The idea of an isometric Dark Souls experience is something we have seen before with the likes of Joten. Yet, with this said, Immortal Planet looks to twist things with its own take on the genre in both setting and style. Rather than utilising existing mythologies, the game instead builds its own half-seen narrative.
The world here captures how even the most bleak environment can tell a story through its features and foes, backed by only glimpses of lore. It’s a quality which gives them character, but always throws in the odd entertaining twist. Enemies can shift-tactics mid fight, with only subtle foreshadowing alluding to this, but it always leaves you with a few methods a smart player can use to counter them. This extends beyond simply learning a pattern of attacks to rapidly switching between various weapons and employing the right skills.
Unlike the clunkier slow moving engagements you might expect, the game places a major emphasis upon using its dash abilities to cut through enemies; something which often turns slow occasional exchanges of attacks into high speed duels. It’s an incredibly satisfying break from the usual mechanics games of this style favour, and it is further broken up by the ability to much more viably use ranged attacks to stay ahead in fights.
Unfortunately, while Immortal Planet is a great game, a couple of failings build up to hold it back from being a truly outstanding one. One of the big ones is how many enemies seem to be tweaked or worked that bit too far until you’re frustrated at the mechanics more than losing. For example, early on you will bump into foes with ranged acidic attacks which stun-lock you in place, rarely offering a real opportunity to recover or break free. This is a problem with enemies, as they seem to have an innate edge against you which goes beyond their sheer strength.
Equally, you have a spawn system here as Dark Souls, where death or resting will respawn foes and you can regain the points you lost. The problem is, rather than their version of estus flasks containing the same amount of “estus” from when you were alive, you can only store one per flask. This makes rebuilding from your losses incredibly tedious during some of the game’s worst moments.
Is Immortal Planet worth playing despite all of that? Definitely. This is still a fantastic experience and anyone who has enjoyed the sort of tooth-grinding difficulty we usually get out of FromSoftware will have a blast with this one. It’s simply that with a few definite tweaks, updates and modifications this could have been Game of the Year material.
IMMORTAL PLANET / DEVELOPER AND PUBLISHER: TEEDOUBLEUGAMES / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW