Metroidvania roguelike Chasm finally launches July 31st

Chasm

April 2013: Metroidvania roguelike Chasm lands on Kickstarter, with a demo.
February 2014: After going quiet for a time, Chasm resurfaces with a new trailer.
July 2018: Chasm finally sees the light of day, releasing July 31st (or 16th for backers).

They say good things come to those who wait, and Bit Kid’s Chasm has always looked very good indeed. While a multitude of other games have grasped for that metroidvania roguelike crown in the interim (such as Dead Cells), Chasm staked its claim early. and thanks to its detailed and smoothly animated pixel-art, it doesn’t look like it’s aged a day, as you can see in the new trailer below.

While it’s probably taken a little longer than anyone on the development team had hoped, Chasm is still an impressive looking game, and looks very polished. Understandable, given the length of time it’s been in development. While RPS has admittedly only covered it during its early years of development, the Kickstarter updates page for the game details a long and storied history of development blogs, convention appearances and alpha and beta releases for backers to play around with. Congrats to developer Bit Kid for finally bringing this one to fruition.

While a hardcore, perma-death mode is available, Chasm is designed to be played more like a traditional Metroidvania, complete with cutscenes, dialgoue and story. Unless you really want it to be, death in Chasm is an annoyance rather than a reason to hurl your PC out the window. As with Spelunky and many others, the individual room designs in Chasm are hand-crafted, but the overall world layout is procedurally generated, with the game arranging these building blocks into six distinct areas, punctuated with major boss battles.

Chasm will be launching on July 31st, and you can find it on Steam here, and later on Humble.

20 Comments

  1. DrJ3RK says:

    I’ve been waiting for this one. I can’t seem to get enough of them.

    Dead Cells, Sundered, and Aggelos are my recent favorites of the style. (Aggelos being a touch Wonder Boy and Wizards & Warriors as well) Chasm should keep me busy for a while. :D

  2. jacobvandy says:

    I backed this so long ago, but now I kind of wish I hadn’t… I mean, I’m glad the game is finally finished and I look forward to playing it, but at this point I’d rather have it on Switch than Steam. I don’t know if they’ve said anything about that yet, but this is exactly the type of game that is doing really well on there and I would assume they have plans. (I’m sure they regret having committed to a Vita port all those years ago, lol.)

  3. DarkFenix says:

    One of quite a few projects I backed years ago when Kickstarter was booming, glad to see another one reaching completion, looking very good too.

  4. ColonelFlanders says:

    So what exactly is the definition of roguelike in 2018?

    • Babymech says:

      Procedurally generated levels, permadeath with some fashion of unlock mechanic, plenty of equipment to bring variety in load-outs and playthroughs. Same as it’s been for the last five years?

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      I was going to ask the same thing about “Metroidvania.”

      • DarkFenix says:

        2D platform gameplay, a sizeable world map explored through said 2D gameplay rather than any independent means, a tendency towards gating progression behind unlocked tools or abilities.

        • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

          Yes, thank you. To be clear, my point was that procedurally generating maps doesn’t really allow Metroid-style play. But then, I never understood why “Metroid” and “Castlevania” got mashed together either.

          Why not just call this a platformer?

          • Arkteryx says:

            Someone else can probably give a more complete definition, but I would say that Metroidvanias are notably different than platformers in their explorability and openess. Platformers like Mario or Super Meat Boy generally have you going in a single direction (metaphorically speaking) and rarely repeating sections other than if you die. A Metroidvania gives you more directions to explore and then later gives you reasons to revisit areas after you’ve unlocked various abilities that will open up even more avenues.

          • DarkFenix says:

            I think it’s to do with the emphasis on it being an actual cohesive world you’re exploring, rather than a set of independent levels like you’d get in a platformer. In a sense, Metroidvania does to platformers what Dark Souls 1 did to third person hack and slash, it’s just a subset of a genre, but one that implies certain key mechanics.

          • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

            Yes! Thank you! I know! :) I feel like I was clear, but I guess not: I’m absolutely aware of what Metroid-style games are. I’ve been playing them ever since the game they take their name from.

