Testament: The Order of High Human review – An Epic that’s kind of bland

Testament: The Order of High Human is a grand adventure that falls short of greatness.
Hieroglyphics of the High Humans and Seekers interacting, with the High Humans kneeling for the Seekers
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Grand fantasy stories have been told for as long as we have records, with stories like the Odyssey or Beowulf. These stories tell the journey of larger-than-life heroes as they deal with what are usually metaphors for real-life issues. It feels like that’s the grandiose vision that the writers and developers behind Testament: Order of the High Human had going into this project.

A title doesn’t need to be a huge ever-expanding open world to tell that big of a story, it just needs to make sure that it is engaging and approachable to a general audience. Testament starts out pretty strong, introducing an interesting mythological creature, but a game needs to continue the level of intrigue over longer periods of time.

That’s not to say that Testament fails to be a fun game, but sometimes it feels like it wants to be bigger than it is. This is a shame because the gameplay and visuals that Testament accomplishes are pretty good on its own without the overextension of the story. Too often, this title from Fairyship Games tries to fill in the gaps with needless exposition instead of just letting players fight and grow using the combat system.

Where have I heard this before?

Arva from Testament summons three eyeballs and speaks about how seekers couldn't comprehend darkness
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Testament starts out pretty strong with a unique character waxing poetic about something that you don’t understand and matters little compared to what’s in front of you. After being released you learn that Darkness has fallen over the land and, as the last High Human, you’re tasked with fighting off the evil and saving the realm.

What was immediately apparent from the beginning was how much exposition Testament was going to make me sit through, with it feeling like every little character or monster needed some kind of backstory. Not only that but the main character, Aran, is constantly delivering monologues to himself about the lore of a race that he sees as less because they were cursed by gods.

A log entry in Testament for the Orb of Lyra, an artifact that allows High Humans to receive powers from the Seekers relics
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

I lost the plot pretty quickly, I’m willing to admit, but I also do have trouble with fantasy games that dump a lot of lore on you all at once instead of being easy to relate to. The story of Testament is definitely not relatable, coming off to me narratively like a strange mix between titles like God of War and the conflict between Thor and Loki in Norse mythology.

This theory may have been inspired by Aran’s voice actor, who speaks with a clear Northern European accent, being contrasted by the Eastern Asian accent of the character that plays his brother and arch nemesis, Arva. Their exchanges often felt cartoonish and the overuse of proper nouns in the game like Light and Darkness gave me flashbacks to the worst parts of the Kingdom Hearts games.

Good puzzles should be recognized

The player character looks through first person at a group of zombies in an open area below a cliff while they hold a bow
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

At its core, Testament is largely a hack-and-slash game with a bow and magic that can be used up until the resource is depleted. As with most games I play, I leaned more toward the bow since headshots and hitting weak points on the enemies can be easily highlighted with a “second sight” ability. They aren’t always easy to hit because sometimes I found the reticle to be a little off from where the arrow goes.

That was the main part of the combat I enjoyed, with the actual melee and sword attacks feeling pretty average in execution, with enemies not really reacting much to being hit. The magic is okay too, but I was investing more into the sword abilities so I felt like I could stand up against the enemies that had more health and continued to attack me in large numbers.

A puzzle from Testament where the player has to redirect the light to bounce of mirrors to reach an end point
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

This bland combat stands in contrast to the puzzles, which were intriguing and exceptionally challenging in fun ways that kept seeming to evolve. Whether it be the recurring light beam puzzles or the mazes you’ll have to run through, the platforming and puzzle features in this game are probably the one place where Testament really shines.

The game runs reasonably well on my gaming PC, but even still there were bugs that were unrelated to performance, with my character becoming stuck in a position of holding a rope after respawning. This kept happening when I would reload, so I had to go to the menu and come back. On top of this, there were a lot of issues where my character would get stuck in small places.

The Final Word

While Testament does some really fun stuff with puzzles, it doesn’t really get interesting until you’re several hours in. Whether it be the bland combat or seemingly endless lore the game wanted me to learn, I just never felt engaged by the world that Fairyship Games was trying to build around me. Testament is trying to do too much and falls short of an engaging experience because of that.

6.5

Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!

Christian Harrison

Christian Harrison

Christian Harrison is a writer and gamer, the latter he's been doing for the last two decades. When not working, he enjoys streaming the latest show or spending time with his family and friends. Contact: Christian@tryhardguides.com

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