Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn, a preview from Gamescom focused on the combat system

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn, a preview from Gamescom focused on the combat system


Announced earlier this year and then detailed at the Xbox & Bethesda conference in June, Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is a title that has captured the attention of a large group of players since the very first sequences in motion. Created by the same team that brought Ashen, an action role-playing game with a particularly refined look and a very fascinating setting, to the market, the new project seems to strongly demonstrate the remarkable production progress made by the guys at A44 Games over the span of a few years: this work seems to aim much higher, thanks to the publishing of Kepler Interactive and, in addition to arriving on all platforms at the same time at the beginning of next year, it offers a much more current and layered game structure.

It is not only a question of depth of gameplay, but also and above all of deepening the world in which the events are set: just take a look at the trailers or read the first information distributed to realize that this time the team wants to give even more space for the mythology that underlies the events narrated, offering players a more full-bodied and consistent scenario.

We have talked at length in the first special dedicated to Flintlock, just on the occasion of its reveal and we invite you to read that article if you want to know more in detail the narrative and "geographical" background of this project, or even just want to have some details on the 2 protagonists.

In this preview from Flintlock's Gamescom 2022 we will instead focus on a handful of sensations and impressions related to the combat system and the open world nature of the title: elements that we were able to deepen during a presentation behind closed doors to which we witnessed during Gamescom 2022 and that allowed us to see Flintlock in action played before our eyes by one of the developers. Of course, we would have liked to have been able to try it firsthand, but unfortunately you can't always want everything and so we, first of all, had to be satisfied.

An original open world

Nor, the protagonist of Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn Basically, we repeat it again, Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is an open world action role-playing game strongly based on soulslike mechanics, not so much in the precision of the shots and the maniacal need to perform in dodging and parades, as well as in the characterization of enemies and bosses who all require a healthy dose of study and management of attack and defense patterns. At first glance is the setting that tries to combine a layer of realism with scenarios, flora and fauna based on New Zealand with numerous more or less modern fantasy and mythological elements that try to combine with a strange dissonance, magic, divinity, firearms and medieval edged and blunt weaponry.

Although most of the gameplay dynamics and a large selection of offense tools already know, this strange union between elements so discordant and difficult to find in a single game, make it a project with an aesthetic aspect and action components, if not really unique, at least very original.

At our commands we will have Nor, a slender and muscular girl, forged by his work as a engineer who, together with a large group of rebels, has chosen to launch an unequal war against the divinities who have chosen to invade his native world. In the first battle between the two factions, Nor's group is defeated and the few survivors are forced to disperse and take refuge in voluntary exile.

However, Nor's desperate prayers are eventually heard by Enki, a sort of minor deity who appears in the strange guise of a fox able to teleport, emit energy and communicate telepathically with our protagonist. Among other things, performing in particularly daring and brazen dialogues. This fledgling and strange couple will try to unite the rebels in an attempt to take revenge and deal a fatal blow to the gods who are setting fire to their homeland.

A quick but deep combat system

While Nor fights, Enki keeps an enemy immobilized. All the peculiarities of the Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn gameplay are generated by the dynamism of the 2 main figures. First of all, only Nor will be directly at our commands while Enki, in addition to moving on the battlefield independently, can be managed by selecting an opponent within the frame and then activating the skills of the fox. Among these we have noticed shots executed in rapid succession capable of interrupting the attack sequences of the opponents and a sort of stasis with which Enki can temporarily hold an enemy immobilized so as to leave him at the mercy of our blows.

By as for the attacks of our avatar, the mix proposed by Flintlock appears decidedly very dynamic, despite the soulslike roots already mentioned. Nor is, in fact, equipped with a boarding ax that allows her to deliver light and powerful blows, but also to disarm and literally detach pieces of armor and shields from the opponents. Honestly, it's not very clear if we'll be able to change this main weapon or we'll just be able to upgrade it over the course of the game, but from what little we've seen, the hit combinations still appear to be enough to guarantee a good variety of attacks. >
In addition, the same edged weapon will also serve to parry any opponent's assaults with the inevitable dynamic of the perfect parade that can be activated with the right timing, leaving the opponents stunned and therefore ready for our finish. The second weapon used is a gun instead. Initially we will have a revolver with us, but on this front the developer has already promised several variations on the theme with more "automatic" weapons capable of firing several shots in a row and, on the contrary, much more powerful single-shot weapons for ranged combat. or close together. An example is the shotgun seen in a boss battle in the recent trailer.

