Bend Time and Find Your Man
I had actually learned about Reina & Jericho a while back. And as a certified Metroidvania addict, I was drawn by the premise of a time bending adventure. Today during PAX Online East, I was able to demo the game firsthand. Better yet, one of the members of developer Reclamation Games talked me through the demo and even revealed some behind the scenes tidbits.
Though it’s a bit tricky to explain how the time bending works, I’ll do my best. It’s not really travelling through epochs of time. Rather, Reina has a powerful artifact that warps her back to her last memory. As such, if you hadn’t cleared out a room of foes before you saved, and warp back to that save room, the enemies will be back. So strategy is important in the game, and continuity is the name of the game. And your time bending antics are put to good use in clever puzzles.
One of the most refreshing elements in Reina & Jericho is the plot. It’s rich, complex and devious. I could already tell the story has the potential to be something really special. There’s lots of intrigue, dangerous cultists, and no small amount of misdirection. The forces arrayed against you think they have God and the Devil on their side, and for all intents and purposes they might be right. But none of that matters to Reina. All she cares about is finding and saving Jericho.
I found the gameplay very solid and easy to pick up, though I have played my fair share of the genre. At first Reina is completely unarmed, but eventually finds a nifty antique saber. While helpful, it’s less so against foes armed with guns, and you’ll find plenty. That kept me on my toes, as you never knew when you’d start taking gunfire. Luckily you gain new abilities from artifacts you find, allowing Reina to dodge, wall climb and eventually dash vast distances. The dev told me the physicality of the exploration is a key component, so it was really fun dashing around and causing mayhem.
Like any good Metroidvania, Reina & Jericho will have various endings. And the devs hinted there’s some interesting ways to achieve them. Also, depending on your actions, scenes might play out differently once Reina remembers a previous point in time. The demo ended with 3 separate paths to pick from, each of which will apparently dramatically affect the story.
I really enjoyed my time demoing Reina & Jericho. And while I did find the aesthetic style a bit on the bland side, the combat and music kept me from minding too much. It’s a really satisfying game thus far, and it’s clear Reclamation Games are determined to make it the best it can be. They’re even adding some extra content after the game releases. And considering it’s coming to PC, Switch, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, everybody can enjoy the adventure. Just keep in mind there’s a bit more of a wait, since it might release Q3 or even Q4 of 2021. Regardless, Reina & Jericho has a ton of promise, and I’m excited to see where the story takes me.