of herself: Rage, Fear and Divine. Rage is a red and slower persona which can only hit red enemies, while Fear is a faster blue persona that can only hit blue enemies. When you combine combos by transforming from red to blue and back, it gets pretty fun and exhilarating.
The move set of Fear and Rage are basically the same: a 3 hit combo, an uppercut and a downward slam. It’s pretty simple and I wish there could have been more moves for these two personas. As I said, Divine is the aspect I enjoyed the most in this game, but I wish Rage and Fear would have been just as polished.
Now I wish the battles were under the fantastic section. However, the limited move sets for Rage and Fear, the ways you can exploit aerial combos, and how enemies mostly just have one attack, kept me from doing so. Even so, there are some battles that really shine, especially when you have several blue and red enemies against you which can rapidly become a contest of dodging, landing some aerial combos, and then changing colors to keep the combo chain going.
The game suffers from some severe frame drops and sometimes the world doesn’t load as quick as it should. This usually ends with Divine falling to an endless pit with the only solution being loading the latest checkpoint. The good news is that they are working on a patch to fix this very soon.
There are also some lines of text that were not translated that correctly, but they are not that easy to notice and are also going to get patched soon.
Red Goddess: Inner World is a good game that had a lot of potential to be an amazing one. If the battles were more fleshed out and the technical issues addressed, it would have really been stellar. Still I recommend the game if you need a Metroidvania fix.
You’re reading TAY, Kotaku’s community-run blog. TAY is written by and for Kotaku readers like you. We write about games, art, culture and everything in between. Want to write with us? Check out our tutorial here and join in.