Unveiled at Gamescom 2022 Opening Night Live, Atlas Fallen aims to bring a lot of action to the screen. We’ve seen it in motion and here’s what we can expect.
During the Opening Night Live which anticipated the 2022 edition of the Gamescom in Cologneamong the new games shown to the general public, Atlas Fallen, one of the new projects of Deck 13 who, on the occasion of the event, had limited himself to showing off himself with a long and intense trailer in computer graphics. Of those that make you understand little or nothing about the type of project actually being developed.
However, among the areas reserved for exhibitors and press of the huge German fair, we had the opportunity to attend the presentation of the game: a meeting that allowed us to see the title in motion, with real gameplay, and that also gave us allowed to deepen a whole series of details and information regarding its main characteristics.
Within this Atlas Fallen preview we will therefore try to take stock of the situation and to underline what to concretely expect from the project by giving, among other things, a series of confirmations and considerations on the style of play and on the mechanics that emerged during the presentation video adequately commented by one of the developers present on site.
So let’s start with the most important information: Atlas Fallen is an action role-playing game set in a semi open world that keeps a safe distance from soulslike mechanics and indeed tends to offer a style of play much closer to the rhythm and feedback of a God of War or a Horizon: Forbidden West. Let it be clear that we are not the ones to say it having not been able to use a pad in first person, but Deck 13 wanted to mention it from the beginning of the presentation to avoid any misunderstanding. Among other things, we are not faced with a title with an immense budget and an enormous production level, but rather the goal of the software house is to offer a pleasant Double A that can entertain for about twenty hours in great fluency with pure action. and the right amount of technicalities.
A semi open world?
This was the definition used by the developers to explain Atlas Fallen’s exploratory framework. The progression of the game will, in fact, be marked by the passage through different regions which, a little in the MMOG style to the World of Warcraft and a little in the metroidvania style, will provide both a physical shift from one area to the next, and a concrete change of level of enemies faced, and the need to get your hands on some form of advanced power-up or specific skill. The result will be the need to change area in order to continue with the narrative arc in a way that, while always keeping the possibility of retracing your steps active, will strongly discourage you by not offering a concrete usefulness if you decide to do so.
The goal of the game, in fact, is not to dramatically enhance your character by carrying out hours of grinding, but to go on with the fights while acquiring improvements and unlocking new skills, all by exploring the large area that distinguishes. each zone. There will be differences of biomes and also of extension between one region and the next, with sections where the visual horizon will be lost visibly, such as the desert one shown in the trailer in computer graphics, but also smaller areas with more restricted borders, one of which which will propose a sort of underground city to be explored vertically in the style of what is often seen in soulslike.
There will also be dynamic and random events that will periodically populate this one partial open world and which will show the side of the co-op nature of the title. Atlas Fallen is, in fact, an action that can be entirely played alone with a lot of satisfaction, but the goal of Deck 13 is to also offer a valid challenge for those who are willing to play with a friend. The whole campaign includes the dynamic opt-in and opt-out to enter and exit the game of an acquaintance on the fly by sharing the progression of the game and the loot collected, but with two important limitations.
First you need to be in the same area to join the game and, secondly, the game requires the 2 friends to be similar in terms of character advancement. If the 2 avatars have a level too far from each other, the possibility of entering the co-op will always remain valid, but there will be no progression in the story: at the end of the sharing of the adventure, the progress will be automatically lost. All this to avoid problems of balance and the dynamic of “carrying” which in a title like this, with strong narrative traction, would make the feeling of progress lose its bite.
A very action combat system
As already mentioned at the beginning of the article, Atlas Fallen is far from being considered a soulslike, indeed, the developer’s idea is to offer gameplay and a combat system that are so complex and layered, but without exceeding, to try to maintain that dynamism and “lightness” typical of adventure and action role-playing games. The 2 touchstones cited by Deck 13 are the Horizon and the God of War soft reboot. In the opinion of the writer, however, there are many more similarities with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, obviously leaving aside all the component of the acquisition of Zelda-style powers on which much of the progression of the title of the late 38 Studios was based.
Going into the details of the combat which, we repeat, we have not yet been able to try firsthand, Atlas Fallen provides a mixture of attacks based on 3 different weapons that are summoned and exchanged on the fly through the glove that grants the power to control the sands. We will therefore be able to strike with a very fast dagger that if necessary “stretches” becoming a sort of whip that can also act as a grappling hook, or switch to medium-distance combat with a claw blade or, again, perform very slow attacks but also extremely powerful, managing the sand to take the shape of a hammer.
The 3 offense tools differ in attack speed and range of action but, above all, they allow you to manage combos in such a way as to take advantage of an additional Atlas Fallen proprietary mechanic: the momentum. Highlighted by a special bar superimposed, this momentum identifies our ability to correctly alternate the different transformations of the glove to ring combos; furthermore, as we fill the indicator, we will have access to special moves that we can unleash on the unfortunate enemies on duty. There are 2 further elements interconnected to this mechanic: first of all, each offense tool is able to increase the momentum in different quantities, for example the whip is the most effective, whereas the hammer is the one that offers the best blows to “unload “how much collected. At the same time, the increase in the indicator also brings an increase in our vulnerability that will constantly force us to evaluate the right moment to take advantage of the bonus to avoid suffering too much damage if unfortunately we are hit.
Another element of Atlas Fallen that appeared interesting to us is the large one rapidity of movement of the protagonist who further distances the title from other themed action: between jumps, double jumps, the possibility of performing in flying dodges and surfing on the sand, it seems there is really ample space to move easily on the battlefield and all this also contributes a camera positioned much further away than the canons of the genre.
However, we must say that not everything seemed to shine brightly as the title betrays its double A aspiration with a degree of cleanliness not up to what we would have imagined before attending the presentation, also considering the release. exclusive on the current-gen, namely PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X | S. But on the other hand there is still time to be able to fix the title, given that outside of a generic 2023, Atlas Fallen is without a precise release date and it is never said that a first-person test can surprise us. about hit feedback and combat system performance.
It is really a pity that Atlas Fallen has only seen a spectacular, but decidedly vague, trailer in computer graphics considered as there seem to be several good elements in the gameplay of this new project signed Deck 13. We are in fact in front of an action RPG focused on a combat system that wants to move away from the soulslike stereotype to offer something more immediate, fun and light. If the project succeeds in its intent, it is still too early to say, having not been able to play it in first person, but we can say that what we have seen, even with some reservations on the technical front, is not to be underestimated.
- The dynamics to give depth to the combat system are interesting
- There is a lot of speed and variety in the protagonist’s movements
- Single player, coop and double A production: a good mix could come out without too many pretensions
- To evaluate the feedback and the accuracy of the shots
- Outside of the desert setting we don’t know what else we can expect
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