'Death's Gambit' Is Side-Scrolling Action-RPG Cocktail Of 'Dark Souls' And 'Shadow Of The Colossus'

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The Souls games, which includes From Software's cult hits "Demon's Souls," "Dark Souls" and "Dark Souls 2," are a slap in the face of modern AAA videogames. These games lack their big budget rivals' fancy graphics, snazzy cinematics, Hollywood inspired story arc, and elaborate marketing. Yet, they have garnered a cult status and both critical as well as commercial success solely on the weight of their gameplay and innovation. Needless to say, this meteoric success has spawned an entirely new sub-genre of videogames dubbed as Soulslike games, which try to embody the uncompromising difficulty and superlative gameplay of their inspiration.

"Death's Gambit" is one such Soulslike game set in the 2D plane, according to PC Gamer. It is described as a side-scrolling action RPG featuring a combat style that's reminiscent of Souls games. The action RPG, however, goes a bit further than other copycats of its kind. In addition to incorporating the basic skeletal structure of Souls gameplay, it borrows the epic gargantuan set-pieces from Sony's iconic "Shadow of the Colossus." For those who haven't played the cult classic PS2 game, it entails finding and killing towering colossi. The only way to do that is climbing atop the lumbering juggernauts and targeting their weak points.

Some of the bosses in "Death's Gambit" will force players to take a more "Shadow of the Colossus" approach by climbing atop them using the grappling hook. One of the bosses shown in the game trailer appears to be an ice giant featuring several grappling points and alcoves that enable the player to latch on and maintain footing. Like "Dark Souls," defeating these bosses will be pivotal to unlocking progression and this entails opening up multiple pathways.

The 2D RPG with platforming elements surprisingly isn't linear in its level design and progression. This is intriguing considering the limitation of its two-dimensional perspective. "Death's Gambit" will feature multiple pathways and, like its inspiration, the game will not have any means of handholding players through the "correct" path. Players will have to learn the best way to progress through trial and error.

The game's official FAQ page and trailer leads one to believe that combat basically employs the same basic elements from the Souls games. This includes blocking, attacking and dodge-rolling tied to a stamina bar. Like "Dark Souls" gamers will have to be careful and precise in their attacks and time them well to achieve success. According to the developer, weapons will include guns as well as melee instruments, in addition to magic abilities. Players can arm themselves with three abilities, two weapons and one healing items simultaneously.

"Death's Gambit" is being developed by an independent studio called White Rabbit, which is a four-man team comprised of a programmer, designer and animator who double up as artists, in addition to a music composer. The details on the game are sketchy with no word on when it will hit Steam's Greenlight programme or if there will be a console version. The developers haven't confirmed if it will include online component, or even if there are any plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to add new features.

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Death's Gambit Official Reveal Trailer (credit: Whites Rabbit)

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