This review was written by my friend Virus, you can find him on twitter by clicking here. Enjoy the review and remember to Stay Nerdy!
Death’s Gambit is a game that’s been on my radar for quite some time. As someone who loves dark souls and 2d action platformers, I had a lot of hope for the game, and after finally getting around to playing it I figured I’d share my thoughts to try to help anyone else who might be on the fence about picking it up.
Death’s Gambit has you taking on the role of Sorun, the lone survivor from a decimated regiment of troops who ends up making a pact with death to make himself immortal in exchange for an initially undefined task. The rest of the story is mostly told through interactions with the random NPCs found around your main hub section, lore books found in locations that give you an edge against that areas boss, and some mostly brief cut scenes. Despite the plot not showing its face a fair amount of the time I did still enjoy finding out more and more about the world and lore throughout my time with the game.
The inspirations from dark souls are wildly apparent from about the moment you hit start and end up at the character select screen, featuring a very similar layout and equipment styling to the dark souls character creation with a few notable changes. First, there did not appear to be appearance customization, and second, your class choice affects more than your stats. Each class not only starts with different stats and equipment than each other, but also has their own special abilities and skill trees that can help in a variety of ways, from the blood knight healing from attacking enemies immediately after taking damage, to the sentinel having reduced stat requirements for all equipment. Each time you manage to defeat a boss you’ll find yourself gaining another skill point to gain some more abilities to hopefully help you survive the rest of the trek through the hostile environment.
The combat system offers a variety of weapons and tools to the player to allow them a multitude of builds and ways to approach encounters. Also much like dark souls the game relies heavily on players getting used to enemy patterns and reading their telegraphed attacks to be able to handle them without taking too much damage. The game also has multiple areas that have chests that reward a player for making it through without healing from your last save statue, providing an incentive for the player to improve. A few of my minor complaints are that the game had a few moments where it was not particularly clear where to go, in combination with a few areas making it fairly difficult to tell where certain traps triggers were even after going through them a few times.
Additionally the game offers extra challenges in each playthrough with the options of heroic battles, super powered versions of bosses you have defeated that award special drops upon defeating them, as well as a mortal mode that requires you to go through the game without dying and rewards you with a special ending once certain criteria are met. There are also multiple levels of new game+ to continually increase the challenges you want to face on multiple playthroughs.
The voice acting and sound design overall were fairly well done, there wasn’t ever a time where anything felt particularly out of place although nothing particularly stood out to me at any given time either, with the exception of a few vocal effects on death and a few other characters adding some neat flavor for the ears.
I really enjoyed my time with Death’s Gambit, I came looking for a 2d dark souls and it gave me exactly what I was expecting, a decent challenge with good lore and a variety of ways to approach any given situation. So if you’re looking for a challenging 2d Acton Platformer, or just really enjoy souls-like games and want a bit more to enjoy, then i would definitely recommend picking this one up. If you have any other questions that you don’t feel I hit on in this review feel free to hit me up on Twitter @VirusTheBard and I’d be more than happy to try to answer them. Thanks so much for reading, and until next time, keep gaming!