Carrion Is One Part Marvel’s Carnage, One Part Metroidvania

Carrion

I recently started paying attention to the challenges associated with Microsoft’s Game Pass, where you are given certain goals to accomplish (daily, weekly, monthly, or game-specific) in order to unlock points. Once you amass an exorbitant amount of these points, you can then redeem them for digital goodies like store points or entries into drawings for prizes. Basically, this whole system feels like digital Chuck E. Cheese tickets.

Normally I wouldn’t pay any mind to crap like this. But after humoring Microsoft for a bit and trying the whole thing out, I actually found this to be a cool way to introduce myself to games I would normally otherwise skip over while browsing the extensive Game Pass library.

And boy was I glad I did, because I might not have stumbled upon Carrion otherwise. The name leaves much to be desired, and the thumbnail art gave me the impression that this was just another 16-bit-throwback, retro-styled cash grab. Little did I know that these descriptions could not be further from the truth.

Carrion puts you in the role of the, um… Carrion I guess? I don’t actually think I was properly introduced to my playable form before I was unleashed upon the unsuspecting occupants of what appears to be the facility within which the Carrion was born. Or made. Or just housed.

Your job, once you gain sentience, is to slither your way through the labyrinthine facility to gain your freedom. But it is how you slither that makes this game unique.

Carrion

You are basically a mass of meat that I found visually akin to the symbiote goo in Marvel comics that would ensconce Cletus Kasady, among other hosts. It is perhaps no coincidence that this game is called Carrion, which also happens to be the name of a Marvel character who’s crossed paths with Carnage (but who, as far as I can tell, bears little resemblance to the Carrion of this game). Now cram that into a Metroidvania side-scroller and you’ve got yourself a stew, baby.

It is within this seemingly limited framework that the game really excels, purely on visual spectacle alone. The controls are super fluid and responsive, of course, but the game’s real joy is simply oozing around with your tendrils propelling you through vents and doors. All the while, these meaty appendages are grabbing facility personnel and dragging them screaming towards your gaping maw to feast upon. And with each subsequent human hor d’oeuvre, you gain more mass and tendrils and teeth.

Carrion really is, at its basest level, the Carnage of Metroidvania games, and I love every slithering, salivating moment of it. You can check out the Carrion trailer below.

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