Hyper Light Drifter encouraged a flow state. As you hacked and slashed through mysterious dungeons, you could chain together dashes and attacks in ways that made you want to master the game just so you could feel cooler. Solar Ash, the developer’s next game, looks to carry a similar set of ideas into 3D. A new trailer breaks down how it plays below.
Heart Machine’s Alx Preston describes it as a little like rollerskating. You shoop-shoop across a landscape, build speed via collectables, and chain movements together with jumps and grapples that allow you to traverse enormous environemnts.
When you come face to face with an enemy, the combat flows seamlessly from your sprinting, with beasties in the trailer above dispatched in just a couple of quick hits.
What the trailer doesn’t show, and what I wish it did, is what happens when you miss one of those jumps and fall 600 feet to the ground. I know I’m not going to be good enough to expertly flow through its environments first time, and traversal ought to be some source of challenge, but I want to know what my punishment is for not playing as well as a developer in a trailer. My guess is that I’d survive that 600 feet drop, but is it then a three minute journey back to where I was before?
The Pathless, a similar looking third-person action game from the makers of Abzu, solved this problem by partnering you with an eagle via which you could glide. Racing games have solved this issue with instant restarts or rewind features. Prince Of Persia (2008) memorably solved it by having a magic lady teleport in and catch your hand in mid-air. But a lot of the time third-person action games are just like, “nah, climb back up, loser.” Which, fair enough, but I want to know what I’m in for.
In any case, I look forward to falling off the backs of its giant boss monsters when it comes out on PC as an Epic Games Store exclusive.