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‘Dark Souls III’ Bosses Ranked In Order Of Difficulty

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Warning: This article contains spoilers for Dark Souls III; anyone who has yet to complete the game may want to do so before reading.

Dark Souls III has been out nearly a month now, with dozens of doomed individuals exploring the depths of Lothric. One of the most talked-about and punishing aspects of the Souls games are their boss battles, the type that can eat up hours of your time, forcing you to consider your life choices. But the harder they come, the harder they fall, and that feeling of achievement after finishing off a brutal boss is what Souls is all about. But which bosses were the most difficult? In this article, we will rate the bosses from easiest to hardest. Prepare to die!

(Please note that I am writing this list from the perspective of using no summoning.)

19) Iudex Gundyr

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This confusingly named boss (iudex apparently means ‘to judge’ in latin, pronounced yoo-dex) is pretty standard fair and about the difficultly you would expect from the first boss of the game, with experienced players unlikely to struggle against it. While he can cause a fair bit of damage in his mutated second form, if you’re keeping your distance from his head the fight is pretty easy. On a scale of cruelty, he certainly isn’t as bad the Asylum Demon from the original Dark Souls in abusing first-time players.

Rating: This game isn’t as hard as everyone says…

18) Old Demon King

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Technically there are easier fights than the Old Demon King, but considering that by this point players will be getting to grips with how to play the game, this boss fight is not just one of the easiest in the game, but also one of the worst. Its design and combat are both incredibly generic, and its slow attacks are easy to avoid, making it just a case of getting in behind and attacking the tail. Considering this area is optional, you think there would be a better reward for curious players who feel like slicing up a rickety bridge.

Rating: Really? Try harder.

17) Vordt of the Boreal Valley

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The first boss in the game to have its own opening cinematic, despite not really deserving one, Vordt is very easy for those who have the power of fire. The fight really is only a matter of dodging his charging attacks, which can be very destructive if you don’t move out of the way in time, and lobbing fire at him from afar. Those without firebombs or pyromancy may struggle more, but his health is fairly low and attacks predictable.

Rating: FIRE!!!

16) Yhorm The Giant

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This fight is the first of a couple of gimmicky fights. This basically means that the fight isn’t really a fight, it’s a more of a puzzle. As I’m sure you know it is simply a matter of grabbing the Storm Ruler and blowing him away with the Skill attack. He can still destroy you with a couple of attacks, though, so don’t get too complacent.

Rating: This boss goes down a storm (ugh, what a terrible joke).

15) Ancient Wyvern

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The second gimmicky boss fight is much trickier to figure out what to do. It consists of completely ignoring the boss, running up a load of stairs, killing a hoard of annoying enemies, jumping off the top of some scaffolding and plunging your sword straight into it’s head. This fight can be very difficult if you decide to kill all the enemies en route to the top. However, you can run past most of them fairly easily and end the fight with very little fuss. Just make sure you time your jump right and you’re golden, don’t misjudge it and fall to your death like I did. Twice.

Rating: Use cowardice.

14) High Lord Wolnir

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The key to this fight is to not let his massive, boney face scare you and go straight in for the kill. The longer the fight goes on, the more skeletons appear to get in your way. This is a boss which will probably kill most people a few times, mainly down to the purple gas he emits that can kill you in seconds. Aggression, as it is in real life, is the best solution to your problems, concentrating on the right hand first before wailing on the left. His attacks are very predictable and are easy to dodge.

Rating: Easy for the confident.

13) Deacons Of The Deep

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This fight can seem overwhelming to start with, the temptation being to slash away blindly like a demented butcher in an abattoir. This can work well for the first form but can cause you to get unstuck in the second when the chief deacon summons some more powerful enemies. You will die during this fight, with the timing of the enemy attacks sometimes occurring at unlucky times and causing a succession of attacks reigning down on you. However, if you are patient and keep moving around, looking for angles to maneuver through the hordes to attack the chief, you will best him. Not locking on will also help to this end.

Rating: It’s all about timing.

12) Dragonslayer Armour

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A fairly boring boss fight in both name, design and combat, Dragonslayer Armour is fairly easy considering how late in the game he appears. His attacks are fairly well telegraphed and allow plenty of time for you to get around the back to attack. The fight does get slightly harder when to use it’s official name, the weird floaty red phantom butterfly thing starts firing lasers at you. As long as you are aware of which side of the bridge it is on and stay the opposite of the fountain, the boss can be taken down with little fuss.

