Jun 20, 2015

Crossing Souls E3 2015 Preview


Coming from Spain, is Fourratic’s Crossing Souls, a Kickstarter success that’s now being published by Devolver Digital. Before the game began, as I was sitting inside an Airstream RV where the game was being demo’d, was the amazing synthpop from the game’s soundtrack. It’s an absolute delight just to let it sit at the menu. Though, there’s an actual game to see, and what I saw was equally fantastic, or should I say: radical.

Taking homage from pop culture in the 1980s comes Crossing Souls. It’s an action-adventure game that cribs from the original Legend of Zelda. The main goal of the game, at least for the first half is to save a family by doing specific actions that will free them from this world and allow them to cross over. There’s a stone, or artifact that lets your group of 5 player characters, each with their own unique ability or trait, that lets you see and interact with the dead. This is the game’s hook, and titular mechanic. This is done by pressing R2 / RT to change from the alive to dead realm.

As mentioned, the game is very 80s. This is complete with cutscenes that are hand-drawn, complete with VHS effects and the aforementioned synthpop. Hell, they even found a way for Prince to make an appearance in the game as a character to have conversations with. It’s rife with references and nostalgic material that isn’t over-the-top. There’s a lot of subtlety in the artwork that references other things that I appreciate.

As you navigate the world, it’s possible to get into battle. Each of your five characters can be incapacitated, but not killed. So long as you survive the encounter, you will get everyone resurrected. Walking around will allow you to pick up food items, which can be used to restore health if you get too low. The world is a hub, allowing you to visit different areas to resolve situations in each area.

Despite seeing the game played and even playing a little bit of it myself, it’s still a bit unclear what Crossing Souls actually┬áis beyond the references and aesthetic. But one thing is clear, Fourratic’s first outing at making a videogame is stunning from its pixel art rendering to the VHS style cutscenes and He-Man cartoonish graphics. What was shown was only an alpha, so the developers have plenty of time to pare down the gameplay and focus for its release some time next year.