Prelude Dark Pain - Preview

HiddenX

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VG247 checked out the tactical RPG Prelude Dark Pain:

Prelude Dark Pain may look like isometric Darkest Dungeon, but its influences run deeper

So far, it's got the style and substance required to make a splash.

Last weekend, I spent far less time than I'd have liked checking out cool indie games at Guadalindie 2024, a little but hard-hitting event in Malaga, Spain, which I wholeheartedly recommend if more editions are happening in the future. Coming out of this celebration of indie games and devs, Prelude Dark Pain was by far the coolest, most impressive title I could play.

At first glance, Seville-based Quickfire Games' debut may look like a straightforward take on Darkest Dungeon and its sequel, and they're more than willing to admit that influence, yet the whole packs more ideas and sticks closer to classic tactical RPGs such as Final Fantasy Tactics. Beyond that playable core also lies a more ambitious structure tying it all together.

The preview build I was able to play featured two different missions, one designed to be a tutorial of sorts and another quest which was wave-based and took place on top of two moving carriages drawn by armored tusked beasts. Prelude knows how to make a first impression, that's for sure; the art style is familiar, but also packs a number of graphical peculiarities that mesh well with the isometric view and overall design of the levels I was able to conquer.

The fact it's a dark fantasy game through and through doesn't mean it's depressing to look at either. Much like in Darkest Dungeon, Prelude Dark Pain is full saturated colors and hard lines. A common mistake among indie games going for a grim aesthetic is turning the whole screen into a grey or brown sludge with few sparks of visual joy, but that's not the case here. Personally, I was also curious about how the visuals featured in the demo translated to the larger, non-linear open-world that serves as the overarching structure of Prelude, but I wasn't able to experience that layer of the game.

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Thanks Couchpotato!

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