Game Review PC Playstation 4

Death’s Gambit Review (PC)

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I’ve waited a long time to play this game and when I finally got my hands on it I felt… disappointed. I waited all this time for this?

Death’s Gambit does some things right, but does a lot wrong too. Read on to find out what I think of this flawed game!

The Great:

Aesthetic:

You can’t call Death’s Gambit an ugly game. It’s not. The artwork here is beautiful and the game itself is beautifully designed. White Rabbit really showed what they can do with pixelated graphics and it shows here. The animations are… okay. Every time I log in I’m blown away by the beauty of the environments and soundtrack to this game.

Sounds:

This game has an awesome soundtrack. Every track is memorable and some times I would stand in a single spot and just listen to the music before moving on to a different area. It’s that good and I want to own it. The voice acting isn’t bad either. It’s actually rather good and that surprised me. I didn’t expect this game to have good voice acting. I didn’t know this game was going to have voice acting at all so this was a good surprise for me when I booted the game up and heard everyone (except the main protagonist) talking. The only low point I can think are the various different sound effects. Sword slicing, magic spells, etc. They sound okay, but that’s the best I can say about them.

The Good:

Gameplay:

I struggled placing this. I considered placing it in the bad section, but I did enjoy my playthrough as my warrior. The gameplay is all over the place in this game. I don’t like the fact that I can just move right through enemies in front of me. There is no impact when I hit an enemy or block an attack. I don’t like that I have to push a button (LB) to climb up ladders, the platforming is fucking stupid, and the only thing in this game that I think saves it from being in the bad section is the skill, and magic systems. I like that my skills are separate from the combos I perform with my weapons. Hitting enemies builds up the meter under the stamina bar. The higher the number the more skills you can perform. Most skills cost 30 points to use. You can find items to reduce the cost of your the skill in the first slot by half, but honestly it’s not needed. I never struggled to perform my skills on anything and that includes bosses. I love this feature and wouldn’t mind if other games borrowed it.

The platforming in this game is absolutely horrible. The animations are too… stiff and simple to have platforming in my opinion. It just doesn’t work and it was a chore playing through a good portion of this game. This game has too much competition for the price that it’s at. $5 more can get you Dead Cells or you can buy the superior Salt and Sanctuary for $17. Both Dead Cells and Salt and Sanctuary will get you more bang for your buck over this game. They’re much longer and have more replayability too.

The reason why I mentioned the two games above is because this game is advertised as a 2D Soulsborne game. That means you get to rest at some sort of bonfire and level up your character while overcoming tough bosses and losing something when you die.

The Bad:

Story:

At the beginning of the game the main protagonist is killed, or nearly killed, and is given immortality by death. The voice is acting is nice, but I never really cared about what was going on or any of the characters in the story. It feels like a cheap high school story that you write while you’re waiting on the final bell to ring so you can go home. It’s that bad and honestly I’m surprised it took them four years to come up with this shit.

Customization:

This is the biggest issue for me. The customization in this game is painfully limited. I can’t change my character’s appearance except for a few different colored capes. The weapon variety is extremely limited and there’s little to no point in equipping a new weapon once you unlock the ability to upgrade what you already have because every “new” longsword that I found looked EXACTLY like the one I was already using!!! What’s the point of adding new weapons in your game if they all look the same! It’s stupid and is a major waste of my time.

It’s Really Short:

I completed Death’s Gambit in 10 hours. 4 years for a 10 hour game. Some people have completed it in 6 hours. Some people are on their third or fourth playthrough already. The world is beautiful, but it’s incredibly tiny and linear and the $20 price tag hurts this game when compared to meatier experiences like Salt and Sanctuary and Dead Cells. Yes, Dead Cells is a short game too, but since it’s a Roguelite game it has replayability. This game doesn’t.

It’s Really Buggy on Both PC and PS4:

Death’s Gambit is optimized like shit. It needed more time to bake in the oven. It has a speed issue that really fucks the game up in major ways. At first everything is running normal, but all of a sudden everything starts moving super fast. It became a huge issue in boss fights because they attack lightning fast. If the fps dropped (which is often) then the game would move super slow like I’m running it a 5 fps. When I pause the game some times the game would flip out and start doing weird shit. The screen would blink and I would hear button presses even though I’m not pressing anything.

Horseback Riding:

This game has the most useless horseback riding mechanic I’ve ever played in any game. The only use the horse has is at the very beginning of the game. It helps you jump over a gap and after that you don’t ever need to use it again. There are bells around the lower area of the map for you to call it, but it’s not needed. The game isn’t large enough for you to summon the damn thing.

The Verdict

I've been looking forward to playing Death's Gambit for years. It's an incredibly disappointing game that released a little too late. Some amazing games in this genre has released while I've been waiting for this game and Death's Gambit can't live up to any of them. This game was a chore to play and it hurts me to say that because this is a beautiful game with an amazing soundtrack. Everything else... unfortunately... is lacking. If you have $20 to spend and you want to play something similar to Dark Souls buy Salt and Sanctuary. It's the better game and has co op. Wait for this one to go on sale and for some of those nasty bugs to be ironed out before buying this one.

6
Final Score:
6

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