TeedoubleuGAMES’ Immortal Planet is an indie action RPG that thrusts players into a sci-fi setting that merges some old school conventions with some modern challenges. It takes the classic dungeon diving and matches it with the methodical combat of the Souls series. Now when people throw out the word Soulslike, it often refers to simple elements that only have a slight resemblance to From Software’s series of games. However, Immortal Planet features a combat system that is built on patience and careful stamina management, which are core tenets of the Souls series. Developed from the same mind behind Ronin, we have selected Immortal Planet as one of our Top RPGs of 2017: July.
Developed by: teedoubleuGAMES
Published by: teedoubleuGAMES
Release date: July 2017
Immortal Planet Features
- Souls-like Progression: Recover Experiences lost upon death and use them to upgrade your character.
- Intense Bossfights: Fights with these enemies are multi-stage struggles that are a real test of skill and determination.
- Methodical Combat: Patience and focus are much more important than reflexes. Block, dodge and tackle enemies while managing your stamina.
- Tight Level Design: Levels are designed around single checkpoints from which you explore the area around it.
Story & Setting
The game takes place on an icy planet that has been lost to memory. On the surface of this world exist tombs where immortal beings sleep to make the strains of undeath more bearable. You wake up as one of these immortal beings but find you’ve forgotten everything. In Souls fashion, the times you gather will help fill in the story.
After you come to and arise, you will encounter other wandering immortals from the get go whose minds have been eroded. They are of course immediately hostile to you and you must do battle with them while solving the mysteries of the world and ultimately find your escape.
The game unfolds in real time, isometric perspective with a combat core principle that is self-described as Soulslike. Now, before you go and roll your eyes with Souls comparison fatigue, here it out. The game’s focus is on slow-paced, precise combat, where not getting hit is as important as landing a blow. Some could say the true beauty of Souls combat is this forced patience, and this guiding focus for Immortal Planet seems to echo that.
In the game you will make your way through the various levels, taking on the challenging foes that roam the halls. When you defeat an enemy you can absorb their memories as experience and use it to improve your own abilities. When you die you drop your memories but can recover them, in Souls fashion. This kill, improve, or kill, die, recover, improve system is a lifted take of the Souls series and although derivative, it’s a formula that works and continues to deliver gameplay enjoyment.
The combat is similarly familiar, as patience and focus are much more important than just button mashing or fast twitch. You can attack and dodge enemy attacks, and attacking an enemy at the same time results in a parry which results in no damage to either character. Dodging perfectly through an enemy’s attacks will allow you to regain stamina.
Stamina is not just a toss in and is going to be a very important aspect of the game. You and your enemies have a stamina bar and you can see the stamina of your enemies, similar to Nioh. This lets you plan and exploit their stamina. If an enemy is out of stamina, you can dodge towards them and hit them to stun them for a few seconds. If you do this to an enemy with full stamina, you get stunned instead which makes the stamina function a battle of wills so to speak. The same also applies with projectiles, as you can stun and be stunned by a tossed item when out of stamina. These stunned moments can make all the difference in survival.
In keeping with this focus on stamina, many of the items and spells in the game impact stamina in different ways, such as spells that damage stamina before health, consumables that restore stamina or attacks that deal extra damage to enemies with low stamina.
You will make use of gadgets and spells that have limited use and must be replenished by entering cryo-sleep. This is again another nod to the game’s Soulslike feel. There will be dozens of items and spells that you can loot and mix and match depending on your playstyle and your preferred approach to the game.
The game features a variety of weapons, such as swords, firearms and magic and each has their own unique movesets. Weapon attacks can be charged up that results in waking up the weapon that transforms the weapon and makes it more powerful. Awoken weapons do have a trade off as they tend to leave you more vulnerable in exchange for their increased power. Putting them back to sleep also takes time, making the decision on when to wake them an important tactical and timing choice. This transformation sounds similar to Bloodborne in how the trick weapons would change with tradeoffs, making players consider both forms when creating a build in order to maximize both of the movesets.
The levels themselves are designed around single checkpoints from which you explore the surrounding area, giving exploration that tense, tethered-to-home feeling, as you’re acutely aware of how every step is a step further from safety. In homage to Souls (we’re seeing a theme here), the levels have several shortcuts that you can unlock, making bravery pay off. Along the way, in addition to enemies, the maps will be scattered with chests you can loot for equipment.
Each one of the of designed levels features a powerful boss to do battle with. These bosses are of the multi-stage design, that will require careful observation and reaction, and likely several deaths. I’d call this Soulslike but let’s be honest, the Souls series went back in time and capture the best of old school gaming bosses when designing their baddies. But the comparison is somewhat fair if limited. What’s important is that the bosses are being given careful thought and that’s a good thing, no matter where the inspiration came from.
The visual design is retro-slick and shares more similarity to animation than outright pixel era. It’s probably going to be one of the most polarizing elements for gamers, who are all over the place with what they expect from video game graphics, amongst other things. Personally I dig the vibe and feel like it matches the feel and story of the game, which is serious, but certainly not brooding.
In Immortal Planet, there is an intricacy to the combat and gameplay that begs to be taken seriously. When all of the elements are put together, it takes on some of the intimate dance-like feel of the Souls series’ combat, where every encounter is attended to and becomes its own mini-story. This game has flown under the radar, but has the potential to really hit for fans of the Soulslike. It’s a bite sized package that may wind up satisfying like a full course meal.