            I’m saying one of the key – foundational I’d say – parts of Metroid games and those that have followed it is that exploration, and furthermore expansion/recontextualization of previously explored areas through upgrades or other kinds of meta-progress. And my point is that it really kind of requires a designed world, not a procedurally generated one. At least, I’ve yet to play a procedurally generated one that even comes close, and I have a difficult time imagining how one could.

            That’s also why I’ve never really liked combining Metroid with Castlevania, though. They’re actually very different kinds of games. And the “Metroid” part tends to be what people focus on in common usage anyway.

    • Shadow says:

      It’s been diluted to the point it means little more than procedural generation and permadeath. And not even mandatory permadeath, at that. So next to nothing. Some would say hard difficulty is a factor as well, as if such a thing had become a particular characteristic of a sole subgenre. Or variety in equipment, as if that weren’t the norm in any pseudo-RPG. Hell, a good chunk of games are pseudo-RPGs with stats and equipment these days, even those that for the most part don’t fit the bill (i.e. Doom, Wolfenstein II).

      I’d say this game has more in common with Diablo than anything else. Metroidvania, sure, because it’s a sidescrolling action RPG instead of top-down or isometric.

      But anyway, why do we keep trying to shoehorn specific niche definitions to games that would be best described by more general terms? Say, platforming action RPG? Take FPS games for instance: they’re not called Wolfenstein-likes or Wolfendooms, are they? Why get stuck in saying “oh this game is like a blend of Metroid and Castlevania” for years on end when the essence of that concept has outgrown its original inspiration?

      • Bremze says:

        It’s almost like words don’t have inherent meaning and can change depending on use, gramps.

        • Babymech says:

          He’s not saying words can’t change based on usage, he’s saying that good usage is better than bad usage. Saying “words change, dude” is a complete intellectual dead end – it’s because meanings change that it’s worthwhile to discuss how we use words, because we can always push our language to be more beautiful, sensible, expressive, etc., if we try.

          • Bremze says:

            Because bad/good usage is completely arbitrary.

            Ignoring the fact that comparing this game to Diablo is a silly own goal since that series traces directly to turn-based roguelikes of ye olde, platforming action RPG could apply equally well to both Dying Light and Super Smash Brothers but more importantly it’s possibly the blandest combination of words ever devised.

            The term roguelike (and soulslike) expresses a theme/feeling/mood which is infinitely more evocative than format or camera position and that’s what you want when pitching a game.

          • Babymech says:

            Every word is arbitrary, but are you trying to pretend that we don’t ascribe value to how it’s used anyway? Your English teacher should be put in a camp of some kind.

            I don’t care about rogue-like, or diablo-like, or metroidicious – I care about the utter pointlessness of saying “words change” as if that’s an argument not to try to change words. You might just as well say “laws change, dude” when people are telling you the legal system is unjust, because hey, morality is arbitrary as well.

            Everything except existence is arbitrary, which is why it’s possible to argue and be subjective and agree to change things. Personally I want to get people to stop using ‘decimate’ as a synonym for ‘destroy’ – not because the original meaning of decimate is sacred, but because the original meaning’s so much cooler than a worn out synonym for something we already have eighty ways to express.

          • Urthman says:

            The key to happiness is recognizing when a word is in flux and there is some worth to trying to influence how and whether it changes vs. when a word has changed and you’re just ranting to get it off your lawn.

            Using “roguelike” for this kind of game was pretty ubiquitous 10 years ago when Spelunky was released. That ship has sailed.

            (Hilariously, Wikipedia is still trying to make ‘roguelike-like’ happen.)

  5. DantronLesotho says:

    Super glad for them to finally get this out. I backed it originally and I’ve met the developers a few times over the years at PaxEast, all of which are really nice people. They seem to have a good idea of what they want in terms of quality, so I am confident that this release will reflect that.

  6. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Windows, Mac, and Linux releases are planned, for those interested.

    Looks good besides!

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