"Gameplay is king"
While many players play games to seek out good stories or characters, gameplay still have to be a first when considering a game. Games are interactive and you cannot deliver an interesting world unless your gameplay compliment the art.
Border`s first goal is to deliver a smooth and tight game, one that is fun and fair to play while still being really difficult.
Upon starting the game your goal will be clear and you will have 3 characters to chose from, and 3 of the huge main areas open to you.
Each character have an entirely different entry point and portion of the map accessible to them, aside form the end bosses of each of these areas they wont share any bosses. This means replaying a level with another character is an entirely different affair.
Once selecting your area you will have a clear goal but multiple ways to reach it. The architectural level design ensures that shortcuts are present and many in numbers. Hand drawn areas make navigation easy, also helping is the fact that defeated enemies and their remains will never disappear.
You will eventually come across unique enemies or fallen warriors who will grant you access to weapons, or spells.
Weapons and Spells. These are the focus of your character they all have entirely different move sets, strengths and weaknesses. Many of these weapons and spells can grant you access to new areas, similar to the traditional Metrodvania formula. All of these weapons and spells use the same resource, your stamina. All of these areas are full of secrets, and easter eggs.
The game uses a more natural storytelling where the environments tell a story own their own, without much exposition. Additionally the games "cut scenes" will never wrestle the control away form the player, the camera never loosing the player, and if you don't like to listen to your enemies monologue you can interrupt them with a well aimed hit to the face.
On your journey you can rarely come across NPCs who are neither friends nor foes, some will talk to you, but you might never know if they will become your enemies later or not.
Sooner or later you will die, when you do so, you will loose all the souls attached to you, but can recover them, similar to how it works in the Souls series of games.
Aside form your weapons you will have a few things always available to you, these are as follows.
- Healing, you can only heal with charges in your crystal fragments, these replenish on every checkpoint.
- Protection spell, each character have their own altered version of this basic spell, it deflects weapon hits and reflects projectiles, but cannot defend you fro area of effect spells and traps.
- Shifting, its a form of dash that allows for a short burst of super fast movement, it also allows to trigger traps and area of effects without getting harmed by them.
Once you reach your destination at the end of an area, and complete your mission, you will return to your Base of operation, the Nagifar. On this space worthy ship you can upgrade your skills, exchange a few words with the other characters, and learn a bit about this world.
Bosses are a big focus of the game, they are usually one on one affairs, many of them will try and communicate with you in some way, some have multiple ways to defeat them, and these ways can alter the story, and the NPCs that you might encounter later on. Expect these to be hard encounters.
Once ready you select the character and the area again of your choice.
Based on your choice of who finishes which area the story will shift and change, and you might understand a bit more about the world, and why it will end...