Love Dark Souls? You’ll Enjoy Steelrising. (Contains minor spoilers)
Have you noticed that just about every recent action RPG is a Soulsborne game? And have you also noticed that most of them are pale imitations of FromSoftware’s winning formula? Spider’s Steelrising throws the trend a curveball by having a unique setting and mechanics that are both familiar and different enough to be fun. Souls players will have an easy time jumping in, but even the most decorated Elden Ring veterans should pay attention to the differences. In no particular order, here are five things to watch.
There’s No Way to Re-Spec
We haven’t found a way to re-spec Aegis, which means committing your anima essence (i.e. souls) to upgrading a weapon or stats is permanent. There are only four starting classes, but they cover all the typical bases (damage dealer, mage, ranged weapons and dexterity). Like in Soulsborne games, they’re just about getting you through the early hours. There are no stat requirements for weapons, which means you can experiment freely until you find the main and secondary weapons you love. Gear drops pretty frequently, too. Our suggestion: spend your anima essence on stamina (maybe a little on health or dex) and your keys on some basic passive abilities until you find the weapons you want to take through the game.
Steelrising doles out new ways of moving through the world as you go. At the start, Aegis can jump onto low platforms. Pretty early on you get an air dash that allows you to jump between platforms. About half way through the game you get a grappling hook. Out exploring, you’ll find gates and walls with a green seal that says you need a special tool. Eventually, you’ll unlock a strike that lets you kick through those walls. There are lots of secrets and goodies hidden in the world, many of them up high on balconies or other vertical surfaces. Once you’re fully kitted out, it’s worth going back to previous districts to see what you missed.
Grenades Are OP for Now
Steelrising has an excellent accessibility system. You can dial down the difficulty pretty incrementally. Souls veterans will probably want the unadulterated, challenging experience. That said, even experts like to use powerful tools when available. In the case of Steelrising, the grenades are currently OP. You can take down most mini-bosses and even the Titans by lobbing grenades at them from distance. I mean, it isn’t that fun, but until Spiders does some rebalancing and nerfs them, grenades are your go-to in sticky situations.
Keep Your Eye on Stamina
Soulsborne fans know how important stamina is. It may be doubly important in Steelrising, because if she runs out of it, Aegis starts to overheat and can’t do much of anything. You can hit Y or triangle to refill it (if you have anima capsules), but you’ll take a hit to your health. If you spam the refill, you start to freeze up, which also immobilizes you. Our advice, pour your points into stamina early on, because nearly every action drains it. The good news is that enemies operate on the same system, so use that to your advantage.
Eye for Detail
The interface and world hold lots of secrets. Check out everything. Those voices behind closed doors aren’t just there for atmosphere. Run through their dialogue or side quests and you’ll get a reward. Learn what everything on the interface means. For example, the little glowing flame at the lower right corner next to the anima counter changes color when you have enough to level up. It’s a cool little touch that saves you the trouble of checking at a vestal (bonfire). Speaking of vestals, always sit at them when you unlock them, as those are your respawn locations. Souls players sometimes hoard their “portable souls” for when they need some extra cash. You’ll find them in Steelrising, too, usually in out-of-the-way places or after defeating enemies. Our advice: use them when you have them, as more drop all the time.
Have you given Steelrising a try? What did you think of this latest Soulsborne action game?