Hey, you, recruit! I need you to go check out this town down the road. There’s a report of something nasty going on, but more than likely, it’s just a pack of wolves. Or something, I dunno. Go check it out and report back. Oh, and don’t forget your sword on the way out. Chasm, a procedurally generated (wait, it’s not bad) Metroidvania title that has been in the works for years, is finally ready for the world.
Game Name: Chasm Platform(s): PC/Steam (reviewed), also available on PS4 & PS Vita Publisher(s): Bit Kid Developer(s): Bit Kid Release Date: July 31st, 2018 Price: $19.99
Time Played: 40 hours
A long time in the making
Five years ago, a development studio took to Kickstarter to pitch an interesting title. In it was the goal of traversing an underground world, a gripping story, and more importantly, killer gameplay. That game was supposed to be released in 2014, but as we all know, that didn’t happen. Instead, the game had been undergoing change after change. To the point where the finished product is what was promised and then some.
Something bad is happening, you’re sent out to see what’s going on, and it’s all really cliche. You make your way to the town and rescue the poor souls that were taken in the night. That’s pretty much the story, but you’re not here for that, right? No, you’re here for that ever-so-sexy gameplay and even sexier pixel-art. either of which manages to disappoint. The game beckons you back to the days of when games weren’t all about the photo-realistic looks and over-the-top gameplay. Instead, at the heart of Chasm is a fun combat system. Hack and slash your way, while incorporating a back dash to hit and run. There’s also a simple RPG level system. The more you slay the baddies, the more you power yourself up and the easier it all becomes.
As for those missing people, you gotta save them. Even if you don’t want to as they are essential for making it through the game. Some will provide side quests, others will do their best to help you through the game. There’s even a cute doggo that you can rescue. And who doesn’t love saving adorable doggies who are in need? Just go and save them, alright?
You got a simple crafting system, so you can create weapons and armor. While finding recipes will afford you better items to help keep you alive. Items scattered in chests or just laying in the open, ripe for you to find. Don’t forget hidden rooms and secrets that you’ll stumble on by accident, or did you do that on purpose? Yep, this is definitely a Metroidvania.
The controls are very tight, which is good as you’re going to be jumping, running, and dodging quite a bit. I did notice that at times when attacked in one direction and then immediately pressed in the other direction that my orientation didn’t change. I had to train myself to stop attacking and then change directions. Outside of that, this glaring issue with the control setup won’t be acceptable for certain PC gamers. As it stands, you can’t assign buttons to your mouse. The developer has stated that eventually, that ability will be in the game, just not at launch. While this doesn’t bother me, I feel a gamepad is perfect for this. I know quite a few people that can’t stand using gamepads on PC games, and this is going to be a sore point for them. There’s also no way to default your key mappings, in the event that you mess up and need to redo them. I can’t remember a PC game that didn’t have this.
Remember how I mentioned the dreaded words “procedurally generated”? Well, it’s nothing to be concerned about, it isn’t how you think it is. When you start the game, your world is generated, you’re given a seed which is just an identifier. Meaning my game world won’t be the same as yours unless I use your seed and vice versa. This is where the procedural generation occurs. On top of that, every room is handcrafted. So don’t worry about spoiling the game, because it doesn’t. It doesn’t affect progression. Meaning you’ll still need to do areas in a specific order; this will never change.
The deeper I go, the more fun I have.
There really isn’t a lot to say about Chasm. It’s quite enjoyable with plenty of baddies to take down, with several major bosses you need to vanquish. Toss in some lovely Metroidvania gameplay, a decent-sized world to explore, and lots of backtracking (if you’re into that). Now, I may be showing my age but fans of a classic title, Castlevania: Sympathy of the Night, are going to be right at home with this title. For everyone else, as long as you enjoy Metroidvania titles, well, you’re going to be enjoying this just as much. I’ve had multiple sessions that I said, “Just one more game,” that turned into hours. To me, that’s saying something as there aren’t many games out right now that can do that for me.
So, let’s talk about the elephant in the cavern: the difficulty. I remember this being a question that many people asked about, and I’m happy to report that this is a non-issue. From the start, you can choose from easy, normal, and hard. With any of these options, the game is handled like any other Metroidvania-styled game. Should you happen to die along the way to victory, you’ll start back at your last save point. However, there are two additional modes for those who are able to complete the game on normal and hard. The first is Nightmare, which amps the game up big time, and the permadeath mode: Mortal. Yep, I said permadeath. You die at any time, and your game is completely over. All of this gives the game a nice boost of longevity, which is a nice touch especially since there are no New Game modes in the game.
Another nice touch is that you don’t need a beefy PC to run the game. As long as you have a dual-core processor, at least 1GB of RAM, and a video card that supports OpenGL 3.0, then you’re in luck, which happens to be just about any PC and laptop released in the last ten years. It even has support for Windows XP!
Chasm hits the right chords and presents you with an engrossing adventure. And as much as I tried to find a fault (outside of the aforementioned control mishap), I couldn’t find one. The game is a fun time, and at the end of the day, this is exactly what Bit Kid set out to do. So if this sounds like your cup of tea, then Chasm is calling your name. Just don’t resist the urge to answer back.
Chasm is now available on PC/Steam, PlayStation 4, and PS Vita.
Review Disclosure Statement: Chasm was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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You know the saying, that good things come to those who wait? Well, this wait for Chasm has definitely yielded an amazing fun title, that should appeal to even the more hardcore of Metroidvania games. Beautiful, lots of stuff to do and tons of items and secrets to uncover, makes Chasm the game that will keep you busy for a long time. In fact, we just might be playing it longer than it took for this gem to be released.
Bravo, Bit Kid, Bravo!
An amazing looking game
Tight and responsive controls
Plenty of content to have you coming back for more