Rating: Manageable

11) Ocerios, The Consumed King

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Ocerios is one of the oddest fights in the game, a weird dragon guy with man’s voice that lets out baby cries when he’s hit. That on top of the weird noises it makes when you are waiting outside it’s boss room makes it perhaps the most disturbing boss in the game. The fight itself though is nothing special, mainly consisting of the standard jumping, charging and mid ranged attacks. This is simply a matter of learning his attack patterns, attacking when you get the chance and repeating. The real challenge comes from how long the fight can last due to his high health, meaning the key is keeping on your toes and not messing up.

Rating: Be patient

10) Curse-Rotten Greenwood

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The third boss that most players will face and possibly the first hard boss of the game. While its first form is fairly easy, simply a matter of avoiding the enemies around the battlefield and finding a good opportunity to go in for the kill, the second form is much more challenging. It has several weak spots based on its body and you want to take these out before you try and attack the front arm that comes during this second form. The less time you spend around that arm the better, as it can kill you in seconds. Range attacks make this fight much easier as you can avoid the lava the boss spews when trying to attack the weak spots. This is possibly the first taste of the real Dark Souls boss that new players will get during this game and much like Ocerios can last a long time, requiring a lot of concentration and composure. Once you have the technique down, though, the fight can be done fairly easily.

Rating: This is where the real fight begins

9) Crystal Sage

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Those who are weak against magic be fearful as the Crystal Sage has some powerful magic at its disposal. This fight really demands ultra-aggression as the quicker the Sages’ doppelgängers are taken out the better as it is almost impossible to avoid all of their attacks when out in the open. The best technique here is to find a found to cower behind and working your way around the perimeter of the arena, killing them all one by one as you go around. Death is an inevitability here as it’s orb attacks can kill you in one hit if you are weak against magic. But stick with it and try and kill it as quickly as possible.

Rating: Time for attacking

8) Dancer Of The Boreal Valley
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Dancer Of The Boreal Valley is an apt name for this boss. Its dancing is much like mine at a nightclub, i.e. unwieldy and quite likely to kill anyone nearby. Like a lot of these fights, players must  find the pattern in her move set in order to get the opportunity to attack, although due to how quick the boss is, it can be quite hard to get around her. Players must react fast since her attacks bring almost certain death.

Rating: Blimey

7) Champion Gundyr

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A reprise of the fight at the beginning of the game, Champion Gundyr’s real difficulty really lies in his relentlessness and how quickly he can drain your stamina bar when you’re blocking his attacks. This makes rolling the only option, but even that can be dangerous during his second form. His health can be whittled down fairly quickly, so your best hope is to just keep rolling and dodging and hoping for the best. This fight is a testament to how far you have come as a player by this point in the game and serves as a great reminder of how much better you have become since the beginning of the game.

Rating: Bloody hell

6) Pontiff Sulyvahn

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This is a fight which entirely changes halfway through. While the first half can be simply negotiated by rolling, the second phase requires you to deal with the Pontiff’s clone as well. While both of them are there things are infinitely more difficult, with the attacks coming one after another. You’re only hope is to kill the clone as quickly as possible and take on the Pontiff on his own. Even then this is no walk in the park, as his attacks are incredibly powerful.

Rating: Sheesh…

5) Abyss Watchers

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The first boss the game which I would describe as eye-gouging difficult, the Abyss Watcher is a wily customer. He is quick and gives you little respite, especially when his minions start appearing. Using the second minion, that fights on your side, to your advantage is the key to the first half of the fight, but won’t help you in the second form. His fire attacks have a massive range and his attacks can easily drain your stamina in a blink of an eye. Those who have high stamina and a knight build will have a better time against this guy, but this is the fight where the game really takes it up a notch in terms of difficulty.

Rating: Stressful

4) The Twin Princes

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This fight is all about the rolling. Wearing light armour and any rings that help with stamina or rolling are advisable as this is the best way to defeating these guys. The attacks remain similar in both forms and are fairly predictable, the main problem coming from the grabbing and beam sword attacks that will probably kill you in one hit. Keeping your distance will not help you either as they can teleport all over the place. Rolling round the back and hacking away is the only hope here, and this is always a risky tactic, as a quick death is never far away.

Rating: Punishing

3) Aldrich, Devourer Of Gods

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The title  ‘Devourer Of Gods’ isn’t one which I imagine is handed out lightly, as God devouring is not for the faint of heart, and neither is this boss. Between the disappearing acts and the long distance magic attacks, there is not a safe spot in the room to keep Aldrich at bay. The main ace he has up his sleeve is the homing sword attack which summons a trail swords that rain down from the roof. This attack directly killed me on countless occasions, whilst also making me run into another one his attacks numerous times as well. It is never a good sign in a boss fight when you frantically running around the room hoping your stamina doesn’t run out. Keeping Aldrich close to you at all times is the only answer here.

