Astor: Blade of the Monolith Review | PC

A fairly interesting adventure but there’s one major flaw that dulls the edge.

By R3GR3T, Posted 30 May 2024

Big ambitions are never in short supply when it comes to game development, simply because of how massive the industry is. C2 Game Studio is the prime example of how far big ambitions can take you, this Columbian studio has been around since 2008 and their initial releases were for mobile only. We all start somewhere and they had a good start but they’ve decided to leap into a much bigger area with more mainstream platforms when they released Astor: Blade of the Monolith on 30 May.

Astor: Blade of the Monolith, Review, Screenshots, Role-Playing, Fantasy, Adventure, NoobFeed

Now, Astor: Blade of the Monolith is every definition of a very ambitious venture for the studio as a semi-open-world RPG adventure, and it has several great qualities but it does come with a flaw that can possibly make it a drag, more on this later. For now, there’s a world to explore and some details to dive into and it starts with the story, even if it is a little confusing at first.

The story in Astor: Blade of the Monolith takes place on Gliese, a planet that was inhabited by an ancient race but while they might be gone, their sentient creations still live and thrive there and they’re known as the Diokek. Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with the Hiltsik lurking around and causing chaos. Meanwhile, your story starts with Astor, an unsuspecting warrior who through some very odd events and a prophecy becomes the only hope for Gliese and to end the tyranny of the Hiltsik.

The story is a little confusing to keep up with at first but it does become better as it unfolds, though it will definitely take a while to progress as it takes on a few old JRPG tropes. Remember how old JPRG games used the rule of threes for almost everything? (Three of these to unlock the first part of three of that) Get ready for a blast from the past because Astor: Blade of the Monolith relies on that with a good chunk of the story progression. This isn’t always a bad thing but it is notoriously difficult to work with as it can become predictable and dull very quickly. However, if you can look past it, there is a rich story behind the trope and a fair amount of lore to find.

Astor: Blade of the Monolith, Review, Screenshots, Role-Playing, Fantasy, Adventure, NoobFeed

As can be expected of a release like Astor: Blade of the Monolith, you’ll already have a somewhat big world to explore but you’ll also have to keep an eye out for the roaming Hiltsik and gems scattered all over the place. Lucky for you, combat plays a pretty big part in the progression but it’s not quite what you’d expect. Swinging your sword around outside of combat will be relatively fast and snappy, the same can’t be said for when you’re in combat.

Everything suddenly moves at a completely different pace and each hit that connects with your target will feel like a cinematic moment with how much it all slows down. It becomes even worse when your target’s health finally runs out. The way actual combat is handled could’ve been done a lot better instead of slowing things down with a never-ending cinematic moment, which by the way, doesn’t fit the overall design of Astor: Blade of the Monolith at all.

Moving on to more interesting and possibly ‘stabbier’ things, you won’t be limited to just a boring ol’ sword. There are several other weapons you can unlock and use as you progress through the story, though you’ll have to have a little patience as they only come much later. However, each weapon brings its own unique attack style with some being more damage-oriented but slower such as the Hammer, or others aiming to be much faster at the cost of some damage like the Spear. It’ll essentially boil down to your personal preference and playstyle, though there are other ways of crushing the Hiltsik too.

Astor is technically already using a magical weapon, so a little magic is definitely on the table too because you’ll need some ranged attacks. Your first magical attack will sadly lean more towards the boring side of things and it’ll mostly only be used for puzzles but fear not, there are much more devastating magical attacks you can unlock as well that you’ll have to combine with melee to unleash devastating combos. However, the previously mentioned cinematic moments also apply in this case and can once again, slow things down to an annoying degree.

Astor: Blade of the Monolith, Review, Screenshots, Role-Playing, Fantasy, Adventure, NoobFeed

As for what comes next, this part likely goes without saying but just about any RPG can have varied progression, this also means that you’ll need upgrades to your stats, abilities, and such. This is a bit of a double whammy because upgrades are easily obtained, the same can’t be said about getting the materials for them.

However, a little curiosity and exploration will pay off in the long run and you’ll likely end up hoarding the materials you need for those upgrades. Sadly, in the same breath, you’d think that the basic attack combo would be available from the start… It’s not. Much like your upgrades, you also need to buy your combos, including the basic one that literally every RPG with similar combat to this makes available from the start.

Astor: Blade of the Monolith has so much that can make it great but the proverbial meat of this release needs more work. This is, unfortunately, the biggest flaw you’ll find while you’re out exploring and wiping out the Hiltsik, on the other hand, quest tracking falls on the opposite end of the spectrum with how well it was implemented.

Good quest tracking isn’t new, but we all get lost from time to time and a little help is always nice. In this case, Astor has an ability that will summon a wisp to lead the way to your objective. Granted, you really shouldn’t try to follow it directly because it can still lead off a mountain, this is where you might want to just take the directions with a pinch of salt.

Astor: Blade of the Monolith, Review, Screenshots, Role-Playing, Fantasy, Adventure, NoobFeed

To save the best for last, the biggest feature that Astor: Blade of the Monolith would be its puzzles and secrets. We all love a good challenge or a puzzle that leaves us puzzled, there isn’t a shortage of brain scratchers to leave you wondering while you’re exploring. What gives this so much emphasis is that you’ll need to use everything you’ve got to solve some of the puzzles, it easily ranges from platforms to firing at hanging blocks to swing them in the right direction and it all comes together to breathe some extra life into the world at hand.

On the visual side of life, Astor: Blade of the Monolith takes on a unique very unique but also super approachable art style that we don’t see all too often anymore. Relying on a mix of simple texturing and a lot of bloom, there’s an almost whimsical atmosphere that’ll leave you feeling nostalgic for the old days. However, while the Diokek will for the most part each have their unique designs that differentiate them quite nicely, the Hiltsik leans more toward feeling duplicated a few too many times. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad, maybe a little repetitive though.

We’ve all seen our fair share of RPG releases in the past and none of them would ever be complete without a soundtrack to help bring everything to life and carry the main theme. We have to give some kudos to the developers for this one because Astor: Blade of the Monolith’s soundtrack is simply amazing. The transitions between peaceful exploration and combat are as smooth as butter and both sides of this coin pull everything together in all the best ways.


Overall, Astor: Blade of the Monolith is shaping up to be an absolutely amazing RPG, aside from that one major flaw with combat. If you can look past the issue at hand, there’s a magical world that’s just waiting to be explored and secrets to discover throughout its rich story, and let’s not forget the mountains of side quests just waiting to be conquered. There’s without a doubt great potential and with a few minor changes or some extra polish, this game can easily become a hidden gem.

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher(s): Versus Evil, tinyBuild
Developer(s): C2 Game Studio
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Fantasy, Adventure
Release Date: 2024-05-30

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