Unworthy is a Metroidvania-style 2D action game whose grayscale world is dripping with death, decay and other wholesome things like that. Its surprisingly detailed levels and deceptively simple combat caught my eye last year (opens in new tab), and now after a total of three years of work, solo developer Alekz Kuzmanovic has finally released it on Steam (opens in new tab) and GOG (opens in new tab).
I was able to dip my toes in Unworthy's early levels, and it quickly became clear that it's not a normal Metroidvania. You can't jump, for starters, and while that might sound like "a shooter where you can't shoot," Unworthy's cleverly placed ladders, elevators and platforms turn this seemingly deal-breaking limitation into an interesting challenge. Fall damage is punishing and enemies can knock you off ladders, so you have to plan your routes carefully.
The combat also takes some getting used to, but it feels good once you feel it out. Enemies hit hard, so fights are about dodging, blocking, managing your stamina and sneaking in attacks when you can. You start off with nothing but a sword and shield, but as you earn experience and beat bosses, you unlock new ways to fight. I haven't unlocked any new weapons yet, but Unworthy's trailer features a halberd, fire gauntlets, a hammer and a massive bow. I especially like the look of the bow since it has an ability that lets you teleport to an arrow after firing it.
I've grown fond of the leaping sword attack you get shortly after beating the first boss. It costs a lot of stamina, but it does enough damage that I can finish off most enemies with a quick follow-up, provided I don't mess it up. But boy is it awkward when I do mess it up. It feels like leaping off a building in Assassin's Creed and rolling right into a crowd of guards, and has roughly the same result.