Guide a gun-slinging, sword-wielding steampunk cowgirl against machines in this promising adventure.
We live in a world filled with so many games inspired by Metroid and Castlevania that it’s getting hard to keep track. With that in mind, I’m glad I had a chance to play a demo Gestalt: Steam & Cinder, developed by Metamorphosis Games and published by Sold Out. It’s a steampunk-heavy game that has a focus on narrative and quests, guiding you around the the city of Canaan, which is one of the last safe havens for humans in a world run by robots.
You play as Aletheia, a bad-ass cowgirl who mixes it up against robots with melee attacks and guns. The combat has some nuance to it, with close-range combos interspersing with revolvers. Providing some flexibility is the fact that this game has both a dodge-roll and a backstep, which at first seemed like too much but as I got into more precarious battles, being able to backstep and fire off a shot or dodge-roll behind an enemy became integral. As Aletheia levels up, you’re able boost her health, bolster melee damage, and increase her gun’s clip size. Overall, the vibe of this game landed a lot harder on the Castlevania side of the Metroidvania equation. A lot of that comes from the look, which seems like a steampunk cousin of the vintage Igavanias. With odes to its 16- and 32-bit forebears, the pixelated graphics animate nicely with a good variety of locales even in the brief demo I played.
Gestalt: Steam & Cinder is set to release on Switch (and a bunch of other platforms) sometime in 2020 and it’s something I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on. In this sea of similarly-inspired Metroid-likes, this one stood out enough for me to take notice.