Created by a small Croatian development team SEUM is the self professed bastard child of Quake and Super Meat Boy.
There’s nothing light about SEUM, from the Heavy Metal Intro that see’s a mysterious record summon the devil who steals all your beers, or the unforgiving difficulty, SEUM is a hardcore game, for those looking for a hardcore speedrunning challenge.
Alright, if that hasn’t put you off, head over to the options menu, and hidden away under ‘bonus’ you’ll find the secret difficulty selection, that’s default at Hard, click the left arrow and the game sticks it’s metaphoric middle finger up at you with a demonic laugh and the words ‘Forget it’ or ‘Ha Ha Cute’.
SEUM, Speedrunners from hell perfectly describes itself, as you set about retrieving all of your beers, you’ll be able to use certain demonic powers thanks to the makeshift replacement devil-arm, and whether it’s gravity reversing leaps, teleport inducing projectiles or trigger flicking fireballs, you’ll need every trick up that devilish sleeve.
Across 10 levels, each with 10 rooms, your challenged with reaching the blue portal within about 8-15 seconds, this is tough enough just from the layout of some rooms, but throw in spike walls, swinging axes, lava pits and floor traps and tough soon becomes near impossible.
You’ll likely make quick work of the first level, but as you take the chain elevator down deeper SEUM really starts to become tough, especially if you’re taken by the congratulatory ‘top ten’ when you get a good run and want to try and push yourself even further up the leader-board.
Thankfully there’s some kindness in SEUM as you’re not required to clear every single room in order to progress to lower levels, meaning you can scrape through a good portion of the game.
One thing many people will realise early on, is how tough Speed runners are on a control pad, I was thankful of the elite pad, and pushing the long jump from LB onto a Paddle, but even then, the turning speed often left me missing a narrow space, or over-jumping a small platform.
It’s easy to get used to dying a lot, because you will die more than many games you’ll ever play, but when it comes down to controls it becomes far more tedious, it’s safe to say you won’t have the leader-boards of Keyboard & Mouse loving PC players, but on consoles, your effectiveness with the pad will be pushed to the limit.
AS you’ll see from the screenshots, SEUM isn’t the best looking game, however due to the speed you’ll be passing through levels, the last thing you’ll be worried about is how repetitive the wall textures are, instead you’ll be thankful of the bright contrasting targets and pick-ups, and the usually clear paths you’ll be trying to run across.
It runs lovely and smooth, which is a must for a game that’s about speed and precision. While there’s a little too much reliance on the hell palette of reds, oranges and blacks, it’s certainly a stark contrast to other console first person speed runners such as Dead Core. which is a little more inviting but equally as tough.
Following the heavy metal theme, the soundtrack, is verging on annoying, with repeitive guitar tracks, I’m sure there’s plenty of people who will appreciate the tunes far more, but I find Metal a love hate genre, and while some games don’t throw it in your face quite as much, there’s nothing about SEUM that’s discreet.
The sound effects, opening doors, traps and devilish comments are a great accompaniment, just avoid sitting on the main menu too long and you might not tire of the soundtrack quite as quickly.
Speedrunners are their own breed and some people just don’t like the repetitive nature of retrying the same level dozens of times, however there’s also plenty of people who crave for such a challenge, I’m somewhere in the middle, and didn’t find myself tiring of the game-play at all, the small bite-sized challenges where always short enough to feel within reach, and the times I felt the challenge was a little too great, I could skip to the next room still progressing towards the boss at the end of each floor.
Bottom Line :
SEUM : Speedrunners from hell, is a tough, unforgiving experience that speed-runner fans will love. It’s not the best looking, and doesn’t sound great, but lose yourself in the speed running leader-boards and you’ll find days of challenges.
Gameplay : 7.5
Graphics : 7
Sound : 6.5
Story : 7
Value : 8