Garshasp: The Monster Slayer by Lace Mamba Global review

Ancient myth-based 3D action combat on Xbox 360
Photo of Garshasp: The Monster Slayer by Lace Mamba Global
£6.99 via Steam

A legendary Persian fighter who strikes fear into his enemies’ hearts when he wields his wicked blade and has the ability to scale tall buildings like a cat and roll swiftly out the way when trouble beckons. No, this is not the Prince of Persia but the far less well known Garshasp whose exploits were chronicled on ancient carvings thousands of years ago and have now been brought to life in Garshasp: The Monster Slayer.

The story goes that after Azhi Dahaka, the leader of the forces of evil, was captured, a number of his Deevs (i.e. monster commanders) decided to rise up and fight back against the humans. One of these, Hitasp, kills Garshasp’s brother and steals a vital sacred mace and your role as Garshasp is to seek revenge, recover the mace and naturally kill as many monsters as possible.

Varied gameplay, various bugs
The action is top-down, third-person and combat is clearly designed along God of War lines. Garshasp can perform light or heavy strikes with either a sword or his giant mace. As he gains points he can create more and more powerful combos and special moves to lay his foes out flat. Throughout the maps, he can collect health and experience orbs from statues and when it comes to boss fights, the outcomes are frequently decided by Quick Time Event choices.

There’s some variation in the gameplay, including platform-leaping, lever-pulling and in one sequence manoeuvring down a river on a raft whilst fighting off marauders. For a budget title (available at a discount initially from Steam), there are some lush graphics and half-decent cutscenes, with a stately sounding voiceover pushing along the narrative.

However, the game suffers from some serious negatives including a (literally) uncontrollable camera that often hides the hero and his adversaries from view or chooses a totally unfriendly angle. Keyboard controls are shaky and wayward at best, so you’ll need an Xbox controller to make it bearable. There are holes in the map you can fall into, invisible walls, dodgy collision detection and uneven sequences where you slide down walls using your dagger as a brake. More finishing time needed, clearly.

Company: Lace Mamba Global

Website: http://www.garshasp.com/

Positives
  • Detailed location graphics.
Negative
  • Clunky controls, bugs in map and camera.

Verdict

Garshasp starts with a good idea to tap a new source of Iranian mythology that looks quite impressive - it's unfortunately spoiled by a number of technical problems, camera uncontrollability and unexpected bugs - more Glitch of Persia than Prince.