Young Souls Preview: Twin Magic
Kalvin Martinez / Sep 6th, 2018 No Comments
Part of the beauty of PAX West is discovering games you didn’t even know existed. I had that experience with Young Souls at this year’s event. When I showed up to my appointment, seeing the promo banner was the first I ever heard of the game.
The art style caught my eye immediately and the demo captured my attention.
Take the Fight to the Goblins
Young Souls follows the story of two twins, Jenn and Tristan. They were abandoned by their family and left to fend for themselves until a scientist adopted them. The two go to live with the scientist in Portsbough, a small, sleepy town.
Things change when the twins uncover a portal to the goblin world. They learn that if they don’t brave the unknown, Earth may very well find itself conquered by nefarious forces.
The demo showed off the core gameplay mechanics and the finer points of co-op gameplay. Both Jenn and Tristan start out in the underground hideout where the portal is located. What looks like a map kiosk for locations in the mall actually serves as the link between the human and goblin world. In the full game, you’ll be able to select different locations to venture to, presumably to explore the game’s 70+ dungeons.
Since it was only a demo, we tried out a single level. Before venturing into the treacherous goblin world, we had the option to change our equipment. The cool thing is, even in the demo, there were a wide range of customization options you have to choose from when deciding how you want your twin to look. There are ninja outfits, knight outfits and more, and you can mix and match the sets to look thematically appropriate or wild af.
You also have the option to select your weapon type. Do you want to play more defensively with a single-handed weapon or double-fist for more power and technical play?
We played through the demo a few times because we got wiped out twice. (No shame, I don’t really even play video games.) This gave me an opportunity to try out both styles. There is definitely a more balanced approach with a sword and shield, but the game rewards a more defensive play style.
Greatswords are trickier. You can parry, which requires precise timing but lets you cancel attacks. Once you master parrying, you can start playing a lot faster and chain your canceled attacks with dodging.
The level we tackled gave us a good feel for the arcade style beat-em-up action Young Souls is aiming for. It has the option to play solo while switching between the twins or tackle it co-op with a friend.
Co-op is a lot of fun. You can revive a downed twin by going over and pressing a button, but it leaves you open to attack, so it is definitely a risk/reward maneuver. However, the ability to revive your fallen partner gives you both a bit of a safety net.
Combat is fluid as hell. Players have the ability to perform light and heavy attack combos, cast magic spells, dodge and block or parry. The enemy AI is pretty good. Opponents know when to gang up and block your attacks. Breaking guards makes you more vulnerable to other enemy attacks, so you need to think quick and act fast. It also means if you aren’t careful you can find yourself in a bad spot. There are a lot of different enemy types that get mixed up as you make your way to the level’s boss, so you’ll be thankful if you have a co-op companion.
While the melee combat feels great on its own, it is combining your light and heavy attacks with magic that makes a difference. For the demo, two spells were shown off, a fire spell and an ice spell. The fireball is great for a quick boost of damage, but the ice spell froze an enemy in place, opening them up for deadly combos if you’re fast enough to capitalize. The co-op aspect means you’ll have to figure out what spell combination works best.
The boss fight we played upped the ante significantly. Bosses fight as a player would, dodging, blocking and casting spells. It took us a few times to outwit the boss, but it was so satisfying when we did.
No Set Date, but Keep Up
Young Souls isn’t simply an arcadey beat em’ up; it has a deep story and RPG mechanics. Those weren’t shown in the demo because it is still in early development. While those may be question marks, what is certain is Young Souls is shaping up to be a good time with a gorgeous style.
Right now, Young Souls doesn’t have a specific launch window or confirmed platforms, but be sure to check back with Gaming Illustrated because this is one we’ll be watching.
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tags: PAX West , preview , Young Souls , Young Souls gameplay , Young Souls Preview