Battlecursed – Preview

Normally when I receive a game for preview it’s only a couple of weeks out from being released and is just receiving some last minute polish.  Currently Battlecursed from Codex Worlds is looking to enter Early Access February 8th. This means that I’ve been able to sample the game at a very early stage, and I’ll be able to watch it grow towards the final product.

Battlecursed has a long way to go before it’s in any way a complete game, as many of it’s features are still missing.  As such this isn’t a review where I pick it apart but rather a preview where I look at potential.

What is Battlecursed? Essentially it’s a rogue-like dungeon crawler.  Unlike most dungeon crawlers which use a grid based movement system, Battlecursed is free moving and real-time.  You control a party of four adventurers in a series of procedurally generated levels, with each level having a specific task before you can move to the next.

Yep. I stacked characters in order to be more OP. Classic dungeon crawler strat.

Visually the game looks fantastic, having been built from the ground up in Unity.  I’ve encountered several different enemies all of which look fairly detailed.  Dungeons are suitably dim, dark and shadowy.

The music for the game has only just been implemented in a recent patch, but it’s orchestral design suits the dungeon romp.  Sound effects are pretty standard.  No real voice acting at this stage but hopefully it’s something to be implemented as I think it will give the player a closer connection with their characters.

As you traverse the dungeon killing beasts, slashing swords, firing arrows and casting spells you complete objectives, typically picking up something or killing a certain amount of something.  For my time with the game the various equipment, spells and skills were all fixed but I can see that this is simply a limitation of an early build, although I can also see that the focus is more on the action and less on the RPG. As such don’t expect a deep inventory and skill system the likes of ‘Legend of Grimrock.’  Likewise don’t expect (at least at this stage) puzzles, secret doors or NPC’s.  Battlecursed at this stage of it’s life is a pure hack’n’slash title.

Ranged classes rules supreme (so far).

Upon completing a dungeon level you’ll crack open any loot you acquired which can be equipped or used (often being healing potions) before selecting your next mission along a branch-like system.  Each mission will show a different location, reward and difficulty.  At this stage I’m not sure if you are ever able to return to town; I got several levels deep with no respite.

Before delving into the endless dungeons though, you’ll be able to traverse the town above via static screens.  All of this is pretty much placeholder and disabled at this stage but it allows you to get an indication of what is to come.  Expect special equipment, town perks, history, lore and a great deal more, as well as a graveyard to visit the fallen.  In some regards this part of the game reminds me of the classic Wizardry games.

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I’ve only spent a couple of hours with Battlecursed so far, largely because there just isn’t much to do in it at this stage.  You can see where it’s heading though and there certainly is a lot of potential.  I’m a fan of traditional dungeon crawlers such as Wizardry, Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master and the more recent Legend of Grimrock.  I’m also a fan of first person fantasy combat such as the Elder Scrolls series of games.  I’ve even come to appreciate rogue-like games provided there is some sort of boon, XP or unlock that validates each run, which Battlecursed appears to have.

All the ingredients are there, we just have to wait for them to be properly mixed and baked.

Should you be buying Battlecursed right now? No, there is nowhere near enough content to warrant a purchase.  You should, however, be putting it on your wishlist and keeping an eye on it over the coming months as more and more content is added to the game.

Official Website
Steam Page

Reveal Trailer

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