Previews// PAX Round-Up: Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus, Enter the Gungeon and Eon Altar

Posted 21 Sep 2015 18:00 by
Chris O'Regan, host of The Sausage Factory podcast (which takes a deep dive into the development process with games studios, you should listen to it), has travelled to the future to sample the games that will be interfering with your older brain. When we say the future, we mean PAX Prime. When we say 'interfering with your older brain', that is exactly what we mean. Read on for what he found...

Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus
Developer: SuckerFreeGames
Format(s): Windows PC

Golden Axe is not a very good game. There, I said it. I know some may regard this statement as tantamount to heresy but, honestly, it's a bit rubbish. It was when it first appeared, and it most definitely is now. But why bring this up? Well Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus is a game that in passing looks like it plays like Golden Axe.

That is, until you actually experience it for yourself. For when you do, you know what Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus is quite far removed from that old arcade title as it could possibly be. Its title alone should give sufficient hint of that fact. I mean, it has a colon in it for pity's sake!

Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus is a lefty-righty side scrolling brawler that features three characters, Gleobryn the cleric, Rose the thief and Bolax the barbarian. They traverse the land seeking adventure, only to be confronted with Orc frat houses and other odd creatures that clearly do not belong in a fantasy realm, but they are present, so there.

Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus takes the retro feel of Golden Axe and liberally applies a heavy dose of contemporary game play mechanics with on and offline multiplayer modes of play on offer. The animation and art style are very current, along with the strong seam of humour that litters the dialogue between the three characters.

The art is especially engaging as there are two different styles that are presented to the player, with the character portraits portrayed in an alternate style to the on-screen avatar the player controls. Initially this is a little jarring, but actually makes a great deal of sense as the portrait stills are there to convey emotion while the avatars are describing how players are inflicting damage.

The fluidity of animation to the characters in Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus is what marks it apart from the brawlers it is clearly inspired by. With modern machines being able to offer much more in terms of memory sprites (as they were once known) and can have a lot more animation frames, making them far more convincing than the flickering marionettes of old.

I had a really good time playing Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus and it had me chuckling at some of the exchanges and exploits the characters engaged in during play.

Dungeons: The Eye of Draconus is out now on Windows PC.

Enter the Gungeon
Developer: Dodge Roll
Format(s): PS4, Windows PC, Mac & Linux

Bullet hell games and Rogue-likes really ought not to mix right? I mean seriously, who wants to worry about dodging bullets while a host of foul monsters are trying to chew your face off? Up until I encountered Enter the Gungeon at PAX Prime 2015 I was very much of the opinion that these two genres shouldn't be in the same room let alone be merged, but Dodge Roll, the people behind the creation of Enter the Gungeon have proven me very wrong and I'm happy about this.

What little story there is behind Enter the Gungeon is actually quite interesting if a tad silly. The basis is that all of the characters that choose to enter the gungeon do so under the premise that they seek the ultimate treasure at its heart,
that being a gun that can destroy the past. Why anyone would want such a thing is beyond me, but the roster of characters that feature in Enter the Gungeon all boast a reason why they must have this gun and they're going to do everything in their power to get it.

Enter the Gungeon is very much a Rogue-like in that players will initially find the going tough but after repeated plays will become stronger and more prepared allowing them to go deeper into the Gungeon. As the game's name clearly shows, guns are the primary weapon at the player's disposal.
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