Dolmen PAX East 2022 hands-on preview

dolmen game

We did a Dolmen PAX East 2022 preview ahead of the game’s launch later this month.

2022 is the year of Soulsborne action role-playing games. This year’s game of the year is arguably Elden Ring at the current moment. Whether you like it or not, Elden Ring has done what many other games have failed to do; it has brought in a variety of gamers that have never played a game in its genre or by From Software.

This aspect is similar to how Animal Crossing and Breath of the Wild brought many gamers to the Nintendo Switch. Now a new game follows in Elden Ring‘s footsteps. Welcome to our Dolmen PAX East 2022 preview.

At PAX East 2022, we met with Massive Work Studio and Golden Knight at the Prime Matter booth to preview Dolmen and The Last Oricru. This is a preview for Massive Work Studio’s Dolmen. In Dolmen, you are tasked to go to the mining station on Revion Prime to gather resources, clear out the infestation, and survive.

During our preview, we were allowed to choose between three characters, a heavy melee build, a light quick assassin, and a ranged sharpshooter. For the purpose of this preview, we played as the melee build.

Although our build focused primarily on melee, there was still a ranged element to the gameplay. For demo purposes, we were put in a later segment of the game; this placement was meant to give us an idea of how the game was felt later in the story. For someone who hasn’t played a Soulsbourne-like game for a few weeks, Dolmen took us slightly by surprise.

Once we booted into the game, we were given free rein to find our way. If we got stuck for any reason, the developer was more than willing to point us in the right direction. So how does Dolmen compare to other Action Role Playing games?

Dolmen Spider

Dolmen Gameplay

Starting off, it was a little bit difficult to get used to Dolmen. Unlike other Soulsbourne games, the game gave players two different ways to use energy. The first and typical way to use abilities, swing weapons, and run used the stamina bar. If the stamina bar was depleted, we could use our power supply to fill in for stamina. When used this way, the fuel cells would replenish over time and get us out of tight spaces.

The power supply could also be used to heal the player’s health. Once the power supply was drained, we had the option to use a battery to recharge a portion of it. Like Esters flasks and tears, these power cells become an important item to use when close to death. The power supply could also be used to reduce incoming damage and deflect certain enemy attacks.

Getting used to these mechanics was no easy task at first. Like TinyBuild and Cradlegames’ Hellpoint, you have to get used to being outside of the medieval fantasy realm. By using a SciFi setting, the developers were able to create a variety of interesting monsters to combat.

Though, once you have tried to fight these different creatures, you can attempt to run past them to retrieve your lost timeline. Similar to left behind souls or runes, when the player dies, they must regain their memories of a lost timeline in order to retrieve their experience. On a few occasions, we would die before getting back to the lost timeline.

Although we were unable to complete the boss fight of the level, we did have a good time trying and came rather close. Like other Action Role Playing games, taking the time to figure out enemies’ attacks is important. During the demo, each enemy attack was easily visible, and it was clear the different reasons why we died.

Looking at it from a visual perspective; the level we got to play was well designed and we could tell the amount of detail that they put into the game. Honest, we wish we had more time to be able to explore. Despite being in a building, the area was full of vibrant colors that made creatures and the environment stand out.

Final Takeaways

Walking away from Dolmen was difficult. As someone who enjoys Soulsbourn and Action Role Playing games, Dolmen provides players with the challenges that other games like Dark Souls, Elden Ring, and Demon Souls provide while drawing inspiration from games like Deadspace, Doom, Hellpoint, and others.

Although the combat was a bit to get used to, it still managed to suck us in; how many games scratch that itch that you need to slay the beast? Like a legitimate urge. The game’s polished controls and fluid movements made combat a thing to enjoy rather than another added stressor. We can’t wait until the game comes out.

Dolmen is set to release on Windows PC (via Steam), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on May 20th, 2022.

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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. A former writer for Gamersbliss.com, VGGaming HQ, TheNerdStash, and The Nerdy Con Artist. One day, I hope to travel the world while working in the video game industry or as a professional gamer. Do you want to join in on a game or see what I am up to? Come follow/message me at Killerkdemons. Open to all freelance opportunities.