Curse of the Dead Gods Gameplay Preview – Dodge rolling through life

Developed by Passtech Games, published by Focus Home Interactive (Xbox 1, PS4, Switch, PC)
*MSRP: $19.99 –

Curse of the Dead Gods is a dungeon crawling rogue lite with smooth combat action. The combat relies heavily on using dodge rolls and parries to avoid taking damage. If you’ve played Dark Souls, you should have an easier time getting a hang of the combat. Thanks Dark Souls.

You start the run with two weapons, usually one melee and one ranged. My personal favorite is the whip.

I’ll start by focusing on the meat of the game, the combat. You have three item slots, one for your torch, one for your one handed weapons, and one for your double handed weapons. The torch is simply used to light the area and flammable objects. This is handy as some areas are very dark and you also take less damage when in the presence of light.

For the one handed weapons, you can carry two of them and switch freely between them for attacks. Each weapon has a charge attack as well. My personal favorite so far is the whip. The whip has a pretty long range and the charge attack will pull enemies closer while stunning them temporarily. The combat feels pretty smooth and the dodge roll and parry are both generous with the frames they give you.

Occasionally you will run into a two handed weapon. They deal massive damage at the cost of attacking slower.

The double handed weapons pack quite a wallop but are much slower to use, as is often the case. The trade off here is a slower attack animation for greater damage so you have to time your attacks more carefully otherwise you will leave yourself open to attack.

Moving on from the combat to the progression system in the game, it is pretty generous as well. After each run, you have three units of currency to purchase permanent upgrades. You can purchase passive blessings to make each run easier, unlock new weapons, upgrade the altars to increase the quality and quantity of your starting weapon choices, and finally, increase the number of re-rolls for loot each run.

The game does a great job as well of giving you new areas once you defeat a boss. You don’t run the same levels over and over again. After each boss is a new biome with new enemy types and traps. This keeps the game feeling fresh every run and more challenges to look forward to.

After accumulating enough curse, you will receive a debuff and sometimes a slight buff as well.

The game does have a unique mechanic in the form of the curses. Every action has the potential to increase the amount of curse you have. After passing a certain threshold, you will receive a major debuff and slight buff. They can be random such as having levels be completely dark, to all statues becoming traps (which you can use against your enemies), and so forth. While you do get something negative to make the run harder, it usually comes with a positive benefit so it makes each run seem possible to complete.

Overall, Curse of the Dead Gods is a solid rogue lite. The combat is great and feels smooth. The dodge rolls and parries are generous and easy enough to learn. When you master the mechanics and defeat the boss, it feels earned and pretty satisfying. The game isn’t too difficult and gives you enough wiggle space to make the most of each run, no matter how cursed it seems.

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