It's not hard to figure out The Godbeast's inspirations. An open world full of climbable giant monsters ala Shadow Of The Colossus, with evocatively named duels against villains straight out of Dark Souls, plus the ever-stylish harsh angular look of Killer7. Released last Friday, The Godbeast is the second from mostly-solo developer Jochen Mistiaen. In it, the player roams an abandoned, demon-infested city as a vengeful, motorcycle-riding prince of the night, hunting monsters (and his own kind) with a magical harpoon. See the trailer and a chunk of the game in motion below.
For a solo developer (minus some key art and music assistance), The Godbeast is an impressive piece of work. It feels like it leans more into its low aesthetic than predecessor Malebolgia. No longer held back by the untextured, dimly lit world, but improved by its stronger art direction. The city's glowing lights and burning fires give it a sense of scale, and the red highlights from blood and the spear's magic banner (which points toward bosses) help define the space. On top of roaming monsters, there are climbable, Shadow Of The Colossus-style bosses, and more Dark Souls-inspired duels.
While that trailer is striking, the footage from YouTuber and fan of all things souls-like "Neglected Tomb" gives you a better look at how the game actually works.
While the combat and animation look stiff, there are some elements I can't help but love. Some enemies can be killed outright by an exploding motorcycle, ideally jumped off just before impact. The city itself also looks massive and fun to navigate. Some parts of it seem to be perhaps a little too close to their inspirations, such as the 'Londo's Archers' mini-boss, seemingly a reference to the infamous rooftop archers of Anor Londo in Dark Souls. The 'Hunter Demon' in the video above also bears a strong resemblance to Dark Souls's Capra Demon.
It's a striking looking game. Whether it's a good one, I can't say, even after seeing a lot of it streamed, but it is fascinating, and I'm interested in hearing what people have to say about it in the coming weeks.
The Godbeast is out now on Steam for £8.09/€8.99/$11.69.