Deadcore – Preview (PC)

Get to tha’ tower! – Deadcore

Precision platforming has always had an unstable relationship with the first person, as Ms.Platformer complains about Mr.FPS’ lack of feet, to which he retorts about how difficult it is to please her. Both valid points, yet they keep trying, and often, failing. Deadcore is the latest coupling of these two genre giants and even though it is still at the touching and kissing stage, it promises to be as beautiful a display as Portal or Mirror’s Edge.

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Deadcore has one goal, get to the top of the tower, a goal as ancient as the days of pen and paper. As far as objectives go, it’s not a strong one but Deadcore focuses on the journey, not the end. Climb this tower as fast as you can, why? Because, that’s why! If that isn’t enough for you, then you’re looking in the wrong place.

There are three mechanics for you to use while climbing the tower; jumping, boosting and shooting. Jumping and boosting are exactly what you’d expect; you go upwards when you jump and you go very fast in the direction you are facing when boosting. To the game’s credit, the jumping puzzles make good use of these mechanics and are often simple to figure out at first sight while the difficult ones have the courtesy to happen next to a checkpoint. The shooting mechanic is where Deadcore makes itself unique. Instead of shooting enemies, your gun has the ability to open doors, power jump pads and disable turrets. Couple the frantic pace of the platforming with precision aiming and you’ve got a winning mix.

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Gameplay isn’t the only place that Deadcore shines though; the graphics are just as polished and simply clean. The tower is set in a mysterious cyberspace with all the Tron furnishings. Laser grids, neon and sleek silver cover the enigmatic structure. The path up the tower is always obvious but there are rewards for those who pay attention to their surroundings as easier routes and collectables can be found off the beaten path.

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We were a bit concerned about the sound effects though as many of them, while good, sound like they’ve been ripped straight from Portal. Though, there is only so much you can do with digital sounds. It’s a tiny complaint but we felt that it needed to be said. The only other problem is the lack of levels but the game is in early alpha, so that will most likely be addressed by final release.

Deadcore is a great example of first person platforming and will hopefully become a “how to” for the genre. For only £6.99 it is a great title and with it’s beautiful setting and already polished gameplay, it is definitely worth getting.