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Stylish swashbuckling action game En Garde comes out on August 16th

From student project to one of Steam Next Fest's most popular demos

Adalia kicks an enemy off a ledge in En Garde!
Image credit: Fireplace Games

Developers Fireplace Games have announced that their stylish action game En Garde! is releasing on August 16th. The game’s mixture of improvisational melee combat and swashbuckling humour made it a standout at this year’s Summer Game Fest, and you can (and should) see the graceful action in action below.

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En Garde puts us in the boots of Adalia de Volador, a cheeky anti-hero who aims to take down a tyrannical Count-Duke in the 17th Century. Or rather a very camp take on the 17th Century. That tale plays out over several episodes, or you can play around with “zany modifiers” in Arena Mode.

As you can see from the above trailer, though, the fencing combat seems to be the game’s highlight. There’s a heavy dose of the Batman Arkham games, with colour-coded counters and dodges. But En Garde sets itself apart with playful environmental attacks to embarrass enemies with. That includes - but is not limited to - dropping a chandelier on foes, trapping their heads in buckets, and shooting them with a cannon at a comical distance: one foot away.

Following in the bootsteps of games like Dark Messiah or AC: Odyssey, Adalia’s arsenal also includes the almighty kick to knock foes off ledges or into random stuff. Giving enemies the boot and making them ragdoll into oblivion makes almost any game better thanks to some Moby Dick-style physical comedy. The move always kicks ass and that’s literal in En Garde.

Our AliceO named En Garde’s demo one of the best from this year’s Steam Next Fest. “It is a game where you enter a room (likely in a cool way, like swinging in from a flagpole)," she wrote, "quickly note the hazards you could use to your advantage and form a rough plan, then spot a lute sitting on a table and immediately abandon all caution because you cannot resist the urge to lob that lute at some guy's face.” That sounds as cool as it looks in action. No wonder it was one of the most popular demos from the event.

En Garde began as a student project in 2018, before funding from Kowloon Nights kicked in (ha!) and allowed the team to expand. Independent gaming fund Kowloon Nights had previously supported games such as Sifu, Scorn, and Tchia. You can find an early look at the student project here.

En Garde! will be available to buy on Steam on August 16th.

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