When I’m not at home playing Zelda (maybe a Switch would have been a good idea after all, so I could play at work!) I’ve been continuing my Steam backlog. The next game to catch my attention was ACE Team’s Abyss Odyssey. Another of the many hundreds of Humble Bundle games added to my library and promptly forgotten about, I first mistook Abyss Odyssey for a Metroidvania as it rather looks like one from a brief glimpse of gameplay but it’s actually a roguelike righting game.
After a short prologue that sets up the story of a corrupted Warlock becoming controlled by his powers and falling to madness, you can begin exploring the titular Abyss. You make your way down through a number of floors through monsters of increasing difficulty with the goal of making your way to the Warlock and beating him.
At first you’re only able to play as Katrien, a fast character with a rapier but as you progress you unlock the second character in the Ghost Monk who has stronger attacks in a samurai style. You also open up some additional entrances into the Abyss that start you further down meaning you have less floors to conquer, but they’re typically harder. A final character, La Pincoya, can be earned by donating money to her fountain which can be found on each trip into the Abyss by entering the yellow room that can be seen on the maps you find dotted around.
As well as standard enemies, there are several bosses that appear with major ones that have unique appearances marked on the map while other bosses are shadows of the playable characters. The bosses tend to be quite a bit more difficult than standards enemies as you’d expect, and will likely put an end to your run the first couple of times you encounter them.
You can collect improved weapons and equipment, either by simply finding it as you progress through the Abyss or by buying them from one of the many shopkeepers that you find, and defeating enemies also increases your character level though as far as I can tell this only increases your health and not attack strength – and its not refilled when you level up either which feels somewhat unusual. The characters also each have a number of special attacks that unlock as you level. If your character is killed you then take control over a soldier, who is tasked with finding an altar to bring the hero back. The soldiers are much less powerful so the priority really does become getting to an altar as quickly as possible as your run will be over if the soldier dies.
Fighting in Abyss Odyssey is surprisingly complex. In addition to standard attacks from simply pressing the button, there are also directional attacks from pushing in a direction while attacking as well as jump attacks. You can also dodge left or right, with a well timed dodge giving you a powered attack on an enemy us you can counter and throw enemies.
Abyss Odyssey also has a really nice art style and the character animations are very fluid, particularly the playable characters. There are a few different floor designs, and the lighting effects from the background on some of them are pretty great. The music is also quite good, while not being anything too over the top.
I’m a little worried that I’ve managed three fun games in a row from my backlog, I’m sure there must be some rubbish ones in there and my good luck so far means that the next one’s likely to be a total stinker..