If there is one art style that I love above all else it is definitely the gothic style. Dark, menacing and endlessly dreary, ‘gothica’ lends itself to both fantasy and horror like a well-fitting shoe. This perfect combination of fantasy tropes and eery themes can be found nowhere better than in the Dark Souls franchise and the beautifully macabre world set therein. Gothic architecture and a stygian palette reign supreme in the realm of From Software’s franchise, coupled with a fantastical score that makes for a supreme gothic experience …
But enough about that. The game I am checking out today is a throwback back to a time before Anor Londo and the world of Dark Souls, to a time where horror was a niche genre in gaming and where gothic was barely a concept.
Striving to build a new Tower of Babel, a clan of ancestral demons razes a village to the ground, offering the villagers as sacrifice. A Lone girl awakes upon a pile of smoking corpses to find herself gutted and apparently dead. With her now corrupted by that of her demonic murderers our nameless heroine painstakingly stitches her broken body back together before setting off on a journey of revenge and bloody self discovery.
Demoniaca: Everlasting Night is a 2d platform game that combines the classic gameplay styles of Super Metroid and Castlevania with the action packed combat of the King of Fighters franchise, in a dark and brutal world teeming with demonic life.
Players will need to run, jump, punch and kick their way through the games many monstrous obstacles if they hope to progress, along with solving a variety of puzzles and challenges. As they progress through the game new and more powerful abilities will be unlocked allowing the player to create increasingly deadly combos to punish their foes and deliver swift and brutal justice. A continuous map with respawning enemies provides a classic challenge with an ever present need for memorisation and resource conservation at an increasingly frantic pace.
The pixel based style of the game’s graphics are typical for the genre but are highly detailed with initial character concepts taking heavy influence from the King of Fighters cast in addition to the protagonist bearing a striking resemblance to the titular character of hack ‘n slash Bloodrayne. Game developers Mnemosyne have announced that with further funding they hope to tune the character sprites to better fit their vision and to provide a unique artistic experience.Level backdrops are gratuitously detailed in all their gothic glory once again taking heavy influence from several entries in the Castlevania franchise while remaining faithful to the developers vision. Cutscenes are simple and attractive, conveying the emotion of the scene quite well despite the restrictions of the art style
While development is still in its early stages the minute amount of gameplay shown appears to be Demoniaca’s main selling point. The use of a typical fighter combat system paired up with the ever popular Xbox 360 controller allows for fluid, dynamic gameplay that blurs the lines between platformers, fighters and beat ’em ups to create a gore-filled cascade that puts “Splatterhouse” to shame.
Audio so far consists of a single track used in the trailer however this too shows much promise with a tasty metal track that brings back fond memories of “Killer Instinct’s” iconic title track though it is perhaps more acoustic than the latter.
For their first foray into the gaming industry italian developers Mnemosyne Games have presented a compelling and attractive product that belies their inexperience, achieving a successful Steam Greenlight in a little under a fortnight in what has become an increasingly competitive market. Not content with this success alone the team continues to aspire to deliver their product in both a general audience and adult audience edition with the latter featuring additional explicit and uncensored assets and graphics. Distribution for the game is slated not only for PC and MAC but also the PS4 and PS Vita,
opening themselves up to both the console and portable gaming markets.
In order to achieve these goals, the developers have opened a Kickstarter with a range of attractive perks and stretch goals including art books, soundtracks, exclusive merchandise and for those with a bigger budget your own special tombstone in game. An estimated release date of Oct 17 has been announced however this is always subject to funding and unexpected delays. Here’s hoping that isn’t the case!
Chris Senz is a freelance journalist and contributor to PN2.