Death of a Wish Review – Furious Faiths and Fast Fights

Death of a Wish game screenshot, Bridge
Death of a Wish Review – Furious Faiths and Fast Fights

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, Steam

Game Name: Death of a Wish

Publisher: Syndicate Atomic LLC

Developer: melessthanthree

Genre: Action, RPG

Release Date: March 11th, 2024

Death of a Wish by melessthanthree

Death of a Wish is an action RPG within a world filled with despair and sadness and controlled by an oppressive theocratic organization called the Sanctum Faiths.

It’s up to our protagonist to take them down; will they succeed, or will the Faiths prevail and control the world?

Death of a Wish game screenshot, Dialogue

Wish for an Explanation

Although the setting is intriguing, the game’s narrative can be confusing. Death of a Wish frequently introduces characters and terms without a whole lot of explanation.

It’s the kind of narrative that slowly unveils its group dynamics and world-building, but a lot of the explanation doesn’t take place until the latter third of the game. I didn’t have a solid sense of what was going on, which unfortunately made me less engaged with the narrative throughout.

Generally, this type of storytelling is fun to figure out and piece together, but even when I did, I was left with a little too much confusion by the end.

There are some heavy and strong narrative themes, though: abuse, power, violence, guilt, and forgiveness. These themes are tackled well enough to resonate and are the highlight of the game’s story.

Faith in the Fight

Luckily, Death of a Wish is fun to play. Its environment is akin to the original Legend of Zelda – a big world sectioned off into areas – but for the most part, the game definitely funnels you in the right direction. Thanks to the game’s map, I had a good sense of where I was and never got lost.

Death of a Wish’s main emphasis is its complex combat. Each area is littered with relentless enemies.

Thankfully there are a surprisingly deep number of options when it comes to fighting: different types of attacks, some fast, others slow but more powerful; a dodge mechanic that can slow down time; and parrying for more defensive options.

Items like cards and “Virtues” that can be found around the world can add passive or active stats. There is plenty to experiment with here to keep things fresh, offering enough customization to personalize your combat build.

Death of a Wish game screenshot, Combat Gif

Flashes of Faith

Death of a Wish requires fast reflexes and plenty of attention. Every enemy can be a threat. And even though the game has a Dark Souls-inspired leveling system, the game still is a challenge, since enemies scale with the player’s level.

This game is no walk in the park, but it does feature a handy rewind mechanic and finite health items to make things a bit more manageable.

Moment-to-moment combat is fun, but it feels hard to stay completely in control. My main gripe with the combat is the visual noise: the amount of color and scribbles onscreen make each and every combat encounter instantly tougher. For example, enemies flash white when hit and red when they’re about to attack. Not to mention that each attack has colored strokes, which can obscure enemies and the protagonist alike even further.

It makes combat more difficult and led to me having to button-mash and hope for the best more times than I wanted to.

Deadly Drawings

Visually, though, the scribble style makes Death of a Wish a treat to look at. The vivid colors effectively make the world feel familiar but also hollow in a foreboding way.

Characters have an anime flare to them and look great, while enemies are grotesque and creepy. Real-world objects, like mangled cars or a lonesome desk, are drawn in a way to reflect the chaos of the game’s world. I really liked this evocative artistic approach.

Death of a Wish game screenshot, Stats

The game’s soundtrack is the right amount of gloomy but enthralling when it needs to be. It’s a mix of ambient synths with a touch of aggression, with groovy synth beats sprinkled with soft drum-‘n’-bass. The soundtrack makes combat feel more intense and the somber moments hit harder.

The Verdict

Ultimately, Death of a Wish is an enjoyable experience with some issues.

Although its complex narrative left me with more questions than answers, I was able to enjoy the games other strengths. Its enchanting aesthetic style and fun combat kept me entertained.

Death of a Wish is available via the Nintendo Store and Steam.

Check out the official trailer for Death if a Wish below: