Published by Adult Swim Games and developed by White Rabbit, Death’s Gambit is a punishing side-scrolling action RPG where skill and strategy are key and death being a familiar outcome with almost every boss fight. While Death’s Gambit was originally released more than 2 months ago back in August, but I’m only playing it now because my son has been playing it and describes the game as a 2-D Dark Souls. That’s saying a lot seeing as the Dark Souls series is very well received and liked by fans. After playing the first 30 minutes of the Death’s Gambit, I can see where the similarities are and also what makes Death’s Gambit unique in its own way.
Death’s Gambit raises you from the dead to wage war against the legendary immortals of Siradon, a vast, unforgiving land of dark forests, medieval ruins, frozen wastes and more. As an agent of Death itself, you’ll wield an arsenal of uniquely powerful weapons and abilities in wickedly challenging battles that demand quick thinking and tactics. Choose from seven playable classes, customize your champion with new gear and talents, and adapt a play style all your own to survive against the beasts, knights, horrors, and undying guardians of the realm that lay ahead.
Death’s Gambit starts off with you being raised from the dead after what seems like a horrific battle where all your comrades have been killed. Death is your savior and you, now an agent of Death itself. The first 30 minutes is basically “training” as the game will help you get your bearings and teach you how to play. I’m a big fan of when games have these tutorial style missions instead of just throwing you into a game and having you fend for yourself. This is a big help considering how punishing the game will be later down the line.
Gameplay is like you standard action platformer. There are a few environmental puzzles it seems that you’ll need to figure out to get to certain places as well as loot and other items to collect. Combat consists of mainly slashing and strong attacks as well as being able to block, roll, and jump. The combat is okay, but can feel a bit clunky and laggy at times. It’s not terrible though, you just have to learn the proper timing of things. Here’s where the game resembles Dark Souls. If you die, you end up dropping a lot of your items and you’ll need to go back to the place of your death to pick those items back up, otherwise you’ll lose them.
As for the RPG elements in the game, you’ll be able to collect loot and equipment in order to upgrade your player. That means better armor and weapons. Not only that, you’ll also be able to upgrade your skills and stats to further power up your player. Again, it has a lot similar to Dark Souls.
Speaking of which, the artwork gives off a very Dark Souls like feel to it. It’s very dark and moody and a lot of the backdrops remind me of Dark Soul type locations. What’s different however is that the graphics here look a bit pixelated and make use a more limited color pallet, but it all makes for a rather great looking game. Character designs looks really good and as do the animations. The audio is also very well done with almost full audio dialogs and an immersive soundtrack.
Ending on that note, Death’s Gambit is a pretty good game. While not perfect, fans of games like Dark Souls or Bloodborne I think will really enjoy this. Like my son said, he describes this as a 2-D Dark Souls and he’s not far off. The game is challenging and punishing if you don’t put in the effort, but if you do, you should find the gameplay quite rewarding and fun.
Received preview code from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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