The past several years have seen some interesting genre mixups in gaming. Two exceptionally popular genres, in particular, are the battle royale and 2.5D ‘souls-lite’ games. In AyDream’s Soulfire, fun 2.5D brawler mechanics found in titles such as Brawlhalla merge with battle royale gameplay – and the results are fun. This exciting multiplayer sidescroller sees over 20 different teams face off against one another.
Soulfire features your standard moveset with some twists which offer a myriad of different tactics. The animations are fluid as can be, with some impressive aesthetics as well. The developers aim to introduce the world to the charm of 2.5D souls-lite battle royale. You can consider this writer adequately enthralled.
Many ways to die in Soulfire
There are many different elements at play in Soulfire. First, there’s a good mix of familiar souls-lite gameplay. This includes your standard back dodging, rolling, and hacker combos. There are many different weapon types, from heavy swords and mauls to dual axes and daggers. These weapons can all be enhanced, using items from stones, which boost damage, to elemental damage essences and runes. The runes increase weapon-specific skills, such as backstab and reaper. They can also slow enemies on impact and much more.
There are also secondary weapons, and some of them are pretty interesting. For example, tower shields block frontal attacks and counter with a charging attack, while crossbows blast opponents from afar. Power-up items enhance these weapons, as well. Some of the items have a somewhat Dark Souls vibe to them, from the ‘sound puppet’ restoring item durability to the ‘doppelganger skin’ enhancing spells.
Speaking of, if all of that weren’t enough, Soulfire also has spells in it. Used in the form of scrolls, these range from powerful area-of-effect damage spells to health increases and stealth. The combination of all these elements makes gameplay extremely complex, especially for a battle royale setting.
Be mindful of your surroundings!
Soulfire also comes with a wide variety of secondary combat mechanics. Players can hide from their enemy in barrels, only to jump out and launch a sneak attack. Beware, however, because if an opponent either has the Hunter’s Mark item or merely suspects you’re hiding in one, you can easily be broken out of this cover and made vulnerable. Players can also hide in bushes and ambush opponents, a rather nice nod to the Assassin’s Creed series.
The arenas are multi-layered, with players either dropping down into lower levels or climbing ladders to higher ones. This can lead to some pretty intense skirmishes, and possessing the right item at the right time can really make or break a battle. For example, a player hiding in a barrel on a lower level can wait until several enemy players drop down and duke it out, only to jump out and unleash a devastating area-of-effect spell on the clumped-together foes.
Cool moves aplenty
One of the better aspects of Soulfire is the in-depth customization options it offers. It provides different armor customization, as well as underwear (for when your character’s armor durability wears out, which it will) and even facial skins. It also has different weapon and even spell skins to make your hero look as cool as humanly possible.
Where this really shines, though, are the various moves your character can customize. Throws, backstabs, executions and even rescue moves all have different animations available for purchase. The animations are fairly impressive, too. This is a clever twist on the inevitable cash shop offerings that come with online games these days. There are even skins for health potions and chat bubbles!
Soulfire open beta is going on right now!
Soulfire has been launching ongoing open beta tests this year. The next one, at the time of this writing, runs from June 20th, 9:00 pm – June 27th, 9:00 pm EST. Players will be allowed an extra hour to download the client, found as a demo game on Steam. The developers have stated that these tests are essential to developing a quality game, so suggestions and opinions about gameplay and development are critical. They have an in-game tutorial, which is comprehensive and easy to follow, and even an in-game bug feedback section for community input.
our game of @soulfiregame is now available on #Steam, please join us for the beta testing 🙂 https://t.co/KDDmKM7oGA just download the demo client. #beta #BattleRoyale #game #gaming #e3 #IndieGameDev #indiegame #freegame pic.twitter.com/cd3EoxjWuY
— soulfire (@soulfiregame) June 21, 2019
Conclusion: Soulfire is a complex and fun hybrid
With all of its varied combat mechanics, charming aesthetics and frantic-yet-fun gameplay, Soulfire is a very promising addition to the battle royale scene. Open-world offerings such as Apex Legends dominate the genre, so something this fresh could attract new fans. The souls-lite community may find the scale of the game refreshing, while battle royale fans may appreciate a more straightforward and fast-paced approach to the usual offerings. That being said, the 2.5D online hacker offers a lot of fun and diversity for players of all backgrounds.