A Bit of Polish
Soulblight is the first title from My Next Games, a Polish studio based in the town of Częstochowa. The team is headed by Jakub Lisinski, also known as Kuba.
The title will be published by Playway SA, a prolific publisher of indie games.
After being in development for at least an entire year, and a healthy Alpha phase passing, Soulblight recently had its Beta test. So what was it like?
Soulblight is a dark and gloomy game. The graphics, while not on par with AAA titles, work very well in giving the sense of a broken and corrupted world. Witek Trzcionka’s designs for the enemies and world are nothing that hasn’t been seen before in an RPG, yet the perspective combined with the art style gives it a unique look.
The control scheme is fairly standard by default, with direction controlled by the WASD keys, and the mouse controls primary actions and changing targets.
The Q and E keys regulate secondary actions.
This scheme works well for the most part, although it is easy to press the wrong key in the heat of the moment. The game recommends playing with a controller, and by all accounts that seems to be the best way to experience the game.
The Art Of Combat
Combat is a unique affair, relying on few controls, and instead relying mainly on the player to manage themselves effectively.
Fighting in Soulblight is slow and steady, with the character locking on to an enemy and circling them. This allows effective distance management, and decide whether to attack or defend.
Grabbing is also an option, holding an opponent before throwing them away.
Some enemies require a grab before they can be properly damaged, so it is worth remembering.
Sadly, the combat boils down to a repetition of blocking and attacking, with a grab if you really need it. This does render the combat experience to be a bit lackluster, although the Taint system allows for some interesting variety that alters how you play.
Worth noting is that despite the character moving in relation to an enemy in combat, the direction faced is controlled by the mouse (in default controls).
The character will not automatically face an enemy in combat.
At the beginning of a level, the player will find themselves surrounded by multiple basins. Each one has a trait attached to it, and you can only select one at a time.
These traits make up the “Taint”system, where players optionally add mechanics to the character. These mechanics can make the game easier or harder depending on playstyle and choices.
For example, “Prying”gives increased item drop rate, and gives a bonus for returning item cards to a specific character. The character receives a buff after a transmutation as well.
That is just one example of a “Taint” mechanic.
“Prying”makes carrying and returning items a priority, whereas another choice may penalize the player for carrying many items.
Honestly, this has promise. The “Taint” system is something unique to RPGs of late, and promises some great gameplay variety. MyNextGames have something special on their hands, and with refinement and polish, it should shape up to be something well worth buying.
[Beta access code provided by MyNextGames, author was signed to the mailing list for the Beta]