I get it, but I don't get it. And I think that's the point? The story of Colina: Legacy is a mixture of things that includes Old God lore in one hand and the tragic life of our character Alex in the other. I am almost one-hundred percent certain that the legends in this game are a cryptic way for players to draw parallels with Alex's secret past, and that everything you are experiencing is all in his head.
Normally that would be a spoiler, but it's not, it's an interpretation. Everything in this game could also be real; all the cultist, fire beast, puppets, runes of power. You go into this game wondering if you're in a dream or grandma's hellscape. If Old Gods are real than its possible the madness is too.
Most players can probably come to their own conclusions easily, with supporting evidence to back it up. I cannot, for I am not a wise man. I struggle with anything that uses brainpower. Which is why it's interesting this game held my attention. (Besides the fact that I enjoy horror themed games.) It is filled with puzzles, some of which took me longer than I expected.
There are pick-up-an-object-and-place-it-somewhere-else puzzles, and there are look-through-the-notes-and-find-the-answer puzzles. You know those slide puzzles where there are eight squares and you have to arrange them so they complete an image? There are at least three of them in this game, and one of them took me a couple of hours to solve, maybe even three hours. As I get older I think I'm getting more patient, and so puzzle games are more appealing to me than action ones.
Which might be the reason why I wish combat was cut or tweaked in Colina, because it was definitely the weakest element. Enemy encounters should have been built like a puzzle to solve, but instead we get combat that leaves a lot to be desired.
Kind of like Alan Wake you defeat monsters by shining your light at them. The twist for this game is that you have to switch to a death rune and shine your light through an amulet. But at least you get rechargeable batteries! Unlike some other games that make you look for cells like the Energizer Bunny after rehab.
Most of the fights are okay. My expectations for a game that focuses more on storyline and puzzles isn't incredibly high. All enemies take more than one hit to kill, and between these hits they become immune for a brief moment of time - which is a nuisance. Strikes in this game lack impact and there tends to be lag between your character being hit and your character responding to being hit. Sometimes you feel as though you dodged an attack only to take damage and stumble seconds later. Also you're in that third-person, over-the-shoulder view, so on top of switching through runes to find the right and only one that can help you, you can lose track of where the enemy is and where you should be aiming. It makes fighting in tight quarters a confusing mess.
There are these particularly annoying little bastards you fight underground. When they hit you (like all other monsters) it breaks the focus of your flashlight, so you run away, but they are fast enough to catch up to you - and while you fumble - they'll hit you again, restarting the process. And if that's not bad enough, they also spit at you like Uganda Knuckles. (I'm bringing that back!)
It's upsetting this game ended in a boss fight just because combat isn't Colina's strong suit, though it did have a strategic ingredient to it.
Fortunately, most of the game is focused more on solving and exploring. It's not the largest map in the gaming universe, but there were a few moments where I was in awe on how much there was to traverse. It gets the job done.
There's grandma's house, the surrounding yards, a forest and a cult cavern. It hits that sweet spot where it's small enough so that everything comes back to where it starts, but large enough that there's always something new to taste.
Overall I enjoyed this game. I liked the twisted theme and atmosphere and the big reveal. And now the only thing left to determine is whether any of this was real or not, and figure out who was pulling the strings.
Happy Hallow'heck'n'ween y'all. As per usual I just want to inform you that this is a treat I won from a Destructoid giveaway. I also added some useful links below.