Genre(s): Action-Adventure, Twin-Stick Shooter
Platform: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 29/7/21
A code was provided for review purposes.
Trigger Witch is the result of mixing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Bayonetta, and a twin-stick shooter. From the creators of Reverie, Trigger Witch features a mixture of simple 16-bit gameplay with plenty of bullets, explosions, and gore. In a world where magic has had its day, bullets reign supreme.
Trigger Witch places you in the role of Colette – a young witch who’s attempting to join the ranks of a prestigious group of fellow witches. This mysterious group comprises like-minded witches who act as defenders to the rest of the world. The story starts as Colette attempts to run the gauntlet – a series of tests that every potential member has to pass. It’s during these tests that a mysterious figure emerges from a magical portal and starts to plunge the world into darkness. So it comes as no surprise that Colette is charged to bring an end to this mysterious ‘Man in Black’ and return peace to the world.
While the story is a little clichéd, it does have some weight behind it. Colette is a likeable character who’s both world saviour and a bit rebellious. Much like any protagonist, she’s got a family history to uphold – much to her dismay. The rest of the cast fall into your typical groups such as the jealous friend, mysterious bad guy, and “big bad past battle that’s going to happen again”. Even with these clichéd moments, the whole story has some desperation behind it as Colette soon faces plenty of obstacles in her way.
Much like LOZ: A Link to the Past, Trigger Witch features a fairly open world. As you explore you’ll come across varying areas – compete with unique enemies and biomes. Most of the story quests focus on a contained dungeon area. These see you travelling from room to room whilst solving simple puzzles, and shooting everything.
Initially, it’s quite entertaining, but these dungeons become repetitive quite quickly. The problem here is that there isn’t a lot of variation to keep things feeling fresh. Each area of a dungeon is a copy & paste of the previous – just with a different placement. Come reaching the second floor of the first dungeon I had had enough of that drab industrialised setting. Sadly it didn’t get any more interesting.
In an attempt to try and keep things fresh, there are certain moments where you’ll board Colette’s broomstick. This then switches the game to a more top-down shoot-em-up as you’ll traverse the screen shooting various enemies. Again, much like the initial gameplay, this is fun but soon wears a bit thin. It’s a real shame as on the surface Trigger Witch feels like it’s going to be something special. Yet it falls into that trap of repetitiveness that’s grabbed so many other titles in its paws.
With plenty of enemies to tackle, you’ll need some weapons and Colette has quite an arsenal at her disposal. You start the adventure with a simple pistol, but not too far into the adventure you’ll also get an assault rifle and a grenade launcher. There’s plenty more that’ll unlock as you progress but these become few and far between. All weapons feature unlimited ammo, with everything other than the pistol having a “cool down” in between clips. Having the more exotic weapons on a cool down works well to keep things balanced, and importantly gets you to try different tactics.
There’s plenty of things to shoot as Trigger Witch features a wealth of enemies. The somewhat “cute” enemies range from fruit-like creatures, shields, witch hats, garlic cloves, and plenty more. Each enemies type falls into the traditional RPG group which dictates how they behave. E.g. the shield characters shield, the witch hat acts as a ranged attacker, and the bowling ball…well…bowls. Whilst they’re all simple to defeat, the screen can fill up with enemies fairly quickly, and soon make things worse for Colette.
One thing that’s certainly going to catch many an eye is the amount of gore – and there’s plenty of it. It’s not unusual to end battles with the entire area bathed in red as enemies ‘pop’ around you. It’s quite comical, especially when you consider the game’s inspiration, and it definitely makes Trigger Witch stand out. To make the game more accessible, this effect can be turned off – especially useful if there are young people watching.
Trigger Witch is a journey I’m glad I experienced. While it’s not without its downsides, the games still enjoyable. The story is pretty well written and while it’s a little clichéd, the cast more than make up for it. The game isn’t without its repetitiveness side, and quite often you’ll be repeating objectives or solving the same puzzles. But underneath this is a pretty accessible game that’s bright colourful world is waiting to be painted red…
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
Trigger Witch is out now and can be purchased via the Nintendo Switch eShop by clicking here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.