Death’s Gambit Is 2D Dark Soulsvania Of The Colossus

Death’s Gambit [official site] wins because the ‘D’ in its logo contains both a skull and a scythe. It wins because it’s not on Kickstarter after being picked up by Adult Swim Games. It wins because it’s a side-scrolling slasher which depicts Shadow of the-style colossi with crisp pixel art. Come see the first trailer below and a curated selection of GIFs from the game’s development blog.

It’s nice that Dark Souls exists now so people don’t have to describe gothic-medieval combat games in relation to Castlevania alone. I’m going to go elsewhere with this and say it is Golden Axe to Titan Souls’ Gauntlet.

Described as an action-RPG, the game’s site sums up the three tenets of the experience: “Climb big creatures that will test your resolve. Fight dangerous monsters that will make you think outside the box. Give up everything for glory.” There’s a little more information on the game’s development log but not much, although you might be able to glean a little more about the rhythms of its combat from GIFs showing its blocking, dashes, rolls, and health bars.

I promised a curated selection of those GIFs, but actually I’m picking just one. Red trees in a stark, snow-covered world is all you need:


  1. horrorgasm says:

    Um….yeah. I need that.

  2. PancakeWizard says:

    I can’t explain why, but I wish this was named Shadow of the Beast 4.

    Yeah, I know it’s nothing like the same kind of play, but it’s what I imagined an SotB to be like if it was made today.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      EDIT: Their twitter feed doesn’t appear to go anywhere. :(

      • PancakeWizard says:

        EDIT 2: I found them, have notified them of the problem.

    • bishmanrock says:

      There’s a SotB remake on the way, if you weren’t aware!

      • PancakeWizard says:

        I was, and from the trailer alone I can surmise it’s going to be a generic third-person blockbuster yawn-fest. There’s a weirdness to SotB that this game seems to capture -not a lot, but just a little.

        • Emeraude says:

          That game sure had a mood, didn’t it ? It mainly lived on it as far as I’m concerned, which is probably why the second and third game didn’t really work for me.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            Agreed. I think the time is right for a true successor to the first one. We’re at a point where the indie scene can get away with a little weird again.

      • Goodtwist says:

        No, he’s not.

      • Emeraude says:

        I wasn’t. After a quick search, I must confirm ignorance is bliss.

  3. ribby says:

    It looks so good!

  4. Xzi says:

    I couldn’t see my face while watching that trailer, but I imagine I had my do want face on the whole time.

  5. Orija says:

    Can we for fuck’s sake stop talking about upcoming games in terms of other games? Please?

    • Emeraude says:

      Especially since “giant is a stage” should remind us more of R-type if anything.


    • Valkyr says:

      I agree with this. “Newgame is Game1+Game2+Game3 together” is a VERY unoriginal, boring, uninspired, and uninteresting title RPS seems to be using more and more often.

    • pepperfez says:

      At some level, though, that’s the only way to talk about games. Genre descriptions only mean something in reference to exemplars of the genre (“FPS” doesn’t make much sense unless you’ve played or at least seen one, in which case it means, “Kinda like that other game I played that was an FPS.” So why not be more precise and call it “Doom-like” or “sci-fi Call of Duty” or whatever?). Bad analogies to other games are the problem, especially the marketing-driven ones developers/publishers give their own games (Soulsian, roguelikelikelikelikelike, -vania), but that’s because marketing is awful, not anything particular to relative descriptions.

      • Unclepauly says:

        pepperfez beat me to it but I was just gonna say that sometimes even though it seems lazy and unoriginal it is also the best way to get the point across. I would have figured it out on my own from the vid but without the title giving me a good description I may have not even watched the vid.

      • ribby says:

        Good point Pepperfez. Just thought about how I’d succinctly describe a game and it’s hard to do it without comparisons for anything but the simplest sort of game.

      • DrollRemark says:

        The funny thing is, if the article had just said “This is like Castlevania” (as some of the other comments do), then I would have been a lot more interested. But mashing in all those terms, especially fucking “Soulsian” switched me right off. I very nearly skipped straight past this article.

    • Person of Interest says:

      Feel free to propose a better alternative, or even any alternative. No? Just wanna gripe? OK then.

    • Jinoru says:

      That’s Family Resemblance Theory at work in game genre definitions. Its not perfect, but its what’s most used at the moment.

      You know you do it too.

      For an alternative way of classifying games, look up Mechanics/Dynamics/Aesthetics in game analysis.
      Here’s a succinct wiki article.
      link to

    • Ejia says:

      But it’s so much fun! I like playing the “Oooh, how many titles can we bash together to describe this?” game. It’s like going wild at a Pick and Mix!

  6. BTAxis says:

    Then he took an arrow to the knee.

  7. vlonk says:

    I spotted an arrow right above the knee in this trailer… I hope it is the “continue” screen and If you dont continue you retire and walk away to a life in the cityguard.

  8. draglikepull says:

    Looks more like a lo-res Castlevania: Lords of Shadow to me.

    • Emeraude says:

      The sad thing is, my humor detector is all off for contextual reasons and I can’t say is this is being a serious or a facetious post.

      • draglikepull says:

        Serious. The boss fight in particular looks more like how LoS handled climbing than how Shadow of the Colossus did.

  9. Mixem says:

    I’m so happy to see this up here. The core dev team are made up of recent grads from my uni and I play tested it just a couple months ago. It’s a bit rough around the edges but it’s still amazingly awesome.

  10. Urthman says:

    The joke about the game being a winner because of it’s logo is only funny if you don’t forget to tell us the real reason the game wins is that it has a freaking grappling hook.

  11. SlimShanks says:

    Yes please! Assuming they are gonna work on the animation to make it convey what you are doing better. The animations tended to have only a few frames, and side scrolling enthusiasts know that that leaves you guessing in terms of timing. Otherwise it looks baller side swag.
    The Ornstein reference was a bit obvious though…

  12. Wagrid says:

    This looks really fucking cool.

  13. Lionmaruu says:

    Yeah….that’s totally castlevania. It does not matter what another game you think it is, they even went that far to use the same opening sequence of castlevania! it is kinda like castlevania with that guy from dragonslair lol.
    I also dont really like the graphics (too crisp for my taste) and dont know why this freaking game have to keep moving that way!

    That said the gameplay looks very good for the style, and probably a lot of people will love it. (old 2d castlevania fans, of course are in for a treat.)