Titan Souls: One hit level, one bow, one arrow, numerous deaths
Of the three key influences in Acid Nerve’s Titan Souls, From Software program’s Souls collection is the least apparent. The PS4, Vita and PC recreation is an instantaneous callback to prime-down Zeldas like A Hyperlink to the Previous, with its pixelated bow-wielding hero dueling with boss after boss hidden in room-like caverns. The bosses themselves are big, highly effective and assorted, and the very nature of a recreation through which you solely tackle bosses clearly takes inspiration from Shadow of the Colossus. These influences aren’t arduous to identify.
Your hero solely has one hit level and a single weapon, the bow and arrow. It is a components which on paper presents a problem that does not have a lot to do with the Souls video games in any respect. But there’s a key similarity, and it is what makes Titan Souls shine with a lot potential. Should you love a very good problem, Titan Souls ought to undoubtedly be in your radar.
The difficulties are very totally different in Titan Souls and the collection which shares the latter half of its identify. For all their cruelty, the Souls video games aren’t about punishing each single mistake with dying, they’re lengthy hauls constructed on exploration and character development. In Titan Souls you aren’t getting stronger, and you will solely ever have a bow and arrow. That is a single arrow, by the best way, that you must magically name again after you hearth it. Whereas the bosses all technically have only one hit level every, typically you must get previous armor of types earlier than you inflict injury. Your hero does not ever get armor; you all the time solely have one hit level. Should you’re hit you are lifeless, and it’s a must to begin that boss struggle from the highest.
There’s that quick WTF feeling at how robust Titan Souls is – that is not the Souls-like similarity, by the best way, and I am going to get to that later. However sure, Titan Souls is a bastard. The primary boss, a inexperienced bubble-like blob, bounced across the display as he appeared to squish me. The time I had between firing a shot and having to run and dodge a squish was minimal. It received tinier as I noticed profitable photographs have been solely splitting the blob into two time and again till there was a small military of smaller, faster blobs all bouncing round. It was like being a tiny bug inside a shoebox with a bunch of inexperienced leaping beans.
I died and I died, and I started to get annoyed at how powerless I felt. Motion was restricted to a jog and small rolls. The arrow’s analog stick purpose was delicate, exacerbating the precision required to land successful towards a foe who wasn’t staying put. I used to be additionally actually fighting the space and velocity of my sole arrow, which modified severely with how lengthy I held down the button to cost every shot. Additionally, having to remain nonetheless each to fireside the arrow after which make it return to me was painful. Holding down a button dragged the fired arrow straight to me, however I typically needed to let it drop again to the bottom mid-drag so I might roll out of the best way of one of many many squishy inexperienced goo-balls of on the spot demise. The one plus? The arrow might impression on its return journey in addition to when fired.
Dying six occasions in my first three minutes, it ought to’ve felt overwhelming. By the seventh demise I might by some means cut up the preliminary blob into about 9 smaller ones, however I did not know what I used to be now alleged to do to land that each one-necessary hit. One of many blobs crushed me, and I ought to’ve been crushed inside too.
But I used to be shortly acclimatizing to Titan Souls, and this is the place that similarity between it and the Souls collection lies: There is a easy rawness to each. Within the Souls video games, finally you’re the archetypal, Hyperlink-like hero. You could have a weapon, a defend, some magic and some different gizmos, and there isn’t any actual complexity to any of that. You swing your sword and also you block together with your defend, and when you do this nicely sufficient for lengthy sufficient, you’ll be able to beat a Souls recreation. For all of the traps and tips, it is that straightforward core that issues, and that is mirrored by the tough, awkward however tense fight that equally easy-but-troublesome basic journey video games have been constructed on. Like its namesake, Titan Souls is a uncooked check of talent.
Developer Acid Nerve might make the arrow firing much less talent-based mostly, much less exact and fewer awkward to make that problem extra palatable. However the place’s the enjoyable in that? This manner, the awkward approach, the focus wanted is amplified after which some. When the arrow misses – because it typically does – that try to tug it again is unsure and treacherous, however helpful since you’ll be able to nonetheless do injury. Since you’ve obtained one hit level, each single step, shot and roll is significant, however that may grate if the enemy had a great deal of hit factors too. Lastly, there’s the puzzle component to maintain you considering. With the bouncing blobs for instance, it is advisable spot that whenever you cut up the primary one into two, one blob retains the guts whereas the opposite is empty. Hit the spheres containing the guts sufficient occasions and it’ll flop out, and that’s the boss’ single hit level so that you can lastly hearth at and wipe out.
The strain grew once I lastly labored out what I used to be alleged to do, after which realized how onerous it was to do it, even with the straightforward instruments I needed to hand. I obtained shut a few times, however sadly it was one other participant who took the glory and eventually defeated the blobs, constructing on all my arduous work, the swine. Nonetheless, he’d proven it could possibly be completed.
I now needed to defeat as most of the bosses Acid Nerve had for me to attempt. There shall be 20 within the ultimate recreation, and I received to tackle the 5 the British workforce has created to date. I solely defeated two. I will not spoil how I beat them, however the two I felled included a big dice that flung itself like a bullet throughout a room, and one other, smaller dice that moved round a grid, rotating on its sides and firing a really extensive purple laser from a beady eye that was harking back to the equally laser-loaded statues discovered within the desert temple of A Hyperlink to the Previous. In each situations, the arrow that gained the battle needed to hit, in any other case I might have died the very subsequent second. Additionally, just like the inexperienced blobs, there was a puzzling component to each these fights.
Those I could not defeat, nevertheless, confirmed puzzling will not all the time be part of the boss fights, notably the brand new one Acid Nerve delivered to Gamescom. With this new boss, the target was clear: simply get one hit in anyplace on him. Sadly, he occurred to be an ice titan who might rain down a flurry of ice picks, chuck big snowballs straight at you, after which roll himself at you in the event you’d managed to outlive that lengthy. Simply discovering the time to fireside an arrow was robust, not to mention getting it on track.
It is a testomony to Acid Nerve that it is managed to create bosses that you simply simply need to hit as soon as and made them by some means so troublesome to beat. The problem the studio now faces is making all 20 bosses as robust because the 5 they’ve proven, and discovering a option to hold gamers on their toes purely via the boss designs. Can it maintain an entire recreation with sufficient selection given the self-imposed limitations? If the reply is sure, then Titan Souls ought to show to be a one-hit marvel – and I do not imply like Vanilla Ice – on the subject of PS4, Vita, Home windows, Mac and Linux in early 2015.
Tags: acid-nerve, devolver-digital, gamescom-2014, linux, mac, laptop, ps, ps-vita, ps4, titan-souls, vita