Nor's revolver is also perfect for finishing off an enemy The combination of melee weapon and gunshot generates a ballet which becomes one of the characteristic elements of Flintlock's combat system with Nor who alternates with great rapidity blows at close range and shots useful to finish a downed enemy, or he launches into a clash by firing as soon as the opponent enters the frame so as to already remove a large amount of energy from an opponent before attacking him with the ax. There are also dodges that seemed particularly long and extremely fast while brand new for the genre is a sort of finish that reminded us a lot of the glory kills of DooM: after inflicting enough hits on an enemy, it remains in a sort of stasis while his body turns gold and orange. At that point we will have to be fast enough to get close to start an attack sequence that inevitably ends with his death.

Something similar seems to happen even during the clashes with the most armored enemies and the main bosses, that is the deities who keep the various areas of the game world in check. During these battles the main dynamic consists in disarming the opponent and then starting to dismantle his defenses piece by piece, whether they are shields or armor, so as to leave the weak points exposed or, simply, to slow down and make his assaults less effective. .

As if all this were not enough, Nor is able to move within the zones with a sort of short-distance teleportation that is configured as the most classic of the shortcuts of From Software's works: by adequately exploring the areas and freeing them from enemies, we will be able to make luminous triangles appear in the sky that will allow us to hover in the air thanks to the powers of Enki so as to cover large spaces in a moment or even reach previously inaccessible areas. Among other things, at the end of the teleportation, finding ourselves in the air we will be able to land on any opponents with a thunderous crash on the ground that is configured as an area hit.

A little soulslike, a little Classic RPG

In the caravan that will accompany us we will find many very characteristic characters We have not yet said everything about Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn. For example, we didn't go into the details of the bonfires and save points of the game. Also in this case we note the inspiration of the most classic soulslike, but there is no lack of the new element grafted by the guys of A44 Games. In fact, we will find the inevitable fires where we can rest but these will, in practice, of two different types. There will be major bonfires that will involve the movement of the rebel caravan that will follow us throughout the adventure allowing us to buy new equipment and collect main and secondary quests, but there will also be minor shelters that will simply allow us to save our progress and start again in case of premature death.

The respawn of the opponents will obviously also be present, but strongly mitigated by the management of the open world and its liberation from the influence of evil deities. In some cases, in fact, cleaning a structure or a camp from the enemy presence will result in its restoration in favor of the inhabitants of the game world and therefore, once the bonfire inside it has been used, we will no longer have to worry about the opponents, but rather we can safely walk in an area that has returned to popular with citizens and benevolent people.

There is instead an element that brings Flintlock closer to the more classic RPGs and that is Nor's skill management. Unfortunately, we have not been given the opportunity to observe the talent tree in detail, but the developer has confirmed that we will be able to evolve the protagonist along 3 different branches: one completely focused on melee fights and which best embodies the soulslike soul. of the game offering players ample room to engage in technical and challenging combat. Then there will be talents focused on firearms more suitable for those who prefer to attack from a distance and, perhaps, try to heavily weaken the opponents before the clash becomes close. And finally there will be the branch of magic that, implicitly, will empower Enki by giving the fox more powerful and lasting assaults but also, apparently, further magical abilities acquired by killing the various deities in a style that could almost transform Flintlock into a rosewater metroidvania.

The world of Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn should be very vast. original way and, above all, very promising. The only thing missing, at the moment, is a precise release date as Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn will arrive on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Series S | X early next year, even on the Game Pass. . When, exactly, we still don't know.

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is full of features borrowed from soulslike and action RPGs that it tries to bring together in the frame of an artistically very interesting open world. The combat system appears dynamic, fast, fun but also very technical and layered and the continuous alternation between melee shots, shots and magic useful to distract the enemies, could help make this title much more original than the sum of its individual parts. can give hope. Clearly there are still many elements missing to be able to judge in detail the new work of A44 Games, first of all the possibility to play it, but we cannot hide that we have marked the title in our agenda of special guards because it could turn out a really interesting title.


The game world is inspired The combat system The dynamics between the two protagonists DOUBTS It must be tested Cross-platform could limit it from a technical point of view Have you noticed any errors?

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