Gameplay is just as promising. Pretty much everything feels tight and responsive except for a few tiny things like inadequate buffers. You’ve got a light attack combo and a heavy attack as your main options, as well as the ability to fire bullets that do small health damage but ‘stun’, which can open enemies up for a few seconds of free hits. On top of that you get two separate dodges (a forward roll and a back-hop), attacks out of those dodges, an aerial attack that can be aimed up or down, a crouch attack, a spin attack when you hold down the attack button, a divekick that does big stun damage and doubles as a nice quick-movement option, and the ability to slide down and jump off walls. Every last one of these moves feels great to use. To put it simply, in terms of gameplay, Gestalt: Steam & Cinder feels like it’s ready to ship right now. It’s an incredible achievement for a game that only just went into pre-alpha.
Whilst the game’s demo does rush you away from the story to quickly put you behind the controls, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t story here. If you just talk to who you need to and run through the only currently-playable area, the demo probably takes around 15-20 minutes. There is, however, an absolute SLEW of world-building content in the hub area, including two side quests that you can’t finish but can make some definite headway in. It fleshes out your character, the characters around you, the city you’re in and the world you occupy, as well as the history of the entire society you’re a part of. It seems like an incredibly fleshed out world with all of this dialogue extending the ~20 minute demo into 80 minutes of playtime for me just to read everything people had to say.
Gestalt: Steam & Cinder seems enormously promising. Its presentation, gameplay, direction and world are all something I’ll be immensely looking forward to when it hits later this year. You can check out the game’s demo here whilst it’s still available!