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Steelrising Is Looking Like a Surprisingly Good Bloodborne Tribute
Vive la Soulslike.
Developer Spiders is best known as something of a BioWare tribute studio. Its most successful game, GreedFall, is the latest in a modest line of RPGs that draw heavily upon the likes of Mass Effect and Dragon Age. But Spiders' next game, Steelrising, is nothing like a BioWare game at all. Instead, it's an ode to FromSoftware. Specifically, it is Bloodborne set in the French Revolution, with Yarnham's beasts swapped out for Parisian clockwork robots. As a pitch, it sounds a little derivative (at least mechanically). But despite seemingly minimal innovations, playing Steelrising reveals something that has genuine promise.
At a recent hands-on event I was able to play around three hours of Steelrising, which covered the opening locations and the first major boss. Playing as Aegis, a clockwork automaton ballerina-turned-bodyguard, I explored a small variety of twisty rural village and Parisian city locations that knotted themselves together with shortcut routes. As I tore apart robotic enemies with blades and bullets I collected Anima Essence, a resource that I could use to upgrade my stats and improve my weapons, provided I didn't lose it upon death. Upgrades were conducted at 'Vestal' checkpoints, which also refilled my health restoring oil burette with a fresh supply. If it's not already clear, Steelrising plays exactly like a FromSoftware game.