Peering into Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn Demo


Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is the newest title from the developers of the well received game from 2018 called Ashen. It releases on July 18th of this year and visually is a notable upgrade from the aforementioned title. They have a 2 hour demo out on steam for early access.

What is this About?

From the dialogue of the demo it’s pretty clear the people of Dawn have a war on their hands against the gods of the world. The demo starts out with our protagonist Nor, fighting against the dead who are controlled by these “gods”. At the end of the first chapter we are scripted to fight and subsequently lose a fight against a Sphinx-like creature which would end in our protagonist’s companion destroying a gate by causing an explosion that contained the fearsome gods.

After this we get our companion fighter as shown in the trailer who we have to work with to mend the catastrophe of destroying the gate. In doing so we have to stop the gods that have escaped. The demo shows a lot of the gameplay mechanics and traversal mechanics for the game.

Combat and Shooting: An Overview

Our protagonist, at least for the demo, gets shown two melee combat weapons, of the same type. We initially start out with an Axe and our gun to fight through the siege in the prologue and progressing through we get access to another axe that inflicts “burn” damage on enemies with each hit.

A notable thing is as we perform in combat we receive a bonus to our “Reputation” which would serve as the main currency in the game such as to level up, upgrade weapons, gain skills etc. This bonus is achieved by performing different kinds of attacks such as an attack after dodge, chaining attacks, parrying and interrupting “Red Attacks” (essentially unblockable or unparryable attacks) with our gun.

Our ammo for our pistol gets replenished as we hit enemies in combat, for the demo it was 3 shots and each bullet would be around 80% fill for 1 hit on an enemy. The usage of the gun along with chaining different kinds of attacks is really incentivised when looking at the amount of reputation needed to enhance the combat.

The combat, despite the enjoyable passive mechanics, can feel stiff at times, it won’t feel as good hitting enemies due to hit detection not working right or getting hit in the middle of dodging, these little problems should be fixed by the release of the game.

The parrying is satisfying and it is encouraged to do so as it fills the stagger bar above their health bar and on enemies using shields it completely removes their shield making it easier to deal with them with the chain attacks and combos.

Traversing the World of Dawn

The traversal was glossed over in the trailer shown in the Xbox showcase from a few days ago and we get new mechanics pretty early on in the demo. We initially get access to a midway jump and dodge which we have to use frequently due to the verticality present in the game. The skills shown do confirm there are jumping special attacks we can perform for huge damage.

The traversal feels smooth enough when going through caves or mountainous parts of the game with settlements strewn about. The double jumps and dodges feel fluent enough with the climbing needed to dispose of snipers laid across various points across the settlements.

It’s clear we have multiple “settlements” as we move across the map and these will be mini hubs around the world to buy items, gear equipment etc and it seems as though we will get missions there as well. In order for us to make it a hub, we would need to clear the boss of the settlement, so far in the demo we have to do it solo, by either a full on assault or rushing the boss by using the compass.

We also get the portal teleports that were shown off in the trailer to reach places high up which usually contain more items to use in combat such as grenades. We also get access to a musket pretty early on, which is our long range weapon to use against the snipers, the game does make it clear to land headshots on enemies, doing so plays animation similar to the Sniper Elite with a slow motion shot but that too suffers from being a bit simplistic, we just see a blood splatter and nothing else.

A Hopeful Conclusion

The game is at times missing just that little bit which would make the combat feel more satisfying, the dialogue needs a little bit more emotion and the little nuances in dodging or shooting just “needs a little more”. The game looks amazing, the combat feels amazing and the shooting feels satisfying but at the same time all of it is missing something. There is a month till release, hopefully these minor issues get solved by then because this does deserve recognition and a playthrough and of course hopefully, it doesn’t “overshadowed” with the release of Shadow of the Erdtree (see what i did there).

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