Eldest Souls Review – Quite the Rush Indeed

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IIf you like super crisp pixel art visual style or punitive soul-like fights then Older souls clearly wants to be the game for you by doing its best to deliver a marriage of these two concepts. Not exactly the most original concept in 2021, but while Older souls maybe not the first at the party, it’s a game that combines his ideas well. The game ends up doing its own thing a bit more than it suggests with its premise, but with the ‘souls’ present in the title, that’s a pretty obvious signal to this Fallen Flag Studio fan base. .

The story of Older souls is similar in tone to most games of this genre. Humanity is under threat and you are humanity’s last hope to end the conflict for good. It’s a simple setup but also hints at a tumultuous and complicated past that the game constantly reminds you of with shards of an ancient civilization all around you. Especially in the outer areas, broken buildings and rubble accompany each location, so the game feels like you are in the middle of a dense lore, despite the context of the current situation which is quite straightforward.

That said, the similarities between Older souls and a real Dark souls the game ends almost entirely after taking into account the high difficulty and the dreary Gothic setting. There aren’t any standard enemies per se, and dying doesn’t really cost you anything (other than maybe your patience), and I think that works in favor of the game. Dying and trying again is a loop that is best served by the speed you might find more often in something like Super Meat Boy, and the overall structure of the boss rush format has more in common with Cup head than Souls Games. So to simply regroup Older souls with the countless other soul-likes would be an oversimplification.

“Not exactly the most original concept in 2021, but while Older souls maybe not the first at the party, it’s a game that combines his ideas well. “

The fight in Older souls is a firm challenge. Bosses are varied and present multiple types of challenges that must be identified and overcome in order to even have a chance of defeating them. Effectively using your dodge, managing your stamina, charge time, and knowing exactly when to land a few hits or use a special attack is key to memorizing and surviving each of the boss’s multiple attacks. Some attacks are more of a challenge to your ability to dodge at the right time, while others are more focused on teaching you where to stand to avoid taking damage, and some leave short windows of time so you can get some blows. in. All require patience and are rarely sailed correctly on the first few tries. Most of these inaugural attempts will end in death and will likely do so quickly, as it only takes a few hits from a boss to kill you – if so. Blood burst attacks often come in handy as they reward you with health chunks when you attack your opponent. While the idea of ​​gradually raising your life bar is alluring and fun to do, it can also lead to death quickly if you get lightly carried away and don’t keep an eye on the bullet. The bursts of blood are as much an invitation to regain ground as an opportunity to accelerate your failure. Overall, the combat is good with just enough depth and features to satisfy the most seasoned gamer, and surprisingly accessible in its relative simplicity compared to other similar games.

The fight from one moment to the next is pleasant, even if it is sometimes a little murky. Standard attacks have such a short range that you’ll often be on top of different bosses to land, and it doesn’t always blend well with the constant blazing animations from you and your opponent. This can sometimes lead to situations where you can’t be entirely sure of where exactly you stand with a given sword blow, and therefore, whether or not a dodge will be saved by the time you get it. need. It’s partly a natural byproduct from an isometric point of view, but also partly because of a clash between the idea of ​​needing to be so close to the enemy to hit them, a short window to register a dash between attacks, and the indistinguishable cluster of pixels that overpowering an opponent can result.

It’s also important to point out that while endurance management is rightly one of the many difficult focal points in games, it can also be a little too easy – at times – to find yourself in situations where more dashes are required to avoid taking damage. which you’ll be able to do in a short while, forcing you to think beyond the game probably needs to get its point across. Mastering the special attacks associated with each style is extremely useful. Many of the more difficult times can turn in your favor as soon as you start to really use them to their best effect. Older souls doesn’t have what I would call a significant amount of combat options, but between the three styles, the health regenerating blood attacks, the special moves for each style, and the unlimited flexibility of the skill trees, I’d say that There’s more than enough meat on the bone here for you to experiment and hone your skills throughout. Although I would have preferred to emphasize repetition and memorization a little less, it is difficult to dispute the end result of all of his pieces. It works pretty well for what it is.

older souls

Older souls doesn’t have what I would call a significant amount of combat options, but between the three styles, the health regenerating blood attacks, the special moves for each style, and the unlimited flexibility of the skill trees, I’d say that There’s more than enough meat on the bone here for you to continue experimenting and honing your skills throughout. “

While the game generally centers around the character’s massive sword, which is just as tall as him, there are three different fighting styles to choose from, and all of them have their own respective skill trees that can be completely recalibrated at all times. moment. time before or after a boss battle. If the high “versus” style defense doesn’t help you in your current situation, feel free to switch to “berzerk” for higher damage or “gale” for more maneuverability for your next try. Either way, you can always put all of your experience points into whatever you choose, so going all-in on any style will never leave you with one area of ​​expertise. This is something I wish more action RPGs would be allowed, and that makes perfect sense for a game full of enemies that challenge you in such different ways.

Accompanying the lightness between bosses, you’ll also come across a handful of explorable areas, some of which might contain useful gaming items, interesting but inconspicuous NPC characters scattered all over the place. The slight explorability in the game’s hub world is a good palette cleaner between fights and also helps the tone of the game’s lore ring a little truer as you learn a little more each time.

The artistic style, as well as the general history of Older souls, is nothing new and does not stand out much in concept. Super crisp pixel art will always be pleasing to the eye, and it’s executed well here, but it never really feels like it’s being used to its potential, either. Most areas of the game look quite similar and will rarely, if ever, surprise with their color palettes or visual depth to the final area. It’s far from bad, but I couldn’t help but notice the lack of variety and overuse of the same cold, drab colors and earth tones for the most part. Conversely, the visual variety is quite present and consistent with the game’s 10 spellbinding bosses, which is where that effort is needed most, I guess. They all vary widely in shape and size, but still feel like part of the dark and ruthless world they inhabit. Bosses are so unique and interesting that the plot of finding out what’s next is often a big part of what keeps you going in the game, and that’s a good thing to have in a boss-rush game.

older souls

“Most areas of the game look pretty similar and will rarely, if ever, surprise with their color palettes or visual depth to the final area. It’s far from bad, but I couldn’t tell. To keep from noticing the lack of variety and overuse of the same cool colors and earth tones for the most part. Conversely, the visual variety is quite present and consistent with the game’s 10 spellbinding bosses, this is where this effort is most needed, I guess. “

The music in the game also seems to set the right tone with plenty of dark chords in the bass looming over the quieter segments of the game, but appropriately warms up in rhythm and intensity during fights. It’s not a soundtrack that I would recommend paying extra to have it, but it suits the game perfectly. stand out enough to let you know when you’ve been hit or landed one of your own.

Older souls isn’t going to wow anyone with most of his ideas, as they’ve all been done countless times before in different games, but this particular union of artistry, tough yet accessible combat, and underrated boss rush format, pulls its weight and makes this game more memorable than I expected, especially since this is the developer’s first major release. It has a few flaws and could have used more pop in the sound department and level design, but that’s nothing a true fan of one of its fundamentals can’t ignore.

This game has been tested on PlayStation 4.


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