Eldest Souls E3 2019 Preview: Praise the Boss Rush
Eldest Souls is an upcoming pixel-art, Dark Souls inspired RPG from developer Fallen Flag Studios. In the world of Eldest Souls, the Old Gods have been imprisoned, letting humanity prosper until they seek their revenge by causing a great desolation throughout the world, destroying flourishing resources farmland and rivers.
Because of this, there was a Great Crusade sent to slay the Gods, but they have mysteriously disappeared. The task of disposing of the Old Gods once and for all and bringing humanity back to its former glory now falls upon a single warrior.
Eldest Souls takes place in the Citadel, a long-forgotten and expansive temple which also serves as a prison for the Old Gods. Without having minions of their own to serve them outside of their cages, the bosses in Eldest Souls are currently fought in a boss-rush format, somewhat reminiscent of Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption.
The only things players have to worry about when traveling between boss locations are harmful obstacles that could ultimately lead to their demise if they aren't paying attention or time traversals correctly.
Each boss a player defeats will give them talents they can use to enhance their combat skills. While talents are rather basic as of now and only given to players by certain bosses, larger bosses have shards, which grant players new abilities themed after the defeated boss.
Players have three talent trees to enhance: offense, defense, and agility. Each of these has three branches of its own. Because only some bosses grant these talents to the player, it's not possible to unlock and complete every branch in one playthrough, increasing the game's replayability factor.
Besides the player and boss characters, there are also a number of NPCs to talk to throughout the Citadel. While some will offer more generic rewards for helping them, others will give more unique rewards. The developers said they are even planning scenarios where players must choose between NPC tasks.
For those who enjoy tougher experiences, gaining new items and abilities in Eldest Souls is completely optional, and the game can be finished without them. For those who prefer an even greater boss-rush experience, this means exploration between bosses is also completely optional, putting more emphasis on the game's fast travel locations.
Although the combat in Eldest Souls is quick, the timing seemed a touch brutal in my time with it. Whether that's due to the demo being an early build or the game is set to employ a devastating pixel-perfect gameplay style, the quick dodge must be timed perfectly with no hiccups to avoid damage and death.
The demo weapon also seemed just a little slower than it should have been, although increasing the agility stat over time may be exactly what solves this problem.
In addition to a basic attack and quick dodge, there is also a charge attack which gives you increased damage as well as a rage buff the longer the corresponding button is held, increasing one of your stats. However, we'll have to wait and see how such a mechanic will ultimately influence moment-to-moment combat and strategy.
Eldest Souls may have a few small problems which might be intentional and fixed in later areas, but giving players a challenging boss rush with optional exploration and enhancements sounds just like what players have been waiting for.
Eldest Souls is currently in its alpha phase of development.