Rating: Cripplingly hard

2) Soul Of Cinder

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As you would expect from the final boss, this guy is ridiculous. Not only does he have four different phases in his first form, meaning there is a load of attacking patterns you need to memorise, he switches randomly between them. The boss is clearly designed to test your full skills as a player, with deadly short, long and mid-range moves in every phase. The second form he takes is actually much easier, but getting caught by one move can send you into an attack-spiral that you cannot get out of. It is best to be cautious here and only chip away at his health when you are certain you have time to get away. This is a fight which pumps you full of adrenaline so it is important to be composed at these stressful times. As difficult as it is, the fight is the perfect test of all your skills and a fitting way to end the game.

Rating: Please, have mercy

1) Nameless King

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Possibly the hardest boss to find in the game (without looking online), the Nameless King has rightly hidden away as the he brings RSI-inducing levels of pain. The first form is fairly difficult, mainly due to the huge health bar he has at its disposal. The second form though is brutal with a wide range of attacks, almost all of which can decrease your health bar in half with one mistimed dodge. The length of these fights becomes incredibly frustrating when you inevitably die, forcing you to repeat the first stage of the fight over and over again. Much like the Soul Of Cinder, extreme caution is the  best way of proceeding, jumping in and getting quick attacks away whenever possible. He will eventually be staggered so you must take full advantage of that if you hope to be at all successful in beating one of the hardest bosses the Souls series has even seen. Whoever came up with this fight is demented and probably should be sectioned to stop them inflicting more suffering upon
the world.

Rating: Soul-destroying

Based in Huddersfield in the United Kingdom. Lover of anything Nintendo flavoured as well as the Souls series and much more. Also a British comedy and Radiohead geek.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Hanako Izekawa

    December 5, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    I agree with the ratings of the bosses and calling the nameless king “soul destroying” seems perfect since I died probably a hundred times to him. Thank you for the advice on these bosses and it’s always nice to know another player actually enjoys dark souls instead of bashing controllers to pieces in a rage.

  2. Chase Pearson

    December 20, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Aldrich was way easier than the watchers, pointiff, and the twins. Should be above all of those

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‘Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind’: An Utterly Shameless Cash Grab

Coming in at a $40 price point (!!!) Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind offers an 80% recycled campaign, a boss rush mode, and some other trash.

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Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

In the 15 year long history of DLC, we have seen some really shameless displays. The notorious horse armor incident of 2006 and a notable day one DLC for the ending game of a trilogy notwithstanding, few companies have had the utter audacity to offer so little content for such a high price point. Enter Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind.

Coming in at a $40 price point (!!!) Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind offers an 80% recycled campaign, a boss rush mode, and some social media nonsense for people who really hate themselves. That’s really it, that’s what you get. Honestly, Square-Enix should be utterly embarrassed by this DLC.

It’s been one year: 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes, or 31556952 seconds, since the release of Kingdom Hearts III. Let that sink in as you begin the meat of Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind. Think of it as the extended version of a movie you really like… you know, the kind where they add 4 minutes to the 120 minute runtime.

Yes, Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind, really is that cynical. I’m not kidding when I tell you that the game literally starts with an exact cut scene from the base game, and a cut scene that happens to be available from the theater mode of the main game that you’ve already bought if you’re playing this DLC. Yes, the introduction to this new content is… content you’ve already seen.

In fact, that’s kind of the sticking point here: most of what you get for your hard-earned cash is footage you’ve already seen, and battles you’ve already fought, and story you’ve already experienced, just with slight alterations for context. Remember back in the 2000s, when we were super obsessed with prequels? This is like that, except even more egregious.

Generally I’m not so unforgiving as to call a company out for a forthright cash grab, but that’s absolutely what Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is. There’s just no other way to put it. You might find someone in the marketing department for Square-Enix who would disagree, but being a company that has faced just these sort of allegations for their last two major releases, Square-Enix either doesn’t read the news, or doesn’t care what people think of their products.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Square-Enix was roundly accused of shipping unfinished products in the case of both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III — their two most high profile releases of the last decade. I personally gave mostly positive reviews of both games for this very website but if you want ammo to suggest that this company is deliberately trading on the nostalgia and passion of its fan base in order to make financial headway, there are few examples you could draw from that are as obvious as this DLC.

