Originally published on Steam

I got this game in early access and was delighted to play with the world's premiere (and only?) anthropomorphic rabbit hand-to-hand combat simlulator. It included a series of levels that told a loose story, but mostly gave you new scenarios to play around in: stealth attacks, arena combat, weapons and enemy variety, ambush possiblities, etc. Some levels were straight up (and I mean that literally) platforming sections that remind me of Prince of Persia. Humaniod rabbits have incredible jumping skills, so the cliffs are imposing, but not all that difficult to overcome.

Combat is clearly the strength of the game. It's fast, brutal, fluid and deep with very simple controls. Combo moves arise from the mechanics and not pre-scripted animations. Weapons are well balanced. Large swords do incredible damage, but are slow to wield. Fists or a short knife can be better choices since you can drop in a few attacks and get out of the way of enemy slashes. With good timing, you can also disarm an opponent and use their weapon against them. Rabbits have a powerful jump kick attack that can cripple an enemy or, if you fail to time it correctly, result in a painful-looking backplant. As each fighter takes damage, blood spreads out from the wounds. It's a pleasure to watch albeit a guilty one.

Unfotunately, the combat and jumping mechanics aren't enough to sustain long-term play. A game like this needs excellent level design. While I appreciated how vast and varied the landscapes, every location (at least as far as I got) used more or less the same textures. After release, I tried the new story mode and it seems to have fixed those problems. The levels are more interesting and strung together by a more coherent, if rambling, story. Everything looks better and I always knew which way to go for the next story beat.

That said, the current game sometimes slows in the middle of intense fights. It's frusterating since the best part of combat is how a block flows into an attack followed by a dodge to another enemy ending in a throw. It's nice to have time to think about your next move, but I'd rather have the flow some fights offer. Dialing back the graphical options kills the good looks, but does nothing for the speed of action. I think I'll have to wait for performance updates or a new computer. (And to be fair, this is my laptop not a gaming rig.)