Game News Crowsworn: between Hollow Knight and Bloodborne, the next nugget of indie games?
While many gamers have been waiting for the release of Hollow Knight: Silksong and others have lost hope of Bloodborne ever coming to PC, there is one game that has something to catch their attention. Crowsworn is indeed the perfect mix between the two. We tell you more about this independent game that has everything to become the next nugget in the world of video games.
Hollow Knight, Bloodborne, DMC: a very inspired title
No, this is not the next game from the developers at Team Cherry. Your eyes do not deceive you, however, the resemblance is indeed obvious. It must be said that Crowsworn, the first game of Mongoose Rodeo does not hide its inspirations. Between the artistic direction, the platform side and the mechanics of Metroidvania, it’s spitting Hollow Knight… but not only. The Canadian developers want to offer us an even more dynamic and full-bodied adventure than Silksong’s little brother and to do this, they have turned to well-known action games: Devil May Cry and, above all, Bloodborne.
What is the juggernaut of From Software doing there? Well it’s in the fighting style that everything is played. With its weapons, its precision, its combos and its both dynamic and demanding approach, Crowsworn seems to be very reminiscent of the gameplay of a Bloodborne, but in 2D. More generally, Crowsworn carries the Souls-Like spirit, mixing difficulty, perseverance and cryptic lore.
If at first glance, Crowsworn is inseparable from his inspirations, he has nevertheless planned to get rid of them. First of all, as a separate game, it offers a necessarily unique story and experience. Crowsworn will take us to the dark world of Fearanndal through the wanderings of a plague doctor. Waking up in a coffin, the latter does not remember how he got there. His quest for answers will take him on the trail of the strange evil surrounding the village of Angsthel and, of course, the path of vile creatures to be slaughtered. To do this, you can count on your scythe, but also your pistols and your Corvian powers. That’s for the basic pitch, but Crowsworn should be swarming with small details meant to help it stand out.
At least that’s what an interview with Aleksandar Kuzmanovic (lead designer on Crowsworn and sole developer of Unworthy) led by Relyea suggests. For more than two hours, the guy dissected his project back and forth and across, taking the opportunity to talk about its particularities. The shadow system to recover after death, for example, should not be part of the Crowsworn experience. Disappointed by this Hollow Knight mechanic (which works much better in Souls according to him), he wants to break away from it, although at the time of the interview he was not yet sure what form it would take. would come into play. It remains to be seen whether the accumulation of such small points will be enough to stand out.
Without Hollow Knight, this game wouldn’t have as much hype
Because this is the whole paradox of Crowstorm: succeed in taking advantage of the notoriety of his inspirations without remaining stuck in their shadow. If visually and on paper, the title of Mongoose Rodeo is particularly enticing, it unfortunately risks suffering from the comparison, especially if it comes face to face with Silksong (you never know) when it is released. Crowstorm will have to learn to overcome comparisons and make a name for himself. The choice, “utility” according to Aleks, will drawing heavily from the easily malleable style of Hollow Knight lead the title to its glory or its loss? Hard to say at the moment, but we can only wish him the first. Note all the same that everything is marketed by a certain Matthew Griffin who also takes care of… Hollow Knight (decidedly).
Doubts about the title are understandable. Nevertheless, for the moment, the hour is rather with the excitation. You only have to see the feedback about Crowsworn on Twitter to understand that players are excited. So much so that they are the ones who gave the strength (and the money) necessary for its proper development.
Kickstarter: a more than validated project
A year ago, a Kickstarter campaign for Crowsworn was launched. Nothing surprising in that since it has now become common to see small independent games being financed in this way. Mongoose Rodeo, as a new studio with a staff of five permanent members, was unlikely to escape this. Especially since the studio has big ambitions for its Crowsworn.
125,000 Canadian dollars… This is the amount that was requested to be able to finance the game. If you add the various modes and other additional content offered, you arrive at a final goal of 1.2 million. A colossal sum especially if we compare it to the 57,138 Australian dollars raised at the end of 2014 by the Kickstarter campaign of Hollow Knight. And yet, won over by Mongoose Rodeo’s proposal, the contributors did it. They gathered more than 1.2 million Canadian dollars (1,258,068 more precisely), and in just a few weeks.
The bet paid off for the Crowsworn developers who were able to ensure viable development, the implementation of all their ideas and check the enthusiasm that their project could arouse. It’s full board, both for the studio and for the players. Thanks to the different levels, they can indeed already predict what sauce they will be eaten. If all goes as planned, Crowsworn should indeed offer us a Boss Rush mode, a Nightmare difficulty, an arena, real voice acting, animated cutscenes, several endings and even a free DLC available after the release. Suffice to say that the program is loaded and that is rather reassuring. Especially in