Look, maybe you’re a really big Kingdom Hearts fan. Maybe you just really wanted to know what the context was for that cliffhanger ending in Kingdom Hearts III. Maybe you just don’t do much research before you buy something. Or maybe… you just really trust this company for some reason.

Hey, I’m not judging… hell, I bought this DLC for $40 same as anyone else. I oughta be honest that I’m not reviewing Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind as some holier than thou critic, talking down to you from my position of privilege. No, I’m an angry consumer in this particular case. I’m a person who spent enough to replace a flat tire on my car, or buy my family dinner, on a game that is clearly playing off of my love for a franchise, and using it to bilk me out of money in a method that is so clear, and so concise, that those involved in the entire endeavor should be totally embarrassed for their part in the creation, marketing, pricing, and distribution of this expansion.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Yes, fans had their complaints about Kingdom Hearts III. “Where are the hardcore boss battles? Where are the Final Fantasy characters? Where are the secret areas? Where are the hidden plot developments?” Still, to address these particular complaints by hammering a few minutes or seconds here and there into already existing content is truly like spitting in the faces of the people who have built the house you’re living in.

I haven’t sat in the board rooms at Square-Enix and I haven’t been in email chains about the planning of projects at their company but what I can say is that there is something rotten in Denmark if this is what passes for a satisfying piece of content for the wildly devoted fans of a hugely popular franchise in 2020. Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is literally, truthfully, and succinctly, the worst piece of DLC I’ve ever purchased.

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10 Years Later: ‘Mass Effect 2’ is An All-Time Sci-fi Classic

Mass Effect 2 didn’t just nail the formula for a successful sequel, it tied together one of the greatest science fiction tales ever.

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Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect launched in 2007 as the boldest science fiction project ever conceived for consoles. The complex mythology, history and the many alien races, each with their own political/religious beliefs offered a depth rarely seen in the medium. Only a game as ambitious as Mass Effect 2 could not only match the pedigree of such a massive project but surpass it in every single way imaginable.

Released 3 years after the original, a full decade ago, Mass Effect 2 set the benchmark for not just sequels but for science fiction gaming as well. Few sequels are able to overcome the weaknesses of their predecessors with such perfect accuracy while also doubling down on what made them good in the first place.

The first task that fell to Bioware was to refine the combat. The original game had more of a strategic angle to it but that strategy meant the game was constantly stopping and starting, stuttering the action and ruining the flow of the game. By streamlining the combat into more of an action RPG experience (emphasis on action), Mass Effect 2 created a much better sense of tension in battle sequences. Aiming, using techniques and issuing orders also flowed more smoothly with these changes.

'Mass Effect 2' is An All-Time Sci-fi Classic

Another major change was the removal of the Mako, an exploratory rover the player drove around alien planets with. While a novel idea, the Mako often lead to aimless wandering as the player sought out resources on the many planets of Mass Effect. Instead of driving to their destination, players were now warped directly to the area they would be exploring. Resource collection was overhauled as a result.

While few players will talk about the thrill of spinning a globe around and aiming a reticle in order to collect resources in Mass Effect 2, the simple speed by which this process was streamlined offered a hefty margin of improvement over the original game. Resources that might have taken a half-hour to collect in the first game could now be found in 1/10 of that time. Resource collection, while a vital part of the game, was never meant to be the time sink it was in the original Mass Effect, and by speeding up this process, Mass Effect 2 allowed players to get back to the meat of the game: doing missions and exploring the galaxy.

Of course, these aren’t necessarily the most significant changes that players will recall from their time with Mass Effect 2. The story and character roster were also expanded considerably from the first game, and these are without a doubt the biggest improvements that this sequel is able to mount.

Mass Effect 2

While Mass Effect had seven playable characters, Mass Effect 2 expanded that to twelve. Not only was the amount of characters an improvement, though, the quality of the characters on offer was also much stronger this time around. A full nine new characters were introduced for players to utilize in combat, strategize with and get to know throughout the game. Among them were badass assassin Thane Krios, dangerous convict Jack, morally dubious Miranda Lawson, and hivemind robot Legion.

In fact, the cast of Mass Effect 2 is so good that it has rightfully become a benchmark for the creation of a compelling cast of characters in RPGs, and video games, in general. The sheer diversity on display in the looks, personalities and movesets allowed for the cast is awe-inspiring, and this is without even considering the trump card that Mass Effect 2 flashed throughout the experience of playing the game.

