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Chasm Could Be The Next Great Metroidvania
Side-scrolling 2D Action-RPG-Platformers, or “Metroidvania” after the two most popular franchises, have become a beloved genre for many gamers seeking that old-school feeling of exploration, tight controls, epic boss battles, and a myriad of secret items and places, all draped in that beautifully nostalgic, pixelated art style. Discord Games took to Kickstarter last year in the hopes of raising money to create their dream game – Chasm, and met success with nearly $200k raised in funding, and was quickly greenlit on Steam weeks later. Check out the brand new teaser trailer below.
What sets Chasm apart from other Metroidvanias are the all-important level designs. Individual rooms and areas are hand-crafted, but an entire area is procedurally generated, which is normally the realm of perma-death-sporting Roguelikes. Chasm takes this formula, most recently seen in last year’s phenomenal Rogue Legacy (read our review), and applies it to a longer adventure with a strong sense of progression as you acquire new weapons, spells, and abilities to unlock new areas.
If you prefer your traditional hardcore Roguelikes, Chasm will come equipped with a one-life-to-live Hardcore mode complete with scoring and leaderboards, as well as Time Trials and an Arena mode for battling waves of foes.
I got a chance to ask Discord Games founder James Petruzzi a few burning questions about Chasm. But first, check out the sexy new box art.
What were your gaming inspirations for Chasm? Why Metroidvania?
Our inspirations for Chasm are rooted with most of the great games we grew up with: The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, Metroid, and Mega Man. All of those games have wonderful gameplay mechanics, visual and audio aesthetics, and stories. We wanted to create something that took influence from all of those, but evolved it a bit for modern day. The Metroidvania-style world layout gives us lots of flexibility for procedural generation, and maximum opportunity for exploration in a sidescroller format. Plus, you know, there can never be enough Metroidvania games!
Most 2D Action-RPG-Platformers are fairly lonely affairs with minimal story. Does Chasm feature a story or is it primarily mechanics-driven?
Yes, it does feature an awesome story! The player will meet and interact with a lively cast of characters on the surface, as well as some underground. Don’t expect lengthy cut-scenes, and drawn out exposition though. The story of Chasm is there for you to find in the world, and with the people you meet. Those who explore the most will have their curiosity rewarded by learning more about the ancient history of Chasm’s world.
What’s it like developing a game in the very public crowd-sourcing eye of Kickstarter?
Stressful! We have big expectations to fulfill, both to for the fans who backed it as well as our own. We are fully committed to making the most amazing game we possibly can, and are grateful to have this incredible opportunity.
Can you tease any of the other areas besides the mines in the trailer?
We’ve revealed the Mines and Catacombs so far, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for the scoop on the next area!
What kind of unique items, weapons, or spells can we find?
There will be quite a few special abilities to find in the world that will help you reach previously inaccessible areas. These abilities are mostly acrobatic: sliding, ledge grabbing, flipping, wall jumping, etc. On top of that those, you will find a bevy of armor and weapons to equip to your character, as well as unique spells like throwing knives, healing, bombs, etc.
Chasm is slated to release later this year and pre-orders are available on the official website. I’m a big fan of my retro 2D action-platformers and excited to see what Chasm can bring to the genre. Keep up with the game’s progress on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and right here on Leviathyn.