Pylon: Rogue (PC)
This hardcore game from indie developer Quantum Squid Interactive was quite a fun rogue-like with inspiration from Diablo and Birth of Issac series. This top down twin stick shooter game has diverse enemies, zones, and loot in a procedural generated world every time you go in. There were a couple of classes with multiple options for weapons for each class to use. I tried a few of the classes (the warrior-ish type class called the Moneydin, the bruiser called the Golem, and the Ranger class) and my favorite was the Golem because of his survive-ability and mix of long range and short range attacks. I was given the option of a stone, ice, or fire Golem and I went with the ice option.
Each time you start you are put into a procedurally generated zone that you don’t get to choose from. It could be the jungle or the desert and the last area as described to me by the dev was a cave zone. In order to beat the game you must clear all three zones. These zones consist of clearing four levels and then a boss. I was fairly terrible at the game and only cleared one level with the Golem and even that was after I died multiple times with the warrior and ranger. The game has a learning curve for sure and it was really the first rogue-like I have ever played so it was fairly difficult but I was getting better and better as my time went along.
There are some great upgrades to be found in the town when you are in between zones and the combination possibilities sound fantastic. I found an upgrade that would allow me to use the abilities of both the fire and ice Golem but it cost 75 more gold than I had at the time. There are stackable upgrades and gear slots to fill which will make for a game that is replayable along with all the classes you can choose from. Pylon: Rogue releases later this month so keep an eye out for it on the Steam Store.
Archangel (PC, PS4)
This VR game was being presented by and promoted by Oculus so it was partly there to promote the game and partly there for the hardware. VR is one of those things that has its flair and I can see the draw for people who are willing to spend the money it takes to get invested. The immersion is there, but unfortunately Archangel didn’t seem to create a world that was worth being immersed in.
The graphics and sound were impressive and as I said the ability to view it all on a VR headset and look around creates an immersive experience. However the game play that I experienced was very lackluster. This is a “on rails” type of shooter where the mech you are in moves itself from hot spot to hot spot and you take out all the enemies along the way. It’s frustrating to find yourself in the cockpit of an enormous and powerful mech that you don’t actually get to drive. The guns and missiles are fun to fire off, you have a machine gun in your right hand and missiles on your left. The problem is that with these armaments enemies are dispatched much too quickly. I’ll concede that Archangel could become more difficult later in the story but the demo experience was too easy and provided very little urgency or excitement.
I want to like games like this. I totally understand those fantasies people have with driving a mech, but I don’t think this is going to be the title to scratch that itch.
Battle Chasers (PC, PS4, Switch, XBOX)
Airship Syndicate is dropping a fresh new turn-based RPG on October 3rd for all current consoles and PC (Even Mac). The first thing that stands out is the art style and animations. Beautifully rendered animations during combat make every move and character stand out. There are six characters to choose from, but only three can join you in a dungeon. The characters vary in their abilities that they can use. There are abilities for each character inside and outside of the instance combat. As you run around you will see enemies approach you and you can use abilities that will effect the fight that is coming up. For example I hit an enemy with a ground slam with the tank character before the instanced battle started and then when the instanced combat started the enemies were stunned for the first turn giving my team the advantage on attacking.
Battle Chasers has a lot to offer, great artwork, amazing attack and character animations, crafting and gear options, great music, and character customization through perks. There was a lot to experience in the 20 minutes I had with the game and every bit was filled with great information. This game is actually the concluding entry in a comic series from the late 90’s written by Joe Madureira. There are nine comic books out that left off on a major cliffhanger that remained unresolved until now. The developers made sure to let me know that you won’t have trouble comprehending the story without reading the comics but we will see how that plays out on release.
This was one of the most polished and beautiful looking games at PAX and the wide array of consoles you can play this game will likely produce success for this pioneer project for Airship Syndicate.