Upcoming action RPG Pascals Wager has gotten a new trailer, shown below. The game is not shy about aping its inspiration, being Hidetaka Miyazaki and From Software’s Demons Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne games, with most of the stylistic and gameplay influence appearing to draw from the latter. This is a very dark and gritty action game, judging from the trailer below, and it looks like the combat will make SoulsBorne fans feel right at home; it’s fast, frantic and unforgiving. The game will be coming to Android eventually. No date was announced, but it may not be too long now; the game shown in the trailer looks to be pretty far along in development.
Background: The environment and storyline allude heavily to their inspiration. The ever-present fog and the light blooming off of it are taken straight from Demons Souls, and Bloodborne fans will recognize the dodge move that both featured playable characters can be seen performing in the trailer. Pascals Wager differs in more than a few areas, however. The story is one of the biggest areas, though not many details have come out yet. It appears that the game centers around an old man looking for redemption, rather than the usual star-crossed figure looking to follow their destiny after death. The game’s title may give some insight, although in a cryptic way; Pascal’s Wager refers to a philosophical dilemma regarding the existence of God. Essentially, it states that thinking God exists is a safer bet because if you bet that He does exist, nothing changes for you, but if you wager that he doesn’t exist, you get a lifetime of fun free of religion if you were right, and eternal damnation if you were wrong. Moving on, being able to play a second character adds some variety. In one scene, it seems that you can use two different partner characters, but only one, a girl apparently named Viola, is ever shown. While the old man looks to play in a way that SoulsBorne veterans will be used to, Viola is a gunner. Firearms were always an afterthought in the Miyazaki works that this game seems apt to compete with, and this shake-up of the formula appears to be pretty well done. Players gunning monsters down as Viola can fire off quick potshots, dodge, and go into precise aiming mode to take down faraway targets or aim for specific body parts. The partner system looks to enable instant switch-outs, and will likely remind a lot of people of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, in that you’re switching between a man and a woman with two distinctly different play styles. It’s unknown just what the third shown character will be like, or if it will ultimately be scrapped.
Impact: Games that draw some inspiration from the legacy of Demons Souls are a dime a dozen in the Android gaming scene, but this seems to be one of the first that looks to copy the formula and style almost vis a vis, the way games like Nioh and Lords of the Fallen did on consoles. Should this one be a success, and show that a hardcore, fast-paced action game in the style of Dark Souls or Bloodborne can work with touch screen controls and a mobile-focused audience, expect copycats by the dozen. This is a goal that a stylish game called Animus set out to accomplish not long ago, but the game never hit any real mainstream success. For the time being, SoulsBorne fans looking to get their fix on the go will have to content themselves with playing the PC entries over Steam Link or another equivalent solution, but once Pascals Wager and a possible wave of copycats hit the scene, that could change.
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