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Friday, March 6, 2015

Early Access: Oblitus

So I guess I'm starting up a new thing here. Early Access is going to (obviously) look at early access games on Steam. The point being is that I either feel these games are in a state which, while being unfinished, I cannot definitively pin a static score to. That is to say if I either feel a game has some untapped potential in the early access list, I feel it would be 'unfair' of me to evaluate all I've seen/played so far.

Oblitus is an early access game I never heard about. Literally. I just happened across a Youtube video... somehow, about it. The game is supposed to be '2-D Dark Souls', which I can kind of see. Nameless faceless protagonist you are, you have been given a loose directive to find... someone. This objective now tasks you to kill things/avoid being killed by things. I... kind of like it. The immediate problem is not knowing what the hell is going on. After the ten minute loading screen (yes, ten minutes) I was dropped into the main menu and then into the game after a short tutorial. You have a shield and a spear. Pretty standard stuff. You have a variety of moves, mostly just in poke with spear, throw said spear, block, parry, roll and jump.
Progressing into the game you may find small 'power ups'. Said power ups will give you different bonuses. However, as I've seen, these bonuses don't stay once you die and they don't come back with you once you die. First run I got heavy armor. Second run was a poison spear. Third was a spear that went through enemies. And last was an invincibility roll. This is kind of annoying. I don't mind not being able to take said items with me when I respawn but the problem is that I have no idea what said items do. In Dark Souls, I may take a risky path in order to get that one item that is just the most awesomest thing ever and not care about dying once I get it. In Mario, die and your power ups are forfeit. The difference is with Dark Souls and Mario, each of those power up are in static places. So if I was a Mario savant, I know exactly where to get the next mushroom and then fire flower. I can accurately go forward knowing full well what is going to happen. Randomized rewards are... interesting. They keep game play blind like in The Binding of Isaac. I have no idea if said power up was worth having my health shaved off.
Back to not being told stuff, you have a health bar riiiight in the top left hand corner. Difficult to see and since its not numbers, its hard to know how much life you actually have. Its a circle that empties itself when you take damage. Goes from green to yellow to red. Pretty standard. Apart from that, there's a moment when the damage I took led to me having almost no life bar. I mean in the sense it was either so low it was outside of my 20/20 vision, or some problem with the resolution obscured it. When I fought a boss after getting the heavy armor, my damage didn't seem to change at all. I seemed to still take the same amount so I was unaware if it did much of anything at all.

The game shows promise. I feel there's a lack of focus on certain aspects, but the game is playable so there's that. Combat is interesting and definitely has a 'think first' motif. Each enemy varies in how you must deal with them. Some easy enemies will be clunked in with harder enemies so you have to use your moves perfectly to survive unscathed. If this game was finished, I'd probably buy it. I do like the atmosphere and handling of certain things, so I'd say its not bad.

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