Tyr: Chains of Valhalla Review
The first thing that comes to mind when playing Tyr: Chains of Valhalla is Capcom’s Mega man, a clear inspiration for indie developer Ennui Studios. Tyr shares its side-scrolling, run ‘n gun play style, as well as its sometimes crushing difficulty.
The plot is a sort of reimagining of the Ragnarok event in Norse mythology, where the Gods fight with hyper advanced technology. This serves as a fairly interesting inspiration for the design of the worlds and characters of the game, though the story itself feels more like window dressing for the real draw of the game, the action.
The gameplay feels reminiscent of the hardcore action side-scrollers of the NES, SNES and Mega drive. The player navigates through obstacles, environmental hazards and blasts through enemies in an experience which while fun, can also be frustrating. The game seems to be designed for the player to fail and learn from their mistakes, which for this game works due to the instant re-spawning of the player upon death at the last checkpoint.
The player is armed with a gun which fires blasts of three different elements: fire, ice and plasma. The game takes a rock, paper, scissor approach as each one is weak against one and strong against one. The player can switch between these to take out different enemies (an ice enemy can be taken out with a fire blast for example). While an interesting idea, at times it is very difficult to know which gun type to use as you only have a few seconds to figure what will work against the next enemy before you die (being killed in only 3 hits). However this problem is somewhat solved by the trial and error nature of the game as you will eventually memorise which weapons to use at which times.
Overall, Tyr: Chains of Valhalla, if you want a tough as nails side-scroller, full of action and a beautiful art style, Tyr: Chains of Valhalla is for you, but be prepared for a few frustrating moments along the way. You can download the game on Steam and there’s 80% off