Developer: Passtech Games
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X (Reviewed) |S
Gene(s): Action, Adventure
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Curse of the Dead Gods is a skill-based roguelike that is set in a temple dungeon. You navigate through a maze of levels, a host of nasty creatures and ultimately a boss in each temple. The game is played from an isometric perspective and the emphasis is on mastering the simple controls but in an extremely challenging environment.
Initially, you are set up with a primary melee weapon (sword) and a ranged weapon (pistol), as you battle through each dungeon you will gain relics, power-ups and the ability to offer sacrifices to the gods. The game mechanics centre around a mix of using melee, ranged attacks, parrying and dodging. The critical element in terms of the gameplay is the difficulty level, precision is required throughout and using all the core game mechanics is the only way to survive to progress through the game. If the brutal nature of the difficulty setting isn’t challenging enough, your character can become cursed which makes for an even tougher challenge. Each creature you encounter has its own unique set of attacks and defensive skills that you need to overcome. The difficulty setting may put players off but the rich variety of gameplay, playstyles and environments are superb. It should be noted that you will play for many hours to get the most of this game, this isn’t a straight pick up and play, you will die a lot before you make any meaningful progress. The learning curve is fairly steep.
The whole game is illustrated using a dark cartoon style. The environments and characters have an amazing level of detail, the temple dungeon theme ties in the levels, characters, demons and all the gameplay as well. The levels themself are darkly lit which are illuminated by a torch you carry or fires that can be set. Levels contain traps, treasure and a host of evil creatures lurking around each corner. The temples are immersive and the mechanics and joy of killing the creatures make you come back for more. The deeper you progress through each dungeon, the wider variety of levels that you will uncover and different challenges.
Curse of the Dead Gods is a superb roguelike that marries difficult challenging experiences into this temple themed world. The game mechanics are simple and intuitive but requires skill and patience to master. The ability to level up with either gold or a blood sacrifice is a neat touch that is complemented by the addition of curses as you progress through each stage. The level design and gameplay feel are superb, the game is tough and rewarding. Multiple types of melee and ranged weapons allow you to build a play style that suits you. The world is a dark temple with tons of creatures looking to get you, it’s a truly immersive experience.