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Downward wall-runs into Early Access Dec 19


I’ve added Downward [official site] to my list of things to investigate this month as they come to Early Access. It’s billed as a “first-person open-world parkour adventure set in the medieval ruins of a post-apocalyptic Planet Earth.” The trailer caught my eye, but with any movement game it’s really hard to tell anything about how pleasant it actually is to interact with the systems until I can get my hands on it.

The art style reminds me of The Talos Principle in that the environments have that slightly unreal stock quality to them. That isn’t a criticism, by the way – it really worked for The Talos Principle in my opinion.

What I’m hoping for is really fluid movement – something like the best of the grappling hook sections from A Story About My Uncle, perhaps, given I don’t have Mirror’s Edge as a personal reference point.

I’m also intrigued by this from the features section: “Command the sky to influence the environment, affecting both visuals and parkour. Distort gravity, control heat, or summon floods… your surroundings may be your only ally.”

Downward goes to Steam Early Access on 19 December. Developers, Caracal Games, explain that they’re opting for Early Access rather than going straight to a full release as follows:

“Our project is quite ambitious, with original gameplay and mechanics. As a small indie team of three people only, being in close contact with a community of gamers and benefiting from their feedback can help us fine-tune all the intricate details of the game. We believe that this will go a long way to making the game more fluid, interesting and pleasurable for our players.”

They add that the build released on 19 December should contain around 3 hours of gameplay and is something like 50% of the entire experience.

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Philippa Warr


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