There’s merit in emulating what is one of the best action RPGs ever made, but it comes with the downside of setting a high bar. Immortal Planet admittedly draws inspiration from Dark Souls to create an action RPG that also features death as a mechanic, intense bossfights and a cryptic world to explore. Planned for a mid-year release, it’s currently looking for votes on its Steam Greenlight page.
The game’s combat revolves around an expanded Stamina mechanic, where the player can also see an enemy’s stamina, which determines what it is capable of doing and what will happen if you attack it – bashing a low-stamina enemy will stun it, for instance, but doing so to one with a full bar will stun you instead.
Levels are designed around single checkpoints, emulating the bonfire behavior in Dark Souls, and death will bring you back to the previous one, albeit at a loss of (also recoverable) experience. There are other similarities between the two, as the developer, Tomasz Wacławek, explains
Immortal Planet is a love letter to Dark Souls. After making RONIN, published by Devolver Digital in 2015, I wanted to create a game that would be my own take on emerging genre of souls-like games.
In Immortal Planet, the player sees how much stamina enemies have and can plan his approach around that, but also exploit it – performing a dodge towards an exhausted enemy will let you bash him to stun him for a few seconds. It’s a risky tactic, as bashing an enemy with full stamina will stun the player instead.
There are many items and spells in the game that use the stamina mechanic in innovative ways – cryo spells that damage stamina before affecting health, stims that instantly restore stamina, or attacks that deal bonus damage to enemies with low stamina.
Another pillar of souls-like game is the obtuse story full of secrets to uncover. Aside from your standard item description, in Immortal Planet players can use a Telepathy spell to unlock descriptions of the enemies they fight. It grants further insight into the society of immortals the game takes place in, but also makes that enemy permanently easier to defeat as the player character discovers its weaknesses.
During the playthrough player will explore tombs inhabited by different groups of immortals. With every one of them having a different take on how eternity should be spent, there is huge variety of enemy types and environments to discover. The player’s goal will be to figure out what happened to the planet’s inhabitants and how to escape from its curse of immortality.
I’m always for games with interesting combat-systems, and if the trailer and GIFs available so far are any indication, Immortal Planet seems to have as much potential in its gameplay as there was in Ronin’s turn-based ninja stabbing.