Beat Slayer review

by on April 2, 2024
Reviewed On
Also Tested On
Release Date

April 4, 2024


Beat Slayer is a rhythm-action “Hades-like” from ByteRockers Games, that pits you as Mia, a badass brawler in an alternate post-Wall Berlin, apparently, which is overrun by killer robots. The dude behind it is known only as Dietrich, and keeps the City in check using a complex musical signal. In order to override it, Mia has a pair of special headphones that pump a constant stream of dance music into her ears, giving her attacks a rhythmic quality.

The setting is a little odd, since Beat Slayer could be set literally anywhere on Earth or even a fantasy world for all it matters. Most characters speak with American accents, Mia makes constant references to modern pop culture, and, well, there are killer robots in it. It’s a slice of mostly likeable nonsense, but Mia herself is fairly irritating. She’s from the “self-proclaimed badass” school of video game protagonists and so everything she says is tinged with obnoxious swagger. The bad guy has her brother, Toni, which only seems to matter now and then. The rest of the time Mia is spitting out the same patience-grinding quips over and over again as she dices up robots.


“I see dead robots!” she squeaks. “Only dead robots are good robots!” she fumbles. “I’m here to kick ass and… that’s it!” she blurts. It’s enough to drive you mad after a while, especially when the very nature of the game is to repeat everything ad infinitum.

As a Hadeslike (and yes, between this, Realm of Ink and Sworn, the term “Hadeslike” will be fully coined by the end of 2024), Beat Slayer sees you embark on run after run, getting stronger and further each time. Returning after being defeated will open up new dialogue with the drew at Mia’s base, allowing you to upgrade your abilities and extend Mia’s health. There are only three weapons to choose from up to now, and honestly the starting fire axe is the simplest and most effective.

When out in the field, Beat Slayer is ostensibly a rhythm-action game, but there’s a flaw, and it’s a fairly big one. See, you don’t really need to do anything to the beat at all. In order to build up your “Drive” and unleash an Ultimate the game tells you that you need to keep the beat. But I tested simply mashing the button and Mia keeps the beat on her own. There’s no real benefit to maintaining the beat beyond the TanzenReich effect, which boosts your damage until you miss a hit or take one. But simply dodging, kicking, and attacking is more than enough to get through.


Which isn’t to say Beat Slayer is easy. In fact I struggled with some of the randomised enemy mixes, as you have standard bots, cannons, mortars, huge droids with shields, moving mines, and many more besides. Juggling all the different enemies as well as environmental hazards like trains and explosions can be a genuine challenge. Unfortunately, as with Hades, failing a run will return you right to the start and you’ll need to fight your way through each level again without checkpoints, bosses and all. Sadly, Beat Slayer lacks much of Hades’ easy charm.

As in Curse of the Dead Gods you’ll follow randomised paths signposted with each subsequent boon or upgrade. Some rooms will reward you with XP or healing currywursts, while others will give specific upgrades to your attack, kick, or Ultimate. Others still bestow elemental benefits such as Virus or Overload, which can give you a slight advantage going forward.


Combat and movement can feel a little stiff, and there’s not enough feedback when you take a hit, so if you find yourself mobbed by bots you might not even realise they’re taking you apart. So you’ll make the same runs lots and lots, but without Zagreus’ charisma, Mia becomes really irritating really quickly. The environments you fight through are also incredibly bland, with little visual flair or identity and nothing to really interact with or use to your advantage.

On the whole, Beat Slayer is an enjoyable enough game in short doses, but does nothing to move its genre forward or innovate on established ideas. The rhythm element just isn’t essential enough to the action for the most part, and most of the upgrades you can unlock fail to make a massive difference to what you’re doing. By the time you’ve got through the first boss you’ll usually be strong enough to push through for a while longer, but failure means starting again and it’s just not interesting enough to get away with such repetition.


Combat is enjoyable enough
Lots of different upgrades


Mia is irritating
Keeping the beat doesn't feel essential
Doesn't feel fresh

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Beat Slayer is an enjoyable enough game in short doses, but does nothing to move its genre forward or innovate on established ideas.