You shouldn’t rate a book by its cover, but in some games the entire content can be read off by the name. Because if you suspect that Eldest Souls is a rock-hard action role-playing game with a dark, post-apocalyptic fantasy setting, in which a chosen hero sets out to face fallen gods and die a thousand deaths in the process, then you are spot on, and take it Reward a biscuit. You will need the food for the nerves.
Once bosses without anything and extra hot
Eldest Souls is an isometric boss rush game in which you armed with a powerful obsidian blade and explore a crumbling citadel to put an end to nine evil, cocky creatures and their leader, so that subjugated humanity can breathe easy again. The story, which is assembled from Souls-like set pieces, is quickly explained and the short exploratory trips between the ten bosses are hardly worth mentioning, so the game does not hesitate and throws you straight into the first fight after the intro sequence. In a classic, timing-based duel, you will learn the basics of the combat system that make the game stand out from its genre colleagues.
Your only weapon, the obsidian blade, can either be wielded normally or charged for a charge. The specialty: If you hit the enemy with the storm attack, the sword begins to burn and heals you for every hit landed – until the bloodlust display has cleared again. In addition, you cause significantly more damage in the blood frenzy, which is also urgently needed with the tough bosses.
Those: PC Games
In plain English, this means that you should open every attack on your opponents in this way in order to make the best possible use of the tiny pauses that enemies offer you between their relentless attacks. Unfortunately, this makes it all the more annoying that the somewhat sluggish, imprecise control of the game often lets your own attacks go nowhere. If you stand in front of the boss with your pants down again, only a brave evasive jump will help. A very clever mechanism comes into play here: by default, you are only allowed to dodge three to four times due to your extremely tight stamina bar, but if you flit straight through the enemy attack at the last moment, your stamina regeneration is briefly accelerated. So Eldest Souls rewards perfect evasive maneuvers – and it challenges them too.
Those: PC Games
Because after the second boss at the latest, the game demands everything from you that you could learn in the short time before. With only ten enemies, the squad is quite thin, but the monsters are varied and always treat you with new mechanics, which you have to internalize with countless deaths for each enemy. A single boss suddenly splits into two no less dangerous halves, you are shot at with bullet patterns in shoot’em-up fashion, slowly frozen by ice attacks and sucked into carnivorous plants that suddenly appear.
Those: PC Games
The principle of “learning by dying” only works to a limited extent with Eldest Souls, because often enough the bosses’ special mechanics seem simply opaque and artificial to artificially increase the level of difficulty. Lightning-fast attacks overlap with area damage, which turns parts of the tiny arenas into a death zone, bosses receive buffs for no apparent reason that make them strike even faster and harder, and the isometric perspective also partially obscures the turmoil from the level inventory. Unfortunately, Eldest Souls occasionally disregards the golden rule of “hard but fair”, and you have to have a good deal of frustration resistance even for Souls-like conditions in order to even reach the second half of the game.
Between the fights, you explore the small game world, listen to the monologues of some NPCs, complete simple pick-up-and-bring quests and desperately look for upgrades for your skills. After all: Thanks to the chic pixel style, you get to see quite a few atmospheric panoramas and the music in the boss fights goes well with the gloomy atmosphere. In addition, the game gives you a flexible skill system with which you can switch between attack, evasion and counter focus at any time. While focusing on maximum damage usually proves to be the best strategy, you still have a few options to choose from, with which you can run against the concrete wall again and again!
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