Chasm Preview
by Brian Tomlinson
When I and other RPGFan writers came to MAGFest 2013, we ventured forth with a select few goals in mind. One of them was playing Discord Game's Chasm. Discord had set up a MAGFest-only demo of the game, so we had to get our hands on it. We were able to wade through the heavy crowds and make our way over to the booth and get our game on. While still technically in development, the game has a remarkable polish to it. The Baltimore based game development company were interesting to talk to, and provided a lot of insight into the world surrounding their beautifully pixelated Action RPG.

As Chasm begins I find myself assuming the identity of a soldier, tired and weary from a long standing war, trying to make his way home. He passes through a mining town, only to discover that miners have been vanishing after entering into a presumably evil temple deep beneath the town. Realizing that they are now unable to leave the town due to unknown powers, the player must traverse the mines that lay beneath the city, in oh-so-awesome "Metroidvania" style. Right off the bat, the art style in the game is gorgeous. It's an interesting statement to make about a game that's primarily pixel art, but there's undeniable quality in every single sprite of every single screen.

If you've played Metroid or Castlevania, you will be familiar with a bulk of the gameplay mechanics showcased in Chasm. The rooms are each handcrafted, but procedurally generated, leaving a unique experience each time the player sets out. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for the grind. Whether my goal is to level up or gain loot, I'll do it for hours just to find the next best thing. Chasm looks to provide me another outlet for satiating my sadistic need to acquire better and better drops. With items ranging from ordinary to unique and legendary, there will be no shortage of equipment to help further any player's adventure.

Though not much of the game has been shown, what little bit that has been revealed has been incredibly well made. Chasm succeeds in staying true to the retro aesthetic, while the guys at Discord Games have added their own modern polish to it. The game is slated for release in May of this year, nearing almost a year after it was successfully Kickstarted in 2013. With six expansive dungeons, a variety of different modes, and leaderboards for the one-uppers, Chasm doesn't appear to have any shortage of content for players to enjoy. A demo has been released to the public, which should be enough for players to whet their whistle until the full game comes out. Chasm looks beautiful, controls fluidly, and has an authentic charm that's going to have me at the front of the (virtual) lines to grab a copy.

To try the Chasm demo (of the April 2013 build) for yourself, head over to Indie DB and give it a go!

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