A ninja is not just something you become overnight. It takes a lot of practice, honing your skills to perfection, mastering swift, deadly precision and above all else, the art of patience. Incidentally, that’s also how one might describe Mute Crimson+, as this platformer is neither for the faint of heart, nor the impatient sort. But with enough practice, one just might live to see the credits. Maybe.
Well, in the full version anyway. Not so much with the beta build I played for this article, as cut-scenes – among other things – were still very much a WIP. Aside from that, it was a nice slice of fast-paced, relentless action, even if I did die more often than I’d have liked. There were demonic hounds, evil ninjas, fiery (in favor of spikes, I suppose?) walls and bottomless pits… and that’s just the first act!
Upon reaching act 2, which takes place in a forest area, the challenge increased noticeably with the addition of timed gusts of wind. These would push everything not bolted down left or right, often into aforementioned fiery walls, straight off a platform and such. Troublesome? You bet, but never downright unfair. Just like the rest of the game in fact, beta or not.
As far as controlling the nameless ninja/protagonist goes, things couldn’t be much simpler. One button jumps while another attacks, and latching onto walls happens automatically, which makes scaling them a breeze. Unless you’re attempting to climb a wall of fireball-spewing sentries, that is. Nope, not joking – totally a thing in Mute Crimson+, and a rather interesting one at that. Interesting and deadly.
Now, I’d love to be able to blame my numerous deaths on imprecise handling, but aside from slightly finicky double jump timing, it was smooth sailing; even during times when I had to utilize wind gusts to propel myself further than otherwise possible. Oh and dying rarely set me back more than thirty seconds, courtesy of proper checkpointing, so there’s that.
While most would likely be content merely progressing through Mute Crimson+, the game does feature a total of forty-nine collectible coins as well, acting as currency for various unlockables. From what I’ve seen however, these are often in quite hard-to-reach places, so it’s a good thing that they are entirely optional, however tempting the acquisition may be. Something something shinies.
Last but not least, even though the beta didn’t have any cut-scenes (beta being beta), the actual presentation was still incredibly stylish. Some may not find the retro-ish look overly appealing, but I enjoyed the combination of black, white and red, as the blood of fallen foes painted wall, floor and ceiling alike. Kinda reminds me of a certain graphic novel-turned-movie. Kinda. Also, that respawn animation – like he’s… reborn.
Bad news time: Mute Crimson+ is not out just yet and the beta isn’t publicly available. According to its Greenlight page, the game is “nearly complete” though, so surely it can’t be long now, right? Fingers crossed, as I for one can’t wait to experience the full version, cut-scenes and all.