Growing up is tough, especially when you look different than everyone else. People are cruel to outcasts; they mock and tease with little regard for how their actions might affect unfortunate victims. Being an outcast is hard. And in Young Souls, it’s even more difficult. In the upcoming game, players take on the role of two “weirdos” who moonlight as supernatural warriors. While the world looks down on them, Young Souls‘ protagonists keep them safe in silence.
Young Souls, a new project from French publisher The Arcade Crew and developer 1P2P, was revealed early today. Although it’s billed as a beat ’em up with RPG progression, the real star of the game’s announcement trailer is the jaw-dropping art. It features hand-drawn characters and environments that speak to a post-punk visual style. Throughout the Young Souls reveal trailer, Jenn and Tristen — the two playable characters — try to get by in a world that keeps singling them out. They’re mocked because of their hair and judged for being different. Rain-slicked city streets and dreary environmental lighting build upon the sibling’s plight. It’s easy to watch the Young Souls reveal and feel like you’re witnessing a graphic novel brought to life by an animator.
Young Souls in new worlds
After a scene-setting introduction, the trailer goes on to showcase Jenn and Tristen’s secret lives. The duo stumped upon a magic portal at some point, and its existence threatens humanity’s continued survival. And so, the siblings dedicate themselves to battling the monsters lurking on the other side of the portal. They’re heroes, even if the people in their world can’t stand to treat them with respect.
The Arcade Kids state that Young Souls is a tale about “life, family, adventure, and saving the world.” It balances narrative-driven sequences with hard-hitting beat ’em battles and role-playing character progression. According to the publisher, it’s fully playable as a one or two-player experience. In a solo session, players can swap between either twin at a moment’s notice, which is undoubtedly useful, as the game touts over 70 full dungeons to explore.
The trailer closes with the mention “it’s better like this.” Jenn and Tristen seem to struggle with their double lives. And as the trailer comes to a close, a final line of narration reads “people aren’t ready for what’s coming.” That may be true for the in-game characters, but after watching the Young Souls trailer, it’s hard to feel anything but excitement for its release sometime in the future.
Ray Porreca is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. His work has appeared in Vice, Playboy, and Destructoid.