Steelrising, we tried the soulslike set during an alternative French Revolution

Steelrising, we tried the soulslike set during an alternative French Revolution


It is really difficult to understand what drives so many teams to try the soulslike path. Sure, making a video game is never easy, but when it comes to metroidvania or two-dimensional puzzle games, if nothing else, the technical requirements tend to be more manageable than average. A three-dimensional soulslike, on the other hand, is a title that requires extremely competent combat and level designers, difficult to balance and manage, and that has to contend with some stellar quality video games, led by an Elden Ring that has further raised the bar.

Yet, either for the charm of the structure of this sub-genre, or for the pity of hubris, someone periodically always tries to get into the mix with some variation on the theme. The last to have done it? The French Spiders, if only already active for many years and known for their fluctuating efforts in the field of action RPGs. In any case, one thing must be said: their Steelrising starts from stronger than average narrative and artistic bases, and it was certainly not impossible that, by learning from the mistakes of the past and exploiting the experience gained, the Spiders were able to come up with something sensibly above expectations. Only then we got to try Steelrising and the result ... well, we tell you about it in this handy article.

Long live the revolution! Too bad for how it went.

Steelrising: the dark Paris of the game really has a lot of charm The "strong" narrative we told you about simply derives from the Spiders' choice to refer to an alternative version of the French Revolution, in which the people of Paris were exterminated by a mad king Louis XIV thanks to an army of violent automatons. You, in this tumultuous era, take on the role of Aegis, the masterpiece of that De Vacaunson who built the horde of robotic monstrosities from which it all began, and are sent by the Queen herself to Paris to investigate what happened. and look for the rest of the royal family.

The premise is objectively fascinating, and goes well with a very different management of history compared to what is commonly seen in the souls; pity that the Spiders have put it in the field with a little ingenuity, starting with a tedious opening video with too much exposure, and continuing with a series of letters and testimonies scattered around the maps that do not seem to make the most of the possibilities altogether. Overall, however, it is a truly distinctive setting, which gives a bit of healthy uniqueness to the title and its "protagonist" and has been handled more than worthily from an art direction point of view.

The problems of the game, in fact, absolutely do not reside in the plot, nor in how its setting is managed. Unfortunately it is a mixture of technical and design shortcomings that have left us a bit dazed; and if on the one hand the former can still be fixed, the latter are less easy to solve. Let's start, for example, with the very poor optimization of the game, given that on a configuration armed with GeForce 3070 and with respectable components, the performances were literally among the worst ever seen using that PC.

If that wasn't enough, crashes during the demo were the order of the day, so there is clearly a lot of work to be done from a stability standpoint. Without wishing to be too negative, it is at least obvious that there is still a lot of cleaning work to be done, given that in the game there are also quite atrocious loading times, and the delayed loading of the textures of most of the titles in Unreal of the past decade. . Maybe the build we tested was not very recent, however the release is scheduled for September 8th and we don't think we have a lot of time to fix these flaws.

Swiss robot

Steelrising: this funny guy will really make you sweat ... as long as you don't decide to freeze him When it comes to combat, if nothing else, things quickly get more agreeable. Aegis can use fast and charged attacks, has a stat-based growth system beyond Dark Souls, and the game seems to boast a remarkable variety of weapons (these also have stat-related damage bonuses that work almost identical to what is seen in FromSoftware games. ). Each maneuver has a certain "weight" that gives a more than worthy physicality to the clashes, and the tools of death have very different sets of moves, which lead to completely change the style of play from one to the other.

Not only that, each weapon has special abilities ranging from shields to counter moves - passing through series of hits and elemental attacks - it is possible to equip two at the same time and switch between them, and there are even weapons from fire for those who</a> want to fight from a distance (despite requiring bullets that fall from killed enemies). This general complexity is further amplified when one considers that total stamina consumption prevents attacking for a few moments, and there are specific elemental weaknesses in the game that can give enormous advantages.

Steelrising: there is an elemental system in the game. It seems really abusable At first glance such a layered system seems like a boon, not to mention that Steelrising also offers a jump button for greater verticality of movement (and maps, consequently) and combat maneuvers in the air. When you go into more detail, however, you begin to notice the cracks in the metal. The elemental system mentioned above is in fact so badly balanced as to be abusable to say the least. We found an ice element rifle early in the game, only to find that virtually any early stage enemy, including bosses, could be frozen with a handful of bullets from a safe distance and then shredded with effortless combinations.

That wasn't enough, some enemies have attacks with mostly low range of action, and hitting them in the jump with certain weapons that can make you float for a few seconds (especially some weapons based on agility) is a great way to devastate them with very limited risks. Artificial intelligence doesn't help: the patterns of the crazed automata scattered around the maps are aggressive and sometimes have really annoying tracing moves to counter, but their behavioral routines sometimes crash or react badly to the simple proximity of the protagonist. It's a shame, because by better adjusting the systems and working a little on artificial intelligence, Steelrising would have fully convinced us from this point of view. But the oversights are marked, especially for a longtime souls player. If nothing else, there is an "assist mode" in the game that can literally nullify the difficulty, for those who have been complaining about this lack in the genre for some time; as mentioned, however, we do not believe that an experienced player will have great difficulty in advancing, given the hiccups of the system.

Steelrising: the diversification of weapons is respectable, and they also boast unique abilities It doesn't go much better even with the maps. The jump, in fact, led the Spiders to insert platforms and elevated passages in the maps, but when you go to evaluate the actual level design the limitations of the team appear evident. Practically the whole map of Paris (the second one immediately after the tutorial) is just a set of corridors and squares positioned in a circle and connected by basic shortcuts. The only variations on the theme are dead ends with an extra chest or enemies at the end, for a really mediocre overall quality that doesn't particularly push you to explore. | who knows then that things will not improve, even if we find it hard to believe by observing the simplicity of the morphology of the locations visited.

Overall? It's a bit of a waste, because there is undoubtedly a brilliant concept behind the game, coupled with a combat system with great potential. However, the shortcomings of the team have clearly made themselves felt on the production, and we find it difficult to believe in a significant transformation or evolution at launch.

Even with a very intelligent concept and a combat system full of respectable systems, Steelrising it seemed to us a soulslike plagued by multiple ingenuities that neither significantly lower the quality. Sure, we've only seen the first part of the game and it's too early to give it up, but on the whole we doubt it can suddenly position itself on the peak of this complicated genre. We will evaluate it in more detail when we have the complete code in our hands.


Very interesting concept, also from a narrative point of view. which lower the overall quality The demo tested was really badly optimized Did you notice any errors?

Powered by Blogger.