Taking A Look At Sworn


During Next Fest Sworn was perhaps a game I played the longest out of all the rest I tried out. It was also the game I died the most in. It’s quite a fun game where you clear out dungeons collecting rewards along the way till you die. You then get upgrades and try again.

There are four different classes you can play. I love melee combat so much that I knew right away I was not even going to look at the other classes. I also didn't care to switch out my sword for ranged combat either. So, the rewards I collected to do that ended up getting spent unlocking different branches on the skill tree.

a room.jpg

Once you entered the dungeon you had to clear out each room before unlocking the next. Outside of any pots you broke for rewards from health to gold coins. You had to clear the room to earn whatever that room's reward was.

More times than not the reward is what they called Fae Blessing. You get to pick between two different blessings each time you get that as a room reward. They would enhance your light, heavy, spell, and movement skills with things like increased damage, fire damage, stuns, and so forth.

It took a couple of runs before I realized I loved getting backstab damage on my light attack. While that would not always be an option every run. If I could get it I would. I would then save my heavy and other attacks for eating up other blessings.

getting killed.jpg

The first couple of times I only cleared a couple of rooms before getting killed. One thing I rather enjoyed was how quick some of my runs could end up being. Like this one in the early days was just two minutes. For quite a while I'd just be making it up to around the five-minute mark where I'd hit a boss and end up getting flattened like a pancake.

fighting creatures.jpg

After a couple of runs, I started picking up on the different attack and movement styles of the many creatures I would face off. Some would bolt across the room damaging anything in their path. While others would make one powerful attack while opening themselves up to a barrage of attacks by me for a couple of seconds.

Being melee, the more annoying creatures I discovered were the ones who would deal ranged damage. At least the game gave you quite a quick heads-up by showing a red circle in the area you were in.

Using movement keys and spells has become quite required to try and avoid taking any damage at all costs. A single hit could cost me 10 health. It would only take a couple of hits during my first few runs before I was dead.

After each room, I'd clear I'd take a look around before going to the next. Sometimes there would be further rewards you could collect. Some of them could end up cursing. More times than not I started to realize it was best to leave any extra rewards a room had to offer alone if it would spawn more creatures till I got a better handle on the game.

It then could be time to look at my door options and move forward to the next room. Sometimes I'd get two options to pick from. One had an elite creature with high health that would keep spawning adds till it was killed.

Grail Water.jpg

Then you had the other room that would usually be a bit chill. For a while, I prioritized going for the next room that would reward further health or Grail Water that I could use to unlock further things in the skill tree.

I would even choose to go into dangerous rooms where I knew I'd either take a lot of damage or have a high chance of getting killed if the reward was Grail Water. All the other kinds of stuff you could loot would end up stacking up. Meanwhile, I could not get enough of the Grail Water to unlock that next upgrade on the skill tree.

using the terrian.jpg

It did not take me long to start using the terrain to my advantage. I discovered there were many creatures I could safely hit with my heavy damage while hiding behind pillars. My heavy attack even had a bit of a knockback so if I could line things up right the creature would never make it to me.

There were also many traps in these rooms. They would become triggered by either me or one of the creatures in the room stepping on a trigger on the floor. More times than not they avoid triggering those traps at all costs. Which would mean if I could dash up and trigger one and get out of harm's way. I would end up killing creatures that way. As each trap could do a hundred or even hundreds of damages sometimes killing things in the process.

There were also explosive barrels in most of the rooms. Those made me wish I was in ranged combat. As a melee, I'd have to quickly go in and damage a barrel before making a mad dash out of its explosive range. Hoping whatever creature was near would not wander out in time.

the skill tree.jpg

It’s not like these upgrades were massive by any means on the skill tree for the most part. The expectation for the nodes would give me 10 further health at the start of every run. Otherwise. I would unlock things like gain 1 health point at the start of every room, get a 5% increased chance at an uncommon blessing, get some extra gold, and so forth.

The biggest one I'd end up spending Holy Water on was one I could not even use right away. It would reward ten extra Holy Water every time I defeated a boss. For a while, I'd be lucky to even make it to the boss with a sliver of health. Let alone have any chance at defeating it.

After some upgrades and learning quite a few things. I started always making to the first boss. It ended up being quite a struggle to just get the ones I could face down to 50% health let alone further.

That was till I had some needed tree upgrades, picked up the right Fae blessing, and had a decent amount of health. Then it all became about avoiding the burst of damage. Knowing where to stand. Finally, deciding when it was worth taking some health damage to get massive amounts of damage in.

boss down.jpg

Then I had my first kill. This was before I loaded up the skill tree on rewarding me with as much Holy Water as possible for each boss kill. Once it was dead I headed to decide which door to go through. I would then get taken deeper and deeper into the dungeons. Having to fight yet another boss after a few more rooms.

After that my chances of making it to the end and killing the first boss were decent. Still not a guaranteed thing. Sometimes I'd mess up in the rooms before the boss and make it to with only ten health. Sometimes I'd end up with Fae's blessing that I did not care much for. I would even sometimes not find anything to spend any gold I had collected along the way for things like reducing damage or dealing more damage for five rooms.

Final Thoughts


Sometimes during the demo, I would log in for hours at a time and select solo play. Then go on quite a few adventures with them always ending in death and prizes. Many of the runs at the start would end up having quite a drought of Holy Water. Now after a few hours of play, it’s quite rare for one of my runs to end with no Holy Water gained since I now get a bunch every time I kill a boss.

Other Content


Screenshots were taken and content was written by @Enjar about Sworn. This was during the Steam Next demo.