Axis Descending is a Metroidvania Dark Souls-like where you dodge, slash and shock your way through a story mode, randomized "Divecaching" levels, unique bounty hunt adventures and tons of treasure chests full of loot!
Inspired by Metroidvanias of old, Axis Descending seeks to expand upon those tried-and-true formulas with modern design approaches both original and drawn from Dark Souls-likes. Yes, as you explore you will find new items that allow you to adventure further. Yes, there are levels that include shortcuts, elevators and pathways to ease up on the backtracking. Yes, there are enemy and boss encounters that utilize core mechanics and upgrades in order to keep everything you get relevant and useful. Yes, you can also wear a Corgi as a backpack.
- A large world to explore that goes beyond the limits of the main quest's rooms! Unlock new areas through the story, or "divecache" to randomly unlock new lands!
- Hundreds of items and upgrades to craft or find, like the Mug-enabling Magnetic Glove, the Rose covered Radical Rose Longsword, Corgi backpacks or numerous cosmetic items like hats, hoods, masks and helmets! Look like the sky pirate you want to be!
- Define your combat playstyle with Armor Sets that provide unique bonuses and abilities, just like a traditional RPG class system! Paladins, Hunters, Dark Knights rejoice!
- Define your combat playstyle even further with numerous augments to the game's weapons. Longswords, Greatswords, Dual Blades, Polearms, Bows and Bombs are all at your disposal. Find and craft twists on these weapon types. Turn your Bow's charge attack into a holy shotgun! Whip out some daggers and rogue it up my friend!
The entire 'world map' is segmented into a variety of floating islands, airships, and other airborne structures. You discover them as the story progresses or 'cache' them via a discovery system that randomized levels (you sky dive from place to place). Once discovered or 'cached', the new areas can be returned to at any time via your personal airship (the hub of the game). On your ship, you can also access your inventory, craft, or fly to various other locales available in the game.
Exploring these areas is a little different than your traditional Metroidvania game. There is no map. Take notes, folks. I'm hoping to reduce hand holding here, challenge your memory, and add some mystery to the world. Certain abilities are earned as the story progresses, but others can be obtained at your own pace or through your own lucky finds and loot drops, so discovery will become a large part of your own experience in the game world. Share what you've found, others may not have been so lucky! Many areas also feature a looping shortcut system, providing fast entry points or exits to limit backtracking's tedium.
While the Beta locks you in to a small sample of story-focused areas, the complete game will be much more open after recovering your airship.
Combat is more fast-paced than a typical Metroidvania. Utilize basic attacks and special magic attacks in a similar fashion to Smash Bros, hitting down and attack to do different attacks than left/right and attack. Defensively, you can block and perform a number of dodge maneuvers. Dodge downward to slide and turn toward your enemy, upward to backflip, or left/right to simply make some distance.
Players have access to three primary weapon types throughout the game: Longswords, Dual Blades and Polearms. Each category offers a different set of attacks and defensive alterations. Additionally, secondary weapons like the Bow and Grenades become available.
The game also features a "deathblow" mechanic, where some enemies kneel before death, giving you a brief window to strike and gain some much-needed mana back to keep things moving! These weak spots also open up special loot drops when using the mug upgrade, and function as special moments for other tools as well.
Remember that feeling when you found the Varia Suit? Axis offers a bunch of them. After earning a few of the core upgrades like Double Jump and Mug, you'll unlock access to a number of sets that alter your magical abilities and provide innate bonuses. Buckle up with Ryu's Garb and you'll be double flipping, throwing daggers and shadowstepping with the best of them. Give the Hunter's Mail a go, allowing your own Hawk "Gleam" to accompany you and be commanded to attack asychronously. Or, just boost up your innate base magical skills and pick from a variety of cosmetic sets. Not only do these alter combat, but puzzles within the world can be solved with some of these new abilities!
In addition to armor sets that change your look and abilities, you have access to numerous cosmetic features. Headwear, capes, hairstyles, facial hair or RATTAILS (yeah, first game to do that I bet) can be worn through the armory or salon on the player's airship.