The Soulslike game is one that really tests a player’s skill and patience, but it’s not always wise to jump in at the deep end. Fear not though, as Sinergia Games and Mantira may have provided another alternative in Elderand. It’s a 2D pixel platformer with an emphasis on combat. You’ll have some main weapons, ranged weapons, magic weapons, and items to use as you explore and fight. Navigate the map at your leisure while fighting your way forward to a boss that will likely give you something you need to continue. It might be the shallow part of the Soulslike genre, but be careful, since you can still drown in the depths.
What is Elderand?
The fantasy genre has made a huge mark on Soulslike games in terms of lore and epic adventure. With Elderand, there is definitely an epic fantasy adventure underway. In an unknown world, people are suffering under the terror of the evil being Sserthis. However, a mercenary has been found who may hold the key to defeating Sserthis once and for all as well as undoing all the damage that they’ve done. This takes a fleet of ships to a mysterious land to find the answer and only one warrior manages to make it to the shore alive. As this warrior, you must seek out the truth behind Elderand and kill a bunch of monsters and baddies while you’re at it.
Washing up in unknown fantasy land is always a promising start to an adventure, so Elderand starts strong. After a bit of preamble and some character customization, you’re off. The tutorial isn’t invasive as you follow the first paths, but quickly branches and encourages you to test things out for yourself. You’re introduced to different kinds of enemy types and enough weapon variety for some dynamic gameplay experience. It becomes clear that everything you pick up has a preferred situation which you get to figure out and feel good once you do.
On the whole idea of a Soulslike challenge, this game walks the line between hardcore and forgiving. There are definitely enemies that can kill you in a matter of seconds if you’re careless and bosses that have no problems charging directly into you for massive damage. So, you’ll die and restart back at the last campfire you saved. However, you don’t have to deal with the pressure that comes with trying to make your way back to where you died to get your stuff. The punishment comes in the form of distance and navigation which is tough but fair.
Getting Lost in the Mix
Although Elderand may be a good entry into the Soulslike genre, it has some things that work against it. The main one is the hitboxes between enemies and your character. There are times when you’ll be fighting something and neither one of you with be able to hit the other which creates an awkward stalemate. This also highlights another issue in that the controls can feel a bit clunky. While Soulslike games can be called unfair, they pride themselves on having tights and smooth controls so that players can hone their skills. Unfortunately, this title has a sticky feeling with random delays popping up among inputs, generally when you don’t them to appear.
The Mystery of Elderand
Elderand is a 2D pixel action-platformer with Soulslike and RPG elements about fighting through a fantasy world to find an evil-killing secret. It provides a degree of challenge that is approachable for the genre and gives you a lot of options to tackle different threats using a massive arsenal. The controls are a bit stiff which can be frustrating with enemies having weird attack executions that break immersion. Look over these facts and you may still be able to find your way through Elderand.
Will Quick is a freelance media wizard living in Spain. When he's not gaming or writing, he's doodling comics or whatever else pops in his head.