PAX 2015: Hands-On Death’s Gambit


This next game combines three types of games into one, that I didn’t think were possible in my wildest dreams. Death’s Gambit is a 2D side-scrolling action RPG that is a lot like Dark Souls (one of my favorite games of all time) and Castlevania, but also has you climbing gigantic enemies as you do in Shadow of the Colossus.

One fascinating thing about this is how the developers managed to capture that Dark Souls feel, but still have a retro-style game. When I first saw the game, I immediately thought of ActRaiser from the SNES, due to its art style.

The RPG element of the game is that each time you kill an enemy you gain “hope,” which you can spend when you get to a save point to upgrade your stats (similar to Dark Souls with collecting souls of your enemies).

One twist in this game however, is that some bosses are immortal and they come back; the problem is that you do not know which ones are immortal, so if you kill one, they might come back to get you. Also, just like Dark Souls, you can kill any NPC—even the good ones.


Keeping with the Souls tradition, after you die, you are brought back to life. In this game, Death is your ally, so when you die, he comes and steal your soul and transports it to a safe place. One thing to note about dying though is that you will drop all of your healing items, so to get them back, you must get back to where you died last.

Just like games like Castlevania, there is a map in the game, and you’re allowed to backtrack. You can also go back and battle the same bosses over again and I believe the developer said that you gain different items each time.

Also, apparently there’s some significance to the amount of healing items you can carry at once. From what I could understand, you could drop healing items, and this allows you to get special benefits. This is yet another innovative game that has me very excited to see more.

Death’s Gambit is coming to PS4 first in 2016, and later to PC.

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Written by Jason Honaker

Jason Honaker

A software developer for over 15 years, originally from St. Louis, MO and currently living in Seattle, WA. Started gaming in 1979 on the Atari 800 8-bit PC. I play all sorts of games, but am partial to RPGs and 3rd person brawlers and shooters.

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