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The Dusty Continent Beta Bonfire Short Review: Moderate American ACT

Deck13 is a studio you’ll be familiar with, having created the “soul like” games Fallen Kings and Burst, and its latest action game, Atlas, was announced at the Cologne 2022 show, and will be released on 16 May.Unlike Lord of the Fallen and Burst, Atlas is more of a traditional American action game, with players taking on the role of Nyaal, an armoured companion who guides them in their quest to find the lost knight of Bastengar in the beta. The Xbox controller keys, for example, have two types of attacks, X and Y. Although the introduction doesn’t divide them into light and heavy attacks, the XY axe hammer and the chain blade show different attacks, with the axe hammer being a close range heavy attack and the chain blade being more of a flashy mid- to long-range flurry of multiple attacks.

As a different kind of action game to Soul like, Dust Continent also has more traditional ACT moves, such as long pressing Y to throw a chain at an enemy and pull yourself over to quickly approach them, and long pressing RT to use an air attack for aerial combos. Of course, alternating X / Y allows for different combo skills and the positions of the XY weapons can be swapped, allowing players to use their weapons in a more comfortable position.

The action doesn’t stop with the attacks, as you can use RB to dodge an enemy attack, or LB to instantly defend against an enemy’s body as it flashes red to stun them. While in the air, the player can also dodge, and the dodge CD is restored immediately after an effective attack in the air, making it possible to engage in aerial combat without ever hitting the ground. There are no flaws in the underlying design of the combat system.

However, the attack speed of the two weapons in the beta is too slow, perhaps due to the fact that I haven’t been able to get the Essence Stone, idol and other equipment that boosts attack speed, and it’s not very comfortable to play, and doesn’t show off the more high-speed combat of the demo, but only gives a noticeable sense of impact in terms of sound effects and hit frames and such. Also, the stragglers that appeared in the beta were particularly fond of suddenly stealthing in the middle of battles, making the player lose their lock and choose another target. In addition, some battles in the beta require the player to stay within a fixed range, but the boundaries of this range are not clear. I encountered several instances of chasing after enemies, only to have them all disappear when I stepped slightly out of range, and when I re-entered the range, all the enemies refreshed and had to fight again, which also had a negative impact on the combat experience.

The beta was a moderate experience outside of combat. In terms of gameplay, Dusty Continent is an open-world adventure game where the map is mainly covered in sand and players can walk on it – it’s a normal way to move at high speed, but the smooth movements look quite energetic. According to the team, the game will include a wide variety of landscapes, not just barren deserts, but also oases and forests, large cities and more, so perhaps there’s less need to worry about the richness of the open map. The game is also designed with a lot of RPG content, including the aforementioned Essence Stone and idol, as well as upgrade options for the character’s own values, movement abilities, Perk and more. This is not unlike the philosophy of previous Deck 13 action games.

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