Soulstorm at IGN again
Just a day after the last stream Soulstorm appeared once again, this time at IGN, who have previously hosted the game back in 2019.
Immediately before the video even properly starts we see an airship gliding towards SoulStorm Brewery. By using Occam’s Razor I assume this is Molluck’s airship, though this does bring up the question of what sort of business he has over there. Obviously the answer is Abe, I’m more talking about the circumstances, how does he find it out that he’s there and why do they allow him to go there if he’s disgraced and blamed for the destruction of RuptureFarms?
The checkpoint showcases a slightly redesigned Magog Cartel logo that uses less straight lines and also has two small eyes. I sort of prefer the old design as it looked way more like an actual company’s logo, rather than some evil octopus creature, which is of course fitting, since that’s what the Glukkons are, but still, less is sometimes more.
In this next scene we see a bunch of Mudokons locked in a cage, showing us our objective. There is also an actual objective popup that comes up right afterwards.
As Lanning explains it the Mudokons are locked in a cave and we have to rescue them and lead them back to the train.
We see some new crafting items. One of these is a detergent that is an obvious reference to Tide-pods, with the flavor text referencing the 2017 Tide-pod eating fad.
In this scene Abe calls an elevator then scavenges the right side of the area while the lift arrives. I feel like it’d be nice if this hole had some sort of mark that shows that there is in fact an elevator arriving soon. Had I’ve been the one playing I probably would have plunged into my death because I figured it’s just a random drop you have to take. That blue-white sign might acutally be a sign for elevators, but I sure wouldn’t be able to tell from just that.
In Soulstorm there are a bunch of badges you can get from doing stuff like searching lockers, tying up Sligs and similar. This is part of the replayability of the game. I think it should probably be less in your face. Sure badges are great, but first and foremost you’re playing the game for the game, no? I very much hope this is an opt-in (or at the very least opt-out) feature.
This is just weird from a lore perspective. The Glukkons are the sort of characters who’d bottle up air and sell it to you and yet here they’re acting charitably? I understand the gameplay reason for this, but this feels like a hard case of ludonarrative dissonance, unless it’s adequately explained.
As it turns out the yellow bar is the consciousness meter of enemies. If you reduce it to zero, the character falls unconsciouss for a short period, during which you can rush over and tie them up. There is also a red bar, which represents the character’s health
Missing bells on the Slig booths
Back in 2019 the Slig booths had small bells that you could ring to call a Slig out. This seems to be gone from the current iteration of them. Perhaps they only appear on select booths.
Here the video cuts quickly as we’re not allowed to see the inside of the mine. I have a guess what this area might look like, as we’ve seen an area before where Abe used flares to light his path (which can be seen just below), but I’m of course just guessing.
Mudokon tower defense
Of all the things we’ve seen previously in the game, this is what worries me the most. These defense sections look very annyoing and potentially frustrating too. I understand that savinge everyone shouldn’t be easy, but being throw into a huge arena where even making a small mistake means a reset… It doesn’t sound good. Especially because with all the Mudokons you have to protect in these sections, these seem to make up a fair share of the ones you can save.
In moments 50 of the 250 Mudokons die in the clip and this is just an early-game section. My problem here isn’t the attempt at something new, rather the fact that it’s a way too hectic way to decide the fate of a ton of Mudokons.
A better look at the new Magog logo
As I’ve said before this one has more curved lines and also two eyes for some reason. If you by chance aren’t aware of what the original Magog Cartel logo looked like (even though it is literally the favicon of this website), here it is for you viewing pleasure:
Flying Slig exploding in our face
Apparently when some flying Sligs die they explode right into our faces, obscuring most of the screen as it happens. I like the idea, but I personally think visual clarity comes before anything else, so I’d rather not have my screen unusable even for these few seconds as it might be the difference between life and death.
Abe rescues two Mudokons and receives the Shrykull. Interestingly it’s displayed almost as if it was an item as there are no lightnings striking out of him, nor AO/AE’s iconic pulsating blue rings. I figure you can “store” it away and use whenever you want?
Statistics / End of level
At the end of the video we see the end of level statistics. Apparently Sligs are once again counted into the Quarma score of the player. For a while it was said that this isn’t the case anymore. I wonder if the text saying “Reunited!” is different for every single level or changes in case you kill a lot of Mudokons or do something similarly drastic.
The game also puts a way bigger emphasis on replaying levels. The statistics themselves and the dedicated button to restart the level both incentivize players to restart and get a better score.
I’m honestly wondering how the plot will be affected when the player’s Quarma is so malleable. Are the cutscenes not affected by your score at all I wonder?
I find that this trailer was way better at showcasing the new parts of the game compared to yesterday’s. Ultimately, there is a lot of things I like here and I have to say I do look forward to playing Soulstorm, it’s just that things like the often mentioned double-jumping and those Mudokon defense sections make me worried that they’re going to sour the experience.