Indie Game Review
Pixelmad Studios is the company behind Soulborn. They responded to our #FF review post on Twitter & this is my review of their game. Thank you to the team for the key & cooperation. Let’s dive into the mesmerizing world known as Soulborn.
Soulborn is touted as a mix between The Witcher and Zelda on their site (link to their website below). I’ll go over the story briefly but I would like to give a concise review about gameplay, mechanics & design, with future notes. If you would like to learn more about the story, please visit their site.
My initial experience of Midgard, playing as Brynjar Townshield.
On the boot-up of the game menu, I was immediately introduced to the opening music. I made a note to myself right then & there, that the beginning music is a solid 10/10. It gave me goosebumps!
When the initial cutscene was done, I was tossed into the ruins of Midgard, after the first Ragnarök. Soulborn is an open-world, RPG-Adventure that gave me the vibes they had claimed. A wonderfully-beautiful world, with a plot to follow & a traversable land, filled with foes of various types.
You can gaze around the beautiful landscape, look out to the horizon and wander in amazement, or delve into the side trails and search for puzzles, artifacts, or hidden chests!
In Soulborn, your character has the ability to control Thor’s hammer called Mjölnir.
You can shape the weapon as either a sword, bow, or the original hammer for various combo attacks. I loved the little details in this game, like when my character yells “Mjölnir!” every time he pulls out the legendary weapon. This enablement of being able to instantly call my ethereal weapon was a very nice sight in the game.
Some of the in-game menu elements are understandably placeholders, there are still plenty of things you can interact with, in the menu, like your inventory, armor & abilities! Of course, there are some frustrating bugs in the game since it is in Alpha but it is still totally playable. In the current game state, you have a complete start-to-end little story to follow, puzzles to complete & a full +2 hour lava-filled dungeon!
Standard WASD to move, Space to jump, Left Mouse to attack/fire, Right Mouse to aim your drawn-out bow. You have a list of abilities/attack-moves to go through in the menu system, where you can see how combos work!
The attack controls are intuitive & snapback with impressive response time! The only complaint I would have would be with the follow-through of said attacks. Arrow hit registration can be dodgy, enemies can be flung far out of my distance from a single hit, & sometimes attacks won’t land at all.
But this is forgivable since the game is nowhere near launch & is still a work in progress.
Gameplay & Design.
This game, being made in Unreal Engine 4, is undeniably beautiful. On ultra graphics, the landscape is flowing, the grass sways, the trees have depth & the air around you is filled with gaze-worthy shimmers. On low graphics, the game runs smoothly, the landscape may lose a lot of shading but more minute details of the architecture become apparent. I found myself swapping back and forth between the settings a lot for screenshots & personal judgments of how different everything looks.
Entering the energy cave, or the core dungeon had a beauty of their own entirely different from Midgard! The core dungeon specifically had a complex level structure that had me scratching my head more often than I’d like to admit (my compliments to the level designer(s)).
Soulborn is looking to become the next big open-world, ARPG.
Are they on the right track to do so? I would say Yes!
The game in its current state is playable, enjoyable & of course, sometimes frustrating. That is usually the case with games that are still in development. But this shouldn’t distract from the fact that the map is gorgeous, a rich story will be added, the attacks are fun, the boss enemies are scary & the world is open for your conquest! Follow Soulborn to keep up to date with their updates, & make sure to revisit this article when the game launches for an updated review!
If you would like to download Soulborn, press on the download button below & join their discord!