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9 Jan 2024

REVIEW: Laika: Aged Through Blood (2023 Game on Xbox)

Review by Jon Donnis
Laika: Aged Through Blood, developed by Brainwash Gang and published by Headup Games, is a masterfully crafted action-adventure Metroidvania (Motorvania?) that delivers a unique and emotionally charged experience. Set in a post-apocalyptic world dominated by anthropomorphic animals, the game follows Laika, a mother coyote on a perilous quest to save her people and protect her family.

The game's standout feature is the exhilarating vehicular combat on Laika's fast and agile motorbike. The seamless integration of high-speed racing, daring jumps, and slow-motion shootouts adds a dynamic layer to the traditional Metroidvania gameplay. It's a testament to the developers' creativity that they managed to bring such an intense, unique and engaging experience to the genre.

One of Laika's most compelling aspects is its hand-drawn, post-apocalyptic world. The visuals are stunning, with each frame painted meticulously, creating a beautiful yet haunting backdrop to the unfolding narrative. The game successfully captures the desolation of a world ravaged by war and the struggle for survival, making exploration a visual treat.

At its core, Laika is more than just an action-packed adventure. The narrative dives deep into themes of vengeance, loss, and the complex dynamics of a mother-daughter relationship. The story unfolds organically as Laika navigates through a world consumed by conflict, making every boss battle and mission feel significant and emotionally charged.

The variety in the game world, coupled with epic boss battles, ensures that players are constantly engaged and motivated keep going. Laika: Aged Through Blood manages to present a fresh take on the Metroidvania genre, blending ruthless combat with a captivating side-scrolling environment. The storyline is both touching and dramatic, adding layers of emotional depth to an already gripping gameplay experience.

While the game excels in many aspects, it's not without its flaws. The mechanic of shooting enemies while riding a motorbike can be initially tricky for some players. However, with perseverance, players can adapt to this unique gameplay element, and it becomes a minor inconvenience in an otherwise exceptional gaming experience.

In conclusion, Laika: Aged Through Blood is a remarkable addition to the Metroidvania genre, earning a strong score of 8.5 out of 10. Its combination of intense vehicular combat, a visually stunning world, and a deeply emotional narrative make it a standout title that will leave a lasting impression on players. Despite its minor gameplay challenge, Laika delivers a thrilling and memorable adventure that is well worth the journey.

Out Now on Xbox.
And it is also worth checking out the awesome soundtrack which is available now at

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