Continuing our coverage of excellent Early Access titles, we have the 2D hack-and-slash platformer Spiritfall.
In Spiritfall, you play as the death-defying Omenforged, an unknown warrior who receives a sacred mask and must use its powers to open the great gate, which has severed the connection between humanity and spirits.
Spiritfall features a refreshingly deep combat system, with launchers, combo extensions, directional-based combat, and more. It’s a blast to juggle enemies and make insane combo setups, especially because the game really rewards you for it, with wall splats being a very important mechanic.
That doesn’t mean enemies will just sit there and take your abuse though, as Spiritfall is actually quite hard. Regular enemies can be juggled, but can quickly overwhelm you if your dodges aren’t on point, while bigger enemies are slower but have super armor, which means you have to damage them quite a bit before doing your crazy combo setups.
Bosses also follow this armor rule, which means that the first half of fights has you carefully dodging around their attacks and doing your best to not get hit, while the second half has you absolutely styling on them with every combo you can pull off.
You can see influences from multiple roguelikes present in Spiritfall, like the branched map from Slay the Spire, the multiple god boons from Hades, and the protagonist’s design being really similar to the Beheaded from Dead Cells.
Spiritfall also features some meta upgrades similar to Hades. Upgrades apply to your character, as well as your weapons and the rooms you will explore, and it’s pretty clear how every unlock inches you a little closer towards beating the game.
Spiritfall works because it picks mechanics that were already established by other games and replicates them really well. It reminds me a lot of how the first entry in the Darksiders series was a mixture of Prince of Persia, God of War, and The Legend of Zelda, and that game replicated those mechanics so well that it spawned a franchise.
I’m definitely not offended by Spiritfall‘s usage of established mechanics, especially because the game really does justice to all of them. There isn’t a single mechanic present in Spiritfall that feels underwhelming or half-baked.
The game even features a subtle style meter at the bottom right part of the screen, which serves as a multiplier for the amount of resources you gain after fights. It’s quite clear that Spiritfall rewards mechanical execution, but that doesn’t mean it’s a hard requirement.
You don’t have to do some crazy no-hit speedrun just to clear the game, but if you can pull it off the game will definitely reward you for it. Spiritfall is very difficult, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a masochistic experience.
Spiritfall‘s combat is definitely the highlight of the game, taking inspiration from the Super Smash Bros series. The combat has a really heavy emphasis on directional-based attacks and wall splats, even featuring a mini-game homage to the series, where you have to 3-stock an enemy to receive multiple boons.
As you collect multiple boons, combat really starts to kick into gear, as you have to juggle the multiple status effects given to you by the spirits and adjust your gameplay around taking full advantage of your upgrades.
The spirit upgrades cover all of your moves, and you can mix-and-match them at will. Each spirit also has a unique skill attached to them, which ranges from a fiery dash that burns enemies to a doppelganger that will copy your moves in real time.
Each spirit has a very distinct playstyle intended for their boons, which the player can definitely lean into, but the ability to pick and choose whatever you want definitely makes for some really interesting build-crafting.
Fans of combo-heavy games will definitely have a blast with Spiritfall, as it features an extremely impressive combat system coupled with a really engaging roguelike progression. The game scratches that character action itch, and fans of more popular roguelikes will be instantly at home when it comes to Spiritfall‘s mechanics.
The game seems to be nearing the end of its Early Access roadmap, having released a new spirit in September and promising a new weapon in October, which means that right now is the best time try the game out, so you can be familiar with its mechanics before the new weapon gets added.
Spiritfall is available on Microsoft Windows (through Steam’s Early Access).