You may have seen Atlas Fallen at Gamescom Opening Night back on August 23. The game, the latest project from the Deck13 (who you may recognise from The Surge series), came out of nowhere with its mythological fantasy epic, which casts you as a member of the enslaved human race that gains the power to rip a wrathful god from its throne with a divine gauntlet.
Described by the developer as a “semi-open world full of ancient mysteries and threats,” the game looks promising. In a behind-closed-doors presentation with Deck13’s game design director, Jérémy Hartvick, we also learned that players expecting something akin to 2017’s The Surge or 2019’s The Surge 2 should adjust their expectations: this game does not promise the same sort of experience.
Instead, says Hartvick, Atlas Fallen will “be more inspired by God of War or Horizon [Forbidden West].” But if you’re after the sort of challenge FromSoft-inspired games offer, don’t fret – the developer notes that Deck13’s next title will launch with three difficulty modes, with the hardest one designed for players that “are more used to games that the company has created before”.
Hartvick explains that the first difficulty mode will be an ‘Adventure Mode’ – where players that want to get a feel for the various weapons in the game while “occasionally dodging” threats can have the best experience. Next, there’ll be the normal mode, where Hartvick reckons the vast majority of the game’s audience will play. Here, you’ll have to learn combos, level up to defeat threats, and understand the essentials of what the game and its combat system are going for.
Finally, there’s Hard Mode. Here, you’ll need to optimise your builds, use all the skills available to you and use your head to figure out how to best tackle different guardians and enemies in the game. Hartvick noted that you can play from beginning to end in co-op multiplayer with one other person, though he did not elaborate on how this will affect the difficulty modes.
“Atlas Fallen’s combat is primarily defined by speed and fluidity,” Hartvick explains over on the PlayStation Blog, “We’ve kept ideas like the body part targeting system and the implant system, using a different approach to best support the accentuated RPG aspect. We pushed everything a step further in the direction of advanced character management and moveset customization, so you’ll get to approach combat in your own way.”
Our presentation was hands-off, so we can’t pass a verdict on Atlas Fallen’s game feel just yet – though Hartvick notes that realism has been put aside for this game in favour of making you feel much, much more powerful than you ever did in The Surge.
So, if you want to attack and dethrone god in a lush-looking world, making use of combat that feels like something between Darksiders and the earlier God of War games, you’re probably going to want to keep your eyes on Atlas Fallen.
Atlas Fallen will launch on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X in 2023.