Chasm: Finding the Depths of Despair

Chasm: Finding the Depths of Despair

The aptly-named Discord Games seeks to cause emotional discord with its retro Metroidvania.

There's the occasional game on the showfloor that exists mainly to destroy the egos of gamers who dare to pick up the controller. I've seen a few titles in that vein at this PAX, with Chasm leading the pack. While I was waiting for my appointment, I saw four players ram their heads against the alpha build's midboss. Not a one succeeded.

If you're a USgamer regular, you've heard of Chasm before. We previewed the title on our stream at E3 this year and Jeremy has written about the game a few times. It is a Metroidvania, the genre indies are keeping alive. Chasm differs from its brethren by having procedurally-generated levels: the game has hand-crafted rooms smashed together at random, so your play experience is familiar, but new at the same time.

Chasm is also pretty hard.

This is normally where faithful readers will say that they'll have no problem with the game. They might be right. I'm just saying the average gamer is here at PAX and their best wasn't good enough. It's not a control problem; Chasm's controls are tight and responsive. It's not like the game is cheating; you'll know exactly when and why you failed. When "You Died" pops up onscreen, you'll know it's your fault. It's not even particularly Souls-like, being far less punitive than From Software's hit action-adventure title.

Still, people play Chasm and they die.

I played Chasm and I died. The final version of Chasm is supposed to feature Normal and Hardcore modes, so I'm assuming the show build is the Hardcore version. That would explain my failure. Regardless, this retro Metroidvania expects you to bring your A-game to the table. All the shiny gear in the world - yep, you can find and equip new abilities, weapons, and armor in Chasm - won't cover up weak skills.

You probably won't die here.

Chasm is currently in development for PC, Mac, Linux, and PlayStation 4. The release date is still unknown, but developer Discord Games is apparently entering the final lap, so I'd expect a 2016 release. It'll probably still be marginally difficult upon release. Prepare yourself.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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