Main character in Flintlock holding a flintlock pistol
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn Preview Impressions

Flintlock is an interesting spinoff to the souls-like genre.

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn demo is currently available on Steam, and I was offered a chance to play through a glimpse of the content of the full game. I will share my impressions below, which will hopefully help you gauge whether you should jump in on the full game this July.

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Without spoiling the story bits for you, I’ll try to simplify this as much as possible: Some evil otherworldly entities are out to get the world, and you have your trusty axe, musket, and a flintlock gun to fight off the evil hordes of enemies. Simple enough? Unorthodox enough? Sure! Now, I’ll sound like late Billy Mays when I say, “But wait, there’s more!” but there’s a board game as well. The Witcher has Gwent, and Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn has Sebo. Let’s go through the most important aspects of the game separately.

What are the Game Mechanics Like in Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn?

First of all, I am a keyboard and mouse player when it comes to this genre of games, and I do not see that changing in the near future. I actually did try it, and the problem is, I am not used to playing this genre of games with the controller, so it ended horribly, and I do not feel it would be right for me to comment on the technical parts of playing Flintlock with a gamepad. The developers wholeheartedly recommend that this game be played with a gamepad, though. If you have experience with Bloodborne, Elden Ring, and Dark Souls, this game is for you, and you will certainly adapt well.

The movement is completely fine, but there were some minor inconveniences in combat, where the game decided to prioritize an explosive barrel with a target lock function a few times, which was actually optimal play since that explosion blew up all of the nearby enemies to smithereens. The rest of the combat is also fine, and I have not encountered any technical issues. The downside was that I was destroyed in the process as well. This is a perfect moment to mention the death penalty in this game.

There’s a currency in Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn called “Reputation,” which you gain by performing cool moves in and out of the fights, finishing quests, beating characters in Sebo, etc. These are spent on purchasing new skills for your character, upgrades for your weapons, etc.

Now, when you die, you lose all of the unspent Reputation you have at the moment. Not to worry, you can recover it if you approach the place where you died, but without dying again, because in that case, the first “nod” is simply lost, so it might be dangerous to hoard these points. All in all, the tutorials provided to the player are thorough and will allow you to adapt to the game in no time. If you’re good with mechanics in Dark Souls, Elden Ring, etc., you’ll have a field day here.

The board game Sebo is a nice pastime, and a way to earn some quick Reputation points fairly easily. Resource gathering (Wood, Iron, etc…) is simplified, you don’t need separate tools or skills to gather resource nods.

What are the Graphics like in Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn?

Unfortunately, I am not entirely impressed with the level of graphics. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just… it’s 2024, and today’s standard (or expectations of, at least) is visibly higher than what I’ve seen in Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn, and I’d probably give it about 8 / 10. It sets the atmosphere just right with the color tone.

On the other hand, after checking the minimum system requirements for PC, I see that my old PC from 2015 would run it, so there’s the tradeoff that explains everything. In a sense, the graphics are great, given the level of hardware that’s necessary to support the presented level of the graphics. I mean, the game will be available on last-gen consoles as well, and if we dial it back to that generation of games, this is absolutely good to go, and I reckon that even the nitpickiest won’t dislike it. Optimization-wise, I had absolutely no issues, but I feel this might be redundant to even mention, given that my GPU is two generations ahead of the “Recommended” PC specs. (Or is it redundant? Many modern games start choking and lagging on high-end PCs.)

Is the Story in Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn Interesting?

Based on the demo, it sounds like a typical cliche along the lines of “Oh no, we did an oopsie and have awakened the ancient evil, and now, we have to grow stronger to kill it and put everything back in place before Mom gets home.” but I honestly want to hear the end of the story before I make my final judgment, because the demo doesn’t reveal much to be honest and it would be extremely ungrateful to rate the story positively or negatively based on the glimpse we could see in the demo.

The main story revolves around the fact that the hordes of the undead are coming into our world to get us, and during the tutorial, we accidentally shattered the gate between two worlds that acted as a seal, which enabled gods of varying power levels to come into our world and spread their influence. Of course, the “deity” you fight in the tutorial mercilessly obliterates you as a part of the story (but I guarantee that there will be that one gamer who will beat it and post it on YouTube eventually), and your quest begins.

Sadly, you can’t interact with many village NPCs (other than to beat them in Sebo), but there still will be side quests for you to enjoy if you want to take a step back from the main story. I reckon that many players don’t play this genre of games for the story, though. They’re just here to hack and slash and expect pristine combat experience.

Is it Worth Buying and Playing Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn?

The game is $36 on Steam right now, and this discount will remain until the last week of July 2024, at which point it will revert to $40. If you’re into this genre of games, definitely check it out, I know that I am eagerly awaiting the full release of the game. On Steam, at least, you can refund it if you haven’t played it for more than two hours, which should be more than enough to gauge if the game is for you or not if you are skeptical. Once again, if you’re a souls-like game fan, take it for a spin.

Read more on the game on our Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn guide hub.

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Nikola L
Nikola's been a member of GameSkinny since March 2024. He enjoys various game genres, but you'll most likely see him chasing quotas in Lethal Company with friends and grinding roguelike/roguelite games such as Vampire Survivors, Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor and Brotato. Loves 90s, driving, video making, and music.