opening moments SteelRising Felt surprisingly feasible and fun for people like spirits, a type of game that often starts with challenging challenges and “go and find” some kind of vibe. But as soon as I hit the second map, I ran into an enemy that made me reach GaI “assist mode”. You might think that flipping in Easy Mode lets me swipe through the rest of the game without a second thought. But she didn’t. far from it. The game is still challenging, but there was room to learn with more patience speed. With this mode turned on, the game doesn’t constantly take me back to the spawn zone, which drained my experience points with time wasted loading screens. The mode offers variable difficulty options, so I can level up to where the game wants. SteelRising Masters of this type are not dethroned. But sure as hell it shows at least one way they could get better, with a great aesthetic at that.
SteelRising It is the latest title from French developer Spiders. It’s a spirit-like spirit where you play as Aegis, a “robot” of the clock who must do battle with other similar creations in an ambiguous alternative historical development of the French Revolution. The studio is known for its narrative-focused RPGs like 2016 Technomancer and 2019 Gridvale.
Previous Spiders games, while probably generally similar to something like a mass effectThey usually walk to the beat of their own drum. with steelring, I wasn’t excited at first to see the studio closely stalking another game model, only to be predictably ashamed of the incredibly strong standard FromSoftware has set in the genre over the years.
If you are a die-hard Miyazaki fan and don’t have time for imitators, SteelRising Not likely to catch your eye. Despite the fanciful premise and some great character designs with easy-to-digest RPG mechanics, there’s something missing here. I also struggled to keep 60fps on my PC for me, which made the experience more grueling than it should have been. However, all the chests have been checked: enemies are strong, you need to level up to meet their health and attack power, when you die you drop XP, and you go back to the last spawn point with all enemies refreshed, tasked with restoring your unconnected souls. You’ll continue to unlock new shortcuts and ways to get around maps as you go. Hey get the picture.
But Help Mode is where it’s worth noting and talking.
This mode is a set of options that allow you to change a variety of game functions. You can tweak the damage you take, reducing it to 0% if you want to (you’ll still get fall damage though). You can also choose to keep XP when you die, adjust your stamina’s regeneration rate, and affect the “cool down” timer you’ll get when you do multiple actions in a row. If anyone like Souls is considering adding difficulty options, SteelRising It is a clear example of how to do this.
Those who grumble about the idea ease the difficulty Those like souls are more likely to worry that the underlying experience risks being diluted, lost, or simply miss-target of this kind. Many may be concerned that it is the virtual equivalent of removing guns from a shooter or jumping off a platform. But Steelrising’s Assist mode doesn’t pull you away from the core game. Instead, it allows you to get a different perspective on it so you can actually improve on the basic skills of attacking and dribbling and possibly learn how leveling up can change those dynamics.
The most used option was to reduce damage to 0%. This means that the number one enemy that really got me in some trouble, a machine that tosses giant steel balls around chains attached to its arms, could teach me its motor combos rather than just getting shit out of me and forcing me to restart every time it failed. She has gone from being a giant idiot to being a sparring partner.
He was still knocking me in the ass every time. But I can stand up and say “Well, when he moves like this, I gotta get out of the way.” I learned where the openings were, and how quick I had to be to press my attack. I managed to store a muscle memory in my response to this kind of enemy, and I didn’t have to go back to the damn spawn point and face all daaaamn agaaaaain enemies to find out. I’d like to have a “fake health bar” so I can get a sense of how much damage they’re doing to know “Well, I would have died at this point.” Assist Mode helped me understand the language of the game, and got me back when I was ready to take out those training wheels, beat those foes, and have a sense of accomplishment in how I got better.
Other difficulty options can also adjust the genre of this game. Having XP with you means death plays a different role in the game. Renewing your stamina can make the game feel a little faster. Sure enough, when you turn on any of these features, there are certain achievements that you can’t unlock. But that’s good! In fact, it really maintains the overwhelming difficulty that the developers were aiming for. It makes playing the game the way it was designed as something you can aspire to, and not be penalized too much for failing to meet its demands.
I enjoy challenges and hard experiences in video games and more. I like to see my own improvement in the things I find interest in. But the soul loves, often, the teacher was very punishing for me. As someone who struggles with my mental health and has to fight enough real demons when something is frustrating, soul mates have remained something that I feel is very unpleasant to me. I’m just less likely to interact with them. I want to experience the thrill of beating these games, and the achievement of mastering something. I just need to prioritize my personal cooldown timer for things in life that you won’t have a hard time swiping. SteelRising It proves that the game can do this while still being very challenging.
Help Mode did not make the game easier. It was a helping hand that reframed the frantic work by saying, “Hey, you can really do that. Here’s how.” Games need more of this.
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