Deathbound Preview – Party-based soulslike action

Deathbound Preview

When you think of difficult games, what comes to mind? Do you think of the Soulsbourne games? Maybe the classic games from the 80s and 90s come to mind? Some may even consider Cuphead a difficult game. If someone tells you a game is difficult would you still try it to see if you like it?

For years, the term difficult game has been used to either challenge gamers or dissuade them from playing a game. At PAX East 2024, we met with Trialforge Studio to preview their upcoming game Deathbound. What does this soulslike game have to offer?

Deathbound Demo Impressions

Jump into the Deathbound demo, I thought it was going to be like any other soulslike game. Kill enemies to get souls/essence and progress through the level to get to the boss guarding the area.

This assumption turned out to be true, however, Trialforge Studio has added a twist to the mix. Rather than having to adjust your stats to create a certain type of character, the player forms bonds with fallen warriors. Each warrior has its own unique fighting style and health bar.

When the player moves through the level, they can find these Fallen warriors and form a pact with them. If a warrior’s health drops to zero, the player will die and return back to their last resting place. Unlike other soulslikes, the healing mechanic utilizes the three other warrior spirits’ health bars to recover the current ones.

As you kill monsters, you will heal back up and gather a currency that can be used to upgrade each warrior’s stats. When you are at the resting place, you can upgrade a warrior’s skill tree in order to best suit your needs.

Personally, I like some of the other Niche Gamer staff, am a fan of soulslike games. Deathbound’s personal spin on the franchise can be a neat twist to the genre, however, based on the demo, it still could use a bit of work. The mechanics felt clunky and not fine-tuned.

The world would constantly despawn and respawn depending on which area you were looking at. Visually the world looked interesting and had a good bit of detail, but the despawning of items made it difficult to dodge and attack at times.

If you want to try Deathbound out for yourself, there is currently a demo available on Steam. Deathbound is launching sometime later in 2024 for Windows PC (via Steam). Hopefully, it will be more polished when it releases.

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Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, Tall Anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs.

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