PAX Aus 2016 – Elden

Elden is a 2D Action Adventure from Onerat Games, a three person development team out of Melbourne. It is still early in its development phase, as up until 4 months ago it was still merely a student project.

Elden encapsulates the feeling of being lost in a way that resembles nothing less than Dark Souls itself, and this is not the only comparison that can be drawn to From Software’s very own action adventure. Dylan from Onerat was very adamant that the story will not be spoon-fed to the players. His exact words were:

We want it to be like you’re reading a book in a language you don’t understand, but don’t worry it has pictures.

Which is a perfect description for the way Elden makes you feel. There really is this obscure sense of wonder surrounding the game. Several times I found my self cautiously stepping onto platforms or buttons that I wasn’t entirely sure what did and curiosity has often killed more than just the cat. But that’s where the beauty lies, discovering the dangers of the world the hard way.

It is difficult to tell whether the emptiness or the world and the constant feeling of being lost is attributed to good game design, or the early stage of the build. But after chatting with Dylan and Peter of Onerat, I have faith in their direction. They have a clear path of where they want the game to go, and the picture that I was painted is a beautiful one.

The art of the game is a cool twist on pixel art. Which, before you immediately click off the article, I agree, pixel art has been done to death before. However, this still holds some unique aspects. It’s more Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP than the overdone pixel art that you’re probably imagining. Stop imagining that. I said stop it. The images above seem to be from a much older build than what’s currently available at PAX, but the overarching vibe of the game remains the same.

The combat of the current build is basic, however, it feels fantastic. With a little more depth in weapon choices and enemy types, it will really thrive. I’m going to give it a free pass at this stage simply due to how early in development it is, but it is absolutely something that I will be keeping an eye on in future builds leading up to launch.

Elden is currently playable in the Indie Rising section of PAX Aus and the team are hoping to launch into Early Access Q4 2017. I feel like it could be something special, so do get along and check the game out if you get a chance.