The monumental suicide mission to raid the Collectors’ base and save humanity is the impetus for the entire plot of Mass Effect 2, and the reason for which the player is recruiting the baddest mother fuckers from all over the galaxy in hopes of success. It isn’t just a suicide mission in name either, many, or even all, of the cast can die during the completion of this mission, adding a layer of suspense and finality to the final stage of Mass Effect 2 that few other games can match.

'Mass Effect 2' is An All-Time Sci-fi Classic

To this end, players were encouraged to get to know their crew through loyalty missions specific to each cast member. By undertaking these optional missions and completing them in a way that would impress or endear themselves to the character in question, players were able to ascertain the unquestioned respect and loyalty of that character, ensuring they wouldn’t go rogue during the final mission.

Still, even passing these prerequisites with flying colors wasn’t a guarantee for success. Players also had to pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the characters when assigning tasks and making split-second decisions. Who you would leave to recon an area, repair a piece of equipment, or lock down a path, could make the difference as to who was going to survive the mission. Further complicating things, the characters you wanted to take with you to final branches of the mission might be the very people best suited for these earlier tasks.

Mass Effect 2 isn’t just one of the greatest science fiction games of all time, but one of the best science fiction experiences in any medium, full stop”.

Getting everyone out alive is a truly Machiavellian task, requiring either a guide or multiple playthroughs in order to get it precisely right. To that end, my feeling is that it’s better to go at it honestly the first time around, dealing with the requisite losses that this experience entails. After all, it isn’t really a suicide mission without a couple of casualties right? Even with all of my preparations and foresight, I lost Tali and Legion in the final mission, but for the fate of the human race, these losses were an acceptable cost.

Mass Effect 2

Even outside the strength of this fantastic cast and the monumental undertaking of planning and executing this final mission, there were other key characters and elements introduced as well. The Illusive Man, voiced by the great Martin Sheen, emerged as a necessary evil, saving Commander Shepard from death but asking morally complex decisions to be made as the cost of doing business. The relationship with, and the choices the player makes, in regard to The Illusive Man have far-reaching consequences for the remainder of the series, and as he emerged to become a primary antagonist in the final game of the trilogy, the considerations to be made were vast and insidious by their very definition.

With so many factors working in its favor, Mass Effect 2 is the rare game that is so perfectly designed that both its predecessor and sequel suffer by comparison as a result. While the improvements of ME2 make it hard to go back to the original game, the scope and ambition of an entire cast that could be alive or dead at the end of the journey also neutered the third game, causing many of the best characters in the trilogy to be excised from the final leg of the trip.

Truly, Mass Effect 2 isn’t just one of the greatest science fiction games of all time, but one of the best science fiction experiences in any medium, full stop. Like The Empire Strikes Back before it, Mass Effect 2 is the best exemplar of its universe and what makes it compelling and worthwhile in general.

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PAX South 2020 Hands-On: ‘Speaking Simulator,’ ‘Iron Danger,’ and ‘Wildermyth’

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Iron Danger

PAX South brought an extremely diverse lineup of games to San Antonio, and in this next roundup, it’s time to look at another diverse assortment of titles. These include Speaking Simulator, the surrealist take on the art of speaking, Wildermyth, a beautiful new RPG based on D&D, and Iron Danger, a surprisingly player-friendly take on roleplaying.

PAX South

Speaking Simulator

When asked why he was inspired to develop Speaking Simulator, the developer promptly responded, “I don’t know!” That was exactly what I felt while playing its demo at PAX. It left me mystified, amazed that it exists, overwhelmed by its complexity, and delighted with its absurdity. Speaking Simulator follows a highly advanced android tasked with assimilating into human society in order to gain world domination – and to do that, he’ll need to learn how to speak first. Players are thus tasked with controlling every aspect of this android’s face and guiding it through increasingly difficult social situations.

Speaking is an awkward art for many people (including myself), and Speaking Simulator is just that: awkward. You can control nearly every aspect of the android’s face. You can move its tongue with the left stick and its jaw with the right, while manipulating its facial expression, eyebrows, and more with other buttons. This leads to a delicate balancing act where complete control feels just barely out of reach so that you must always be alert and able to sufficiently direct your mechanical face.

PAX

During each conversation, you’ll have so many different moving parts to consider. You’ll have to follow prompts about where to move your tongue, how to adjust your mouth, how your face should look, and so on. The more complex the conversation, the trickier it is to speak. Scenarios during my demo included a date, a job interview, and the most normal social situation of all, speaking to a man while he’s using the toilet. And of course, if you don’t perform adequately in these conversations, then your face will start to explode – which is only natural for awkward conversations, after all.

