Beat Slayer

Posted:  Apr 07, 2024
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
SDHQ CONTENT SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
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Review

BeatSlayer was provided by the publisher for review. Thank you!

When Hi-Fi Rush came out, it reinvigorated my love for rhythm games. I loved the combination of action combat and rhythm-based gameplay. I liked being able to play to the beat, rack up combos, and do more damage if I kept with the beat. So, imagine if Hi-Fi Rush mixed with a roguelike, like Hades. That is essentially how I would describe Beat Slayer. It's an awesome game, and while it is a little short for a roguelike, it's a great experience all throughout.

BeatSlayer 1

Beat Slayer's gameplay takes center stage here, which is the main reason I recommend the game. You will fight through robots coming at you, utilizing different attacks, and get upgrades as you complete different floors. When you destroy all the robots, you will get a reward that will help you during your run and make you more powerful as you try to make your way to the end and beat the bosses to make it to the end.

In true roguelike fashion, each run will start you from scratch, and as you beat each room, get some form of temporary upgrade. You will choose different nodes along a path, deciding what kind of upgrade you will get or if you want to gain passive EXP or health. The upgrades will modify one of your four actions, a Basic Attack, Ultimate Attack, Kick, or Dash, with different effects. Some can increase damage, while others will add additional modifiers like burning or electric damage. As for the passive EXP, this can be used to give yourself permanent upgrades, like extra damage or more health, between runs.

BeatSlayer 2

I really enjoy this system as a whole. The combat feels fantastic, the different weapons are unique, and the upgrades are impactful with each one you get. You are also encouraged to keep with the beat since, at a combo of 20 or above, you enter the Tanzrausch state and get increased damage, which can also change things up a lot. The passive upgrades help out a lot, too, and combined with the "Slushie" system to add different effects specifically for one run, you can strategize on how best to approach the next fights you get into.

Beat Slayer also has a wonderful comic book-style aesthetic, and when mixed with the effects from different modifiers, you get a glorious visual splendor that is so appealing to look at. And, of course, the electronic music is incredible. Playing to the beat never gets old and keeps my blood pumping as I smash through all the robots. And when you put the visuals and soundtrack together, everything just clicks, and it's amazing.

BeatSlayer 3

I wish the game was a bit longer, though. It can be beaten relatively quickly, within 5-7 hours, but otherwise, I had no issues with it! Beat Slayer is a ton of fun, and for a short and concise experience in between bigger titles, it is the perfect fit, especially on the Steam Deck.

Beat Slayer - Steam Deck Performance

Beat Slayer is extremely fun to play on the Steam Deck, though it isn't flawless and requires some compromises. There really aren't any settings that can be changed in-game to improve performance, but it runs alright regardless. I was hoping it would be able to hit a stable 60, but ultimately, some of the fights get a little too heavy and can dip. But it is still playable and can be a very good time with some framerate changes.

I tested the game's regular and Vulkan API versions and found slightly better performance with Vulkan, so I recommend using that version on the Steam Deck. But it still wouldn't hit 60. After testing, I felt that 50 FPS was the best way to play. Going any higher has more instability, while at lower framerates, I had issues hitting the buttons with the beat. There are still some drops when using some ultimate or a ton of enemies on the screen, but it never went below 48 FPS. Since there are some spots that can drop, I wouldn't set a TDP limit so we can keep the framerate up as high as possible, which is very important in this kind of game.

Accessibility

Beat Slayer does have some options to make keeping on time with the beat a bit easier. You can enable a "Rhythm Assist Mode" to help, change the Metronome and Screen Border, and toggle different options like the Player Ring and Screen Pulse. Outside of the beat, you can also change keybindings, toggle different options like subtitles and damage numbers, change text and audio language, and modify audio bars.

The game does support 16:10 resolutions, so there are no black bars, and there is full controller and cloud save support. There are no HDR settings.

Conclusion

Beat Slayer is a fantastic roguelike rhythm game that ends just a little too soon. The combat is extremely satisfying and the upgrades make playing the game more worthwhile as you see the effects of them almost immediately. And the great visuals mixed with the addicting beat give me a compelling reason to keep coming back for more, even when it ends just a bit too early for my liking. Even though there are some minor compromises on the Steam Deck, I would still consider this a worthwhile game to invest in, especially if you are looking for something to play in between larger games.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Beat Slayer is a fantastic, albeit short, roguelike rhythm game that is awesome to play on the Steam Deck.

Content

Gameplay: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Graphics: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarHalf Star
Story: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Sound: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarHalf Star
Fun Factor: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Community Rating

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Current Price: 
$19.99
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