October 30, 2017

PAX Aus - Hands on with Damsel

PAX Australia is the best chance I get, to try out some indie games, because the developers are spread so far around the place, it’s hard to get hands on otherwise, so with a plan in motion, I made sure to check out a few titles of interest, one of which was Damsel.

Damsel is an arcade platformer, which means there is a lot of jumping and running, combined with score counting, but here you earn your score by shooting vampires. In the mode that I played, I was given a stage, with an objective and then told to complete it, from small things like hacking a computer or to larger things like rescuing hostages, the game kept things interesting with each load of a level.

In addition to that, the stages would be crawling with various types of vampires, aiming to take me down and if all that was not enough, there were collectables to get, which if you got them all, without breaking the chain, allowed you to rack up significant points and push you towards the top of the leaderboard. Thankfully all that is handled with ease as the controls for the game are on point, you can run, shoot and jump and occasionally interact with things, but with the controls that simple, the games replayability is amped up, thanks to that adage of just one more turn.

In some levels, I would be tasked with saving all the hostages, however if you mistime your own shot, or the vampires attack you and miss, you might hit the hostage, which is an instant fail and a loss of one of your lives. It is very much a one hit, one kill scenario, except for a few examples, so making sure that you learn when you can and can’t shoot is key. Combine all that with fluid movement, that has you flipping over enemies and grabbing onto ledges, Damsel is just begging to be speedran. Given the limited time with the game, you might think that I missed out on a lot, but as the levels are bite sized, I got the chance to experience more of them and I still want more.

This is not the first time Damsel has been at PAX Australia, so that was why I wanted to check it out again and I am glad that I did. While there is no confirmed date of yet, it is planned for a Q1 release in 2018, with console releases coming later.

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