Following a brief stint in Early Access, ScourgeBringer developer Flying Oak Games have come to one very firm conclusion: the brutally punishing platformer just isn't quite hard enough.
When it first arrived back in February, ScourgeBringer seemed a game made expressly for the part of my brain that plugged 300 hours into Nuclear Throne dailies. The room-clearing roguelike combined Celeste's high-stakes platforming and Dead Cells-style hacking 'n' slashing with screen-shattering impacts pulled straight out of the Vlambeer playbook, coming together in what might secretly have been my favourite action game of the past year.
It wasn't half bloody hard, mind, and it looks like the devs have only ramped that up with today's 1.0 release.
ScourgeBringer's launch update introduces 'The Chaos Root', a sort of reverse skill-tree that pumps up the difficulty with each point placed. Want traps to deal more damage? Reckon you're starting off with too much HP? Reckon it'd be neat if every second spent on the floor hurt you? Feel free to make your own misery. Of course, like the Heat score in Hades, you're gonna look slick as hell beating the game after cranking that number as high as it'll go.
Granted, The Chaos Root will only unlock once you beat the game at least once. For the rest of us, the developer has promised that the first region should also be a little more forgiving. Today's launch also adds a new secret realm with its own bosses, plus new monsters, weapons, items and blessings, all of which can be found over on ScourgeBringer's 1.0 patch notes.
Hard mode or no, ScourgeBringer's a great wee thing. Each chamber a blur as you attempt to juggle crowded foes as a murderous airborne ball of hair, blades and bullets—backed by the pumped-up metal riffs of composer Joonas Turner.