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Steelrising Is Looking Like a Surprisingly Good Bloodborne Tribute (IGN.com)

Punished Miku

Gold Member
https://www.ign.com/articles/steelrising-preview-hands-on

More at the link. September 8th, 2022 release for Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 5, PC.



IGN said:
Developer Spiders is best known as something of a BioWare tribute studio. Its most successful game, GreedFall, is the latest in a modest line of RPGs that draw heavily upon the likes of Mass Effect and Dragon Age. But Spiders’ next game, Steelrising, is nothing like a BioWare game at all. Instead, it’s an ode to FromSoftware. Specifically, it is Bloodborne set in the French Revolution, with Yarnham’s beasts swapped out for Parisian clockwork robots. As a pitch, it sounds a little derivative (at least mechanically). But despite seemingly minimal innovations, playing Steelrising reveals something that has genuine promise.

At a recent hands-on event I was able to play around three hours of Steelrising, which covered the opening locations and the first major boss. Playing as Aegis, a clockwork automaton ballerina-turned-bodyguard, I explored a small variety of twisty rural village and Parisian city locations that knotted themselves together with shortcut routes. As I tore apart robotic enemies with blades and bullets I collected Anima Essence, a resource that I could use to upgrade my stats and improve my weapons, provided I didn’t lose it upon death. Upgrades were conducted at ‘Vestal’ checkpoints, which also refilled my health restoring oil burette with a fresh supply. If it’s not already clear, Steelrising plays exactly like a FromSoftware game.

IGN said:
It’s easy to be cynical about this. Where, exactly, is Spiders’ original work here? But look at FromSoftware’s own library, and it can often be difficult to see the difference between Demon’s Souls and Elden Ring. The Soulslike formula seems fated to remain as ‘pure’ as possible, and so it’s in the details that we find each new game’s differences. With Steelrising, those differences appear to vary in significance as well as quality.

Like Bloodborne, Steelrising is an action-RPG that promotes aggression. With only a few weapons that offer the ability to block or counter, this is a combat system in which you dodge and jump your way through incoming blows in an enjoyably mobile manner. While it's governed by the genre staple stamina system, when your endurance is exhausted you can rapidly cool your robot’s internal mechanisms with an active reload-like button press, which instantly tops your stamina up and throws you back in the fight. This is particularly helpful in mastering Steelrising’s staggering mechanic; give an enemy no reprieve and a diamond-shaped gauge will build to breaking point, allowing you to land a high-damage critical attack. These are minor tweaks rather than big changes to Bloodborne’s core, so consider this an alternate recipe to an already great meal, rather than a different dish entirely.

IGN said:
And yet, despite these flaws, Steelrising remained really engaging, at least in those opening hours. That satisfying combat with its oddly mechanical rhythm is accompanied by a beautiful, intricate ‘clockpunk’ art style, which sees the grandeur of Assassin’s Creed Unity blended with the ticking metal monsters of Doctor Who’s 2006 episode The Girl in the Fireplace. Aegis herself is a mechanical marvel, her weapons elegantly sliding out from body panels like a renaissance-era Robocop. Treasure chests click and whirr as their mechanisms pop into place, and the Vestal checkpoints clatter as their cages rise out of the ground to reveal the chairs that upgrade Aegis’ abilities. Despite its clearly modest budget delivering something that's far from a technical powerhouse, Steelrising powers through to deliver surprising good looks.

It was in my final task of the demo, a fight against the gargantuan Bishop of the Cité, where I could see all of Steelrising’s best ideas come together. The boss itself is an amusingly tiny cleric piloting a massive rolling pulpit; a Catholic Weeble, basically. It’s armed with a colossal Bible on a chain, swung in heavy arcs that are easy to dodge but lethal if you get complacent. The ball it rolls around on is impervious to damage, meaning you have to leap up to strike at the little bishop himself. That demands burning plenty of stamina, and so using the rapid cool mechanic to regain stamina is vital to chaining together the leaps, attacks, and dodges required to bring down this mechanical menace. It’s the combination of meshed combat systems and absurd alt-history fiction that makes Steelrising endearing to me despite its struggles. I doubt it’ll give Elden Ring a run for even its small change, but I’m nonetheless fascinated to see what other wild enemies and weapons remain to be found in the burning streets of Paris when Steelrising releases this September.
 

Pejo

Member
No dig against the developer here, you can tell they're passionate about this game, and I hope it finds an audience, but.....

You can tell this is another "souls-like" that copies the superficial stuff from the Souls games without really "getting" what makes them great to begin with. The atmosphere is off, the combat looks..ehh..

I'd argue those are two of the most important parts of a proper Souls game. This is going to end up like Mortal Shell, Surge, Code Vein, etc etc etc that gets the basic formula correct but doesn't nail any of the details.
 

Chukhopops

Member
Greedfall developer
Im gonna keep my expectations low here. Bloodborne was amazing for its architecture style (and I’m not even a huge fan of it) while Greedfall couldn’t even get proportions right for houses, everything felt like it was twice too big.
 

jaysius

Member
This is a $50 USD game, I think I'll still wait for GamePass though, it does look really janky.

Greedfall was incredibly fun and better than the last 2 Dragon Age games but there's a huge difference in DA mimicry and Soulslike mimicry.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
This is a $50 USD game, I think I'll still wait for GamePass though, it does look really janky.

Greedfall was incredibly fun and better than the last 2 Dragon Age games but there's a huge difference in DA mimicry and Soulslike mimicry.
I regret not trying Greedfall before it left GP ... yesterday lol.
 

FunkMiller

Member
I’ve yet to find a soulslike that comes anywhere near close to the real thing. Would love to see something that changes my mind.
 
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