New Shadow Of The Beast footage takes a closer look at combat

Delve a bit deeper into the mechanics of the upcoming PS4 side-scroller

Hi everyone. I’m so grateful to have the chance to write this blog post, as I get to talk about a subject close to my heart – gameplay!

Our game has quite a few different facets to the experience; from platforming and puzzles through to the intricacies of combat. We want players to have a varied challenge – after all, learning and mastering the skills to beat the game are a large part of the fun. Of course we appreciate that some players want to enjoy the world and would prefer to be able to take a slightly more laid-back approach, so we’ve added a beginner option to make that possible too. That said, to see anything beyond the most basic ending you’ll have to really sink your teeth into the game!

One key area as you progress through the game is the “Wisdom of Shadows” that allows you to buy upgrades to your combat abilities, new special moves, and talismans that can be equipped to enable new strategies. To access these items you’ll need to hunt down secrets hidden throughout the levels to unlock them, and then purchase them with “Mana” gained through demonstrating your skills in the game – primarily by scoring well in combat!

SOTB_PS4_Beta_06

The basics of combat are simple. Enemies come in from the left or right and you have to kill them. Most of your attacks will kill them with one hit. It’s straightforward to understand but the depth in the formula quickly becomes apparent as different enemies respond differently to your various attacks, and have different methods and timing of their own attacks – not to mention getting faster as they approach.

As you go deeper into the levels you’ll have to start watching enemies very closely to defeat them unscathed, and once multiple types of enemy are mixed together you’ll really have to stay on your toes! There is also the fact that your moves take time to execute, so once enemies start getting a little faster you’ll have to think about the enemy coming at you from behind while you’re executing your move on the enemy in front, and once things get even more hectic you’ll need to start planning for the enemies behind the enemies you’re attacking!

Luckily you have a huge range of options available to you: basic attacks, counters, stun, throws, special attacks, evades, dodge rolls, the “Wrath of Aarbron”, Rage Chains and, most importantly, the oft-overlooked but oh-so-important block button! When you master them, many of these moves have “perfect windows” in their timing as well that can grab you extra score.

The combo multiplier in particular is critical – it is applied to every kill so if you can get a really big multiplier then this can reward you with massive scores, but be super-careful – taking damage (or using a Rage Chain) will reset your Combo multiplier back to 1. Scoring big starts with not getting hit, and for that reason the most fundamental skill is learning to block effectively.

It’s so nice to have had this chance just to talk about the game design! I hope it will prove helpful for players who decide to pick the game up, and particularly anyone who decides to unlock all the different endings and aim for Platinum ranks in all the fights on Beast mode!

Thanks again for your interest – it’s genuinely appreciated.

10 Comments
1 Author replies

Aaaaaargh, so many games coming out in May.
But this looks SO good…
I think I’ll have to bite.
Darn you guys for doing such a good job!

Mark O'Connor 21 April, 2016 @ 18:53
1.1

You bite now, you get the awesome Roger Dean created theme for free…no brainer surely?

After playing the game at EGX Rezzed I want it more than ever. Visually stunning, fun to play and God of War levels of gore. What more can you ask for?

Boneymajoney 21 April, 2016 @ 21:24
3

No offence but whoever thought it was a good idea to release this just one week after Uncharted 4 ought to be fired. Whoever it was has pretty much signed this games death warrant, regardless of how it reviews.

3.1

So many games come out this time of year that you could make that argument for almost any release window…I’m sure if it reviews well then it’ll sell well.

3.2

I don’t think that every single PS4 owner will buy Uncharted 4, even if many probably will.
And if someone wants to play Shadow of the Beast and Uncharted 4, they will likely buy both anyway.

So I can’t see that this should be any problem.

3.3

Also, remember that it was Uncharted’s release date that got pushed a couple times. I’m pretty sure the Beast’s date wasn’t “just one wek after Uncharted” when they announced it.

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1
4

Wasn’t too sure about this based on it’s first trailer…but looking at the combat has certainly got me interested :)

Looks great!
There is only one thing that bothers me – i can’t find any information about trophy support.
Are we looking at an awesome platinum to add to the collection? Some golds?

5.1

I believe they mentioned a platinum in the video

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