E3 ’14 – Hands-On With Chasm
By Marcus Estrada
Discord Games did quite well with their Chasm Kickstarter last year. Since then, fans have been hungrily eyeing the 2D action platformer. Earlier in the year many players got a shot at a demo during PAX but I was not one of those people. As such, I’ve simply watched from afar as others played the new demo and wondered how it would be to actually play. Well, my chance finally came during E3 as Chasm was being demoed on PS4s. These are the thoughts I had while playing.
Yes, this looks exactly like I remember seeing during the Kickstarter campaign. I’m controlling a brown-haired character and everything has a really nice pixel art design to it. Pixel art usually impresses me most when it is used to create very detailed art, and that was evidenced here. The rocky caves I began to meander through provided an example of this artistry. In any case, admiring beautiful pixel rocks is a bit silly so let’s move on.
I got a feel for the controls and they all seem very responsive. It seems my character can jump at varying heights. He’s also got buttons mapped to attacks for the right and left hand. In the demo, there’s only one weapon though so my other attack is a simple punch. For fear of my mortality, I decide to stick with the weapon-equipped arm. My exploration begins.
There’s an enemy in my path! Or not. It’s just a skeleton that doesn’t move no matter how much I disturb it. With that false alarm out of the way I then meet the first real enemy. Who knows what these cave dwellers have against me but I start wailing away at it with my sword. Oops, it still gets some hits in on me despite these best efforts. Making my way through rooms becomes easier with practice; although new enemies like bats still screw me up. And sometimes, I just miss a jump and fall onto spikes.
After a little of this I start to take braver strides. Now with the basic mechanics under my belt things start to feel manageable. Now I can take down enemies without ever getting hit and (usually) avoid jumps into spike pits. Checking on the map, it’s shown that Chasm is most definitely Metroid and Castlevania-esque with the possibility of an expansive map. Of course, the demo map is very small with only a handful of rooms. I head back to an area that was blocked before and get through. Aw, the demo is over!
Chasm seems like a great game that had an equally excellent demo to showcase its features. Despite there being no tutorial, enough time was granted (alongside simple enemies) to guide players along. The 2D exploration was fun despite being very restricted in this demo and makes me really excited for the full game. Chasm is coming to PC and PS4 but hopefully Discord Games might be able to expand that reach so even more players can enjoy it.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg” ]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]