Speaking Simulator is the definition of controlled chaos. It shows just how difficult it really is to be a human – controlling the face alone was far more than I could handle, as my frequent face explosions during my demo showed me. Playing Speaking Simulator was an equally hilarious and surreal experience, one that I can’t wait to experience in full when it releases on Switch and PC at the end of January.

PAX

Iron Danger

Iron Danger was one of my biggest surprises at PAX South. When I arrived at the Daedalic Entertainment booth for my appointment with Iron Danger, I didn’t expect to enjoy it half as much as I did. As a western-styled, point and click RPG, Iron Danger was outside my comfort zone. Yet the game is explicitly designed for players like me, who can feel intimidated by the immense amount of strategies and decisions that the genre requires. This is thanks to its core mechanic: time reversal. Perhaps this mechanic isn’t entirely unheard of in RPGs (Fire Emblem: Three Houses comes to mind as a recent example), but the way it’s implemented in Iron Danger makes all the difference.

It begins simply enough for an RPG. Your village is under attack, and as you attempt to escape to safety, you have the misfortune of dying. But death is only the beginning: just as you fall, a mysterious being blesses you with the ability to rewind time at any moment you’d like. That means that if you ever make a wrong move during combat, then you can reverse that decision and try something else. Time is divided up into “heartbeats,” which are measured in a bar at the bottom of the screen.  If you want to go back in time, simply click on a previous heartbeat. There’s no limit on how often you can use this ability: battles become a process of trial and error, of slowly rewinding and progressing as you discover what works. If you end up walking into an enemy trap, simply click back to the heartbeat before the ambush, and try a different strategy.

Iron Danger takes the stress out of roleplaying. RPGs are all about making decisions, and typically, making the wrong decision comes at a high price. But thanks to the time-reversal mechanic, Iron Dungeon gives you the room to experiment without consequence. As the developers at the booth explained to me, the ability to undo your actions turns Iron Danger into more of a puzzle game than an RPG. It’s all about evaluating your situation, the abilities at your disposal, the locations and actions of different enemies, and so on. And if everything goes wrong, then there’s nothing to worry about.

That doesn’t mean that Iron Danger will be too easy, however. Current indications point to the opposite. After I played through the tutorial, the developers took over and showed me an advanced, extremely complex level from later in the game, filled with deadly enemies and dynamic environments to consider, with fields that can catch on fire and explosive barrels to throw at enemies. You’ll have to constantly skip forward and backward in time only to survive. This combination of player-friendly mechanics and hardcore roleplaying combat is an exciting mix, extremely appealing for someone like myself who loves RPGs but doesn’t enjoy the stress that often comes with them.

Wildermyth

Wildermyth

In addition to video games, PAX South also had a substantial portion of the exhibit hall devoted to tabletop games – including, of course, Dungeons and Dragons. But if you wanted to experience D&D-style action without leaving the video game section of the expo, then Wildermyth perfectly fits the bill.

This new RPG is a hybrid between DnD storytelling and worldbuilding with XCOM-esque combat. Like D&D, it allows players to forge their own adventures and stories. Decisions during story events can impact everything from the way the larger story plays out to the weapons your character can use in each battle. Story sequences play out randomly, with events occurring differently depending on which enemies you’ve faced, which characters are in your party, which regions you’ve explored, and so on. It’s an extremely variable story, but with such adaptable writing, each story sequence feels natural, despite its apparent randomness. Instead, it should encourage replayability, to experience every possible story beat there is.

Wildermyth

Combat plays out in a grid-based strategy style, similar to games like XCOM. Each character is decked out with unique abilities of their own, and can interact with their environment dynamically. My favorite ability to experiment with was with the mage character, who can imbue environmental objects with magical abilities, such as attacking enemies who get close or inhibiting nearby enemies with status debuffs. I loved exploiting my surroundings and constructing the best strategies during my demo, and cleverly using special abilities like these will likely be key to strategically mastering combat later in the full game.

Like so many other games at PAX, Wildermyth also boasts of a visually distinct art style. The entire game is framed as a storybook; narrative sequences play out in comic book-like illustrations, and environments and characters consist of flat paper cut-outs in 3D surroundings. Pair this with a muted color palette and a simple, hand-drawn style, and Wildermyth has a quaint, comfortable art style that really supports the fairytale feel of the whole game. Currently available on Steam Early Access, the full game is set to release later this year.

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