Death’s Gambit Review
Have you ever had a bad day where things seem to never go your way? We all have those kinds of days and for this lone soldier, it is now his turn to have that moment. You are Sorum a resurrected warrior deemed a coward who was assumed to be playing dead, but you were all dead only to have made a deal with death in which you signed in blood a future favor that is not yet disclosed. Here is where we start our deaths journey in this review of Death’s Gambit.
“Death is just the beginning, not the end!”
In this particular game you have to choose your class and yes I am going right into gameplay first as the story plays out the more you die. You have the choice of 7 different class styles, but I chose the Sentinel as my class of choice since it is an all-around style of a warrior. Depending on your stats you will be able to use certain weapons properly, but so far I have stuck with the greatsword and arrows. So far I have unlocked an Axe, Scythe, and spear which require my attributes to be in a certain level.
When it comes to combat you will utilize the square as your weapon 1 attack and R2 for weapon 2. If you use dodge or jump you can perform a different attack. There will be extra powered abilities to utilize as well with the Triangle button solo or combined with L2. However, you need some defense as well as evasion where you can use L1 as a shield and circle to dodge. If you combine L1 (shield) and R2 you can perform a kick that is great against shielded enemies.
Think you can handle that? Be careful, because it is not something you can spam as you do have a Stamina meter under your health gauge. Death’s Gambit has a Dark Souls feel to it where you learn from your failure as you have to tread carefully in areas not to run into too many enemies as being overwhelmed will have dire consequences. The enemies are unique and all feature annoying attacks that will work against being that some can deal with you in close and from a distance. All the enemies feel as if they are sub-bosses at that, but you will gain shards with each kill you have and can use that to level up Shorum or reclaim feathers that will heal your character.
Here is where your failures will be your lessons as when you die you leave a plume behind but keep the shards in your death. There will be death totems where you save, heal, level up and boost feathers. So, it is okay to die an die you shall a lot.
Now, when it comes to a boss fight you can find books that will give you information on them and a perk against them. So, explore the world and look in every area as you might find secrets or accidentally steer into a Bosses den. Yea, do not expect much of a map in this game as it is just about you blindly walking around facing off against an opposition and potentially running into a Boss which then you just press on if you can defeat them just getting a bit stronger.
The game has a classic retro feel that I enjoy as it reminded me of Castlevania SOTN with a deep RPG feeling as well as the Rogue Like appeal that many will enjoy if they love a challenge. The memories that you obtain are a great touch especially when it happens after you die a few times, you will get more of a backstory that will be collected throughout the game. There is also a Limbo area that starts off pleasant and then becomes a nightmare after a while.
The music sets a proper mood in each area of the game and the sound effects of combat are one of my favorites. I have to say that is enjoyable to have the rest of the NPCs in the cut-scenes have voice-overs, but you lend a voice to Sorum yourself.
Honestly, games of this genre are not really myself, I get the challenge of it but I feel as if I am just punishing myself in unfair conditions. This is one example in an earlier boss fight against Thundra Lord Kaern, pretty much looks like the Lich demon, but you have to fight it on a balanced stage that can tip over to each side. It gets even worse as you near each level of its health with Ice barriers you get trapped in and many other hazards. Even though you do learn to get stronger the number of deaths you gain can get annoying and there is even a trophy for reaching fifty deaths.
Some of the controls make it even worse at times where it can get a bit clunky or the response is a bit laggy. This is definitely a game made for a masochist, but that is the genre that is happening now.
White Rabbit did a pretty good job on their side-scroller action RPG rogue-like title with a pretty decent story and pretty good amount of replay value. I am continuing on because there is a deep story involved with Sorum’s family and why he became a warrior in the first place and if this is actually his own personal hell or is the world just screwed up. There are a lot of factors that deal with a lot of questions where many interesting characters seem like allies, but might only be there as punishment. As stated it is not my particular genre of choice, but it is a popular style that is happening to a lot of games where your death is how you learn and gain experience.
I give Death’s Gambit 3.5 paws out of 5 and it is now available for the PS4 and Steam Marketplace for PC. Check it out and I do hope you have the patience for the deaths and enemies. – Beast Out –