Immortal Planet trailer shows off Souls-inspired action

Immortal Planet header

I’m quite excited about Immortal Planet [official site]. It’s from the same Polish developer as Ronin, a turn-based stealth hack-and-slash, which I played a bit of and really enjoyed (and I wasn’t alone – Marsh liked it too).

The new game is a real-time isometric action-RPG that creator Tomasz Wacławek describes as ‘Souls-like’. You’re not going to be able to go in and button mash because the focus is on slow-paced, precise combat, where not getting hit is as important and landing a strike.

We now know when it’s coming out – some time in July – and there’s a new four-minute gameplay video with commentary to enjoy.

I’m a fan of the aesthetic, and the idea of a more deliberate combat system focused on dodging is really appealing. I’m not fully sold on the act of hitting enemies itself, though: it doesn’t look like many opportunities for combos, and most of the attacks are just slash left, slash right, slash left again. The video does look like it’s early in the game, mind.

There’s a big emphasis on stamina, both conserving yours and striking when the enemy is tired, which adds an extra layer of strategy. Here’s Wacławek:

“For me, the core of a Souls-like game is the methodical combat where patience and focus are much more important than reflexes. Stamina management is a huge part of that, but I always felt that there can be a lot more done to it to make it more interesting.

“In Immortal Planet, the player sees how much stamina enemies have and can plan his approach around that, but also exploit it – performing a dodge towards an exhausted enemy will let you bash him to stun him for a few seconds. It’s a risky tactic, as bashing an enemy with full stamina will stun the player instead.

“There are many items and spells in the game that use the stamina mechanic in innovative ways – cryo spells that damage stamina before affecting health, stims that instantly restore stamina, or attacks that deal bonus damage to enemies with low stamina.”

What do you reckon?

18 Comments

  1. Metalfish says:

    Oh great, another Doom clo-

    Ah, I took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in a lazy, dismissive comment from 1996 rather than my intended lazy dismissive comment from 2017.

    Are we at peak-souls? Or merely the cementing of a genre?

    • Baines says:

      Cementing of a genre? It was arguably a genre before Dark Souls was even created.

      “Souls-like” is the cementing of a buzzword. It describes perceptions of a genre, degrading and shifting in meaning as it is applied to more titles. The only question is how far will it shift from its source; will it shift so far as to lose most of the attachment it had to its source?

      • yhancik says:

        Sooner or later we’ll get a racer with Soullite-like elements

      • Viral Frog says:

        “Souls-like” is the new “roguelike”. It’s already to the point where anything with above average difficulty is instantly likened to Dark Souls, whether or not it shares any other resemblance.

        • Ghostwise says:

          I’d comment, but I’m *way* too soulslike for y’all.

    • pepperfez says:

      Is it a genre, though? I mean, Soulses fit pretty comfortably into the same 3D-action-adventure genre as, say, post-OoT Zelda. “Souls-like” seems to mean “with slow-paced, high skill-ceiling combat,” which is more of a design element than a genre.

  2. mainpatr says:

    New user here. This isn’t a Souls clone as much as it is really Bloodbastion(Bloodborne and Bastion with Transistor graphics thrown in). This game doesn’t seem that much different from Eitr, the other indie isometric Souls clone coming out.

  3. Tim James says:

    I give these Souls-type indie games credit for at least being in the realm of something I might play. At least it’s not another roguelite survival crafter (er, with Souls-like combat).

  4. pasports31 says:

    I get sick of people throwing dark souls out there all the time, simply putting a stamina bar in your game doesn’t make it a dark souls game. Developers who focus on the difficulty and stamina bar i think miss what makes the dark souls games great – sure, these features are important, but dark souls doesn’t become the smash hit it was without the rest of it – great art design, amazing level design, a world that folds into itself (even from software stopped paying attention to this – the world of ds1 was simply breathtaking in its construction), incredible atmosphere, lore that is ambiguous but interesting enough with its tidbits to tantalize you into hunting for it, incredible secrets to find (painted world of ariamis, etc), good encounter/enemy/boss design, and an awesome variety of weapons and playstyles that leads to replayability. Without all this, dark souls would’ve never made as much of an impact as it has. Look at how lambasted ds2 has been over the years – it’s a really good game, but some of the world design doesn’t make sense (everybody loves to point to the lava castle being above the poison area), and the level design is much more linear and unimaginative than any of the other soulsborne games. Developers i feel are taking the wrong lessons out of the series.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      I said it once and I’ll say it again: I’m pretty sure these developers (not from this game specifically, I say as a whole) never touched Dark Souls in their lives. They’re simply going blindly into the difficulty train the masses talk about when Dark Souls is brought as a subject.

      And to be honest, even if they knew everything you said, I doubt that any team would be able to design another interconected world like Lordran. Like you said, not even From Software knows how to make a souls game anymore.

    • UncleLou says:

      Well, I disagree. “Souls-like” is as good as any term to describe what a developer is aiming for. It’s basically a rough genre-description these days. Just looking at the screenshots here combined with “souls-like” tells a completely different story than if someone mentioned “Diablo-like”.

      That doesn’t mean someone needs to clone From’s games in every respect, but that never was the case with such terms. It wasn’t like that when games were called “Doom-likes” (everything that had an FP perspective) 24 years ago, nor when they are called “Diablo-likes” (loot, action combat)to this day, and yet they are useful terms.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        These terms don’t seem very useful to me from reading the complaints here. Considering how many factors that made Dark Souls successful, you need to be more specific than just saying souls-like.

        I’m not sure that everyone just means “really difficult” when they say souls-like, but the problem with using buzzwords is that they’re often empty of meaning or vague.

  5. JaguarWong says:

    As a huge fan of Ronin I can’t help but feel disappointed by this.

    The best of luck to the game, I hope it finds a strong audience and allows the dev come back with something more interesting (to me) next time around.

  6. ColonelFlanders says:

    It’s got a stamina bar and iframes! It’s a souls-like!

    In other news, the Doom-like Call of Duty returns to our screens this year, along with Utopia clone Endless Space 2.

    • Rumpelstiltskin says:

      the one-shotting boss at the end is kind of souls-like though

  7. Deadly Habit says:

    Soulslike is the new catch all marketing buzzword term for difficulty just like roguelike got co-opted for anything with a hint of procedural generation.

  8. LTK says:

    I’m really hoping that when the game releases, the enemies will have more than three frames of attack animation.