The Steam Next Fest may be over, but my coverage isn’t. With so many good titles, the small window of the event simply wasn’t enough, so I’ll spend a few more days going through some titles worth keeping an eye on.
Lords of Exile is an upcoming retro 2D platformer that feels really similar to the Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon games; in fact, it manages to feel more like an homage to those titles than to Castlevania itself.
The story centers around Sir Gabriel, a bloodthirsty warrior whose wife is killed in an attempt to keep him in check, which only causes him to become furious and seek revenge against the demonic Galagar.
Much like Bloodstained, Lords of Exile builds upon the tried-and-true formula the older Castlevania games, but gives the player increasingly stronger power-ups after defeating certain bosses. It starts off slow but quickly ramps up by introducing tricky platforming sections and unique abilities.
The demo only gives us access to two levels, the first ending in a boss fight against Samantha, a demonic geisha who summons giant demonic heads to spit fire at us, while the second boss fight is against a shapeshifting man who turns into a tiger.
Lords of Exile‘s levels really scratch that itch for difficult-but-fair platforming. While the game is tough, it never feels like you got blindsided by something you couldn’t possibly see coming or a screen completely filled with enemies.
Sir Gabriel starts off with some pretty basic skills, but we eventually uncover one of the game’s most unique mechanics, which is the shadow system. Upon killing a notorious enemy, Gabriel can summon them as spirits, which gives him new skills.
The samurai spirit we get in the demo breaks specific walls and gives us a projectile attack, which helps out a lot in the second boss fight since moving between platforms is risky and can result in an instant death if done at the wrong time.
The demo is very careful to introduce mechanics one by one to prepare the player for when the difficulty actually ramps up. Each of the levels has some gorgeous spritework that sets the mood nicely, and they sport some fantastic tracks as well.
You can watch me go through the demo’s two levels in the video down below:
Lords of Exile is exactly what I want from retro platformers, for them to scratch that nostalgic itch but at the same time introduce more modern mechanics that can only be done today. The Curse of the Moon games did it masterfully, and Lords of Exile looks like it’s walking in the same direction, which makes me very excited for the final release.
Lords of Exile has no stated release date yet, but it’s set to come out for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows (through Steam).
If you want to know more about some upcoming games, take a look at some of the other titles we covered from this year’s Steam Next Fest.