Seraph Is A Platformer That Does The Shooting For You

As a rule, I’ve always focused on acrobatics over aiming. It’s why I’ve somersaulted into quite so many lampposts. Applying my philosophy to gaming, yet another Guildford based team (when I grew up there it was just Colgate and Bullfrog) Dreadbit (Ironcast) have announced Seraph [official site] – a game in which the aiming is done for you, so you can focus on your angelic flips and spins.

Created by Daniel Leaver, a former designer at LittleBigPlanet developers Media Molecule, Seraph is described as a “skill based acrobatic shooter, without aiming,” in which the titular angel is attempting to regain her heavenly powers, while trapped by dark magics in the body of a paltry human. Instead of meticulously shooting at the sideway-scrolled enemies, you’re tasked with dodging their attacks with an array of athletic talents. Oh, and to “look awesome while doing it”. Exclamation mark.

With procedurally generated levels, the ability to craft new weapons and skills, and dynamic difficulty responding to how well you’re playing, it seems they’re aiming to find an original way to approach a platform game – but it’s “not a rogue-like”. There are checkpoints, and the ability to resurrect with penalties. There’s even word of a Twitch mode, in which viewers can vote on whether later levels will have a positive or negative “modifier”.

It’s an interesting notion, but one that we’ll have to get our paws on before we can assess its effectiveness. Not long to wait though, as it’s out next month already. You can see it moving here:

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  1. Metalfish says:

    “Exclamation mark.”

    Linguists could analyse this for days. (!).

  2. Synesthesia says:

    Hm. For a game so centered on movement, that running cycle and moving waddle are not the best animations i´ve seen.

  3. GWOP says:

    So, the inverse of a rail shooter…

  4. Premium User Badge

    Sihoiba says:

    Weird choice of clips in the trailer as well, especially around the feature splash screens.

    “Fight like an angel”: followed by a few flashes of angel wings.
    “Lightning fast acrobatic gameplay”: followed by the title character slowing hoping along the ground a bit.

    Given the way they arrange it’s like they switched half way through from splash screen -> related footage, to related footage -> splash screen.

    Also the movement looks weirdly clunky, I was expecting a much more flowing animation.

  5. Umberto Bongo says:

    That actually looks pretty fun, if you had full control. Why not give the option to turn it on or off? Or omit the shooting entirely if it’s not the focus of the gameplay?

    • Dreadbit says:

      The article title is a little misleading; you still control the shooting, just not the aiming. Firing rapid-fire weapons in short bursts to improve accuracy etc. :)

  6. Ahtaps says:

    It seems like it’s trying to be a 2D Bayonetta or Devil May Cry with a focus on guns instead of melee, which isn’t a bad thing because they’re great games to aspire to. I really hope they include a target lock button though because most auto-targeting games I’ve played have been pretty lousy at picking useful targets.

    • Dreadbit says:

      Hello there!

      Yes, whilst Seraph can pick her own targets, you can nudge the right stick in the direction of a specific enemy to initiate a “hard lock”. More on that here: link to