Death's Gambit: Review

Written by: Jon Castillo

Games | Aug 28, 2018

Death's Gambit Review

"Death's Gambit" was born from an era where games were taking shape from the ashes left behind by "Dark Souls."

Another "2D Souls" entry, "Death's Gambit" manages to create its own flair and atmosphere. You kick off the game as a chosen undead, sort of, Death himself, resurrects your character, Sorun, and together (in an almost one-side way) forge a contract. Technically, it's just an excuse to justify why Sorun respawns each time he dies. And in this game, death comes quickly in all the typical Souls-fashion.

You can break this contract, however, to initiate perma-death. Something to really challenge players. Something "Dark Souls" lack. Consider it the ultimate test of skills. Now restarting the game after a botched speedrun is justified.

Like "Dark Souls" you choose Sorun's class type. Each weapon has its own attack animations, which you will need to master in order to know when and how to strike enemies. Of course, there's a stamina meter. Of course, you collect experience points called shards to spend later to increase your stats.

Like "Dark Souls" the world is non-linear. You are free to explore - and exploration is encouraged if you want to pick up some real goodies.

Death in the game means you lose a feather. Feathers are basically your Estus Flasks, your healing items. You can pick up where you lost your feather or spend shards to reclaim them. I admit being unsure what happens if you die again before reaching your bloodstain, if the feather will disappear forever or not-I tried to reclaim the feather as soon as possible. You can also sacrifice a feather to gain special bonuses.

Boss battles were designed to be epic. Most bosses in the game feels like a final battle with high-octane thrilling music. Even the rustling of falling leaves has an organic sound that adds to the game's beauty and intensity.

You will also find NPCs every now and then. And like Dark Souls, you are free to bust their balls until you piss them off and enact their revenge on you.

Gameplay requires aggression while keeping your stamina in check. What's different in Death's Gambit is you have a wide range of skills to take advantage of. There is a purple meter you will find on screen that is needed to use your skills, and this fills up depending on your starting class. This meter fills up when you attack, carry our successful parries, and so on. This adds a solid mechanic for the playstyle of your choosing. You can have skills where you perform unique slash animations and each one you need to equip and use in certain situations. It's how you use these skills that can turn the tide in each battle. Though in some boss battles, from my experience, you wouldn't need to use any skills and whatever tactic you've been doing works well.

"Death's Gambit" is a gorgeous-gorgeous game. Intense and gets really emotional the farther you go. It is unfortunate there is no Switch announcement as of yet, Death's Gambit would be a great home for it.

About the author: Jon Castillo

Jonathan is hiding from a lynch mob after messing with the wrong basketball team. His favorite song is "Boys do Fall in Love" by Robin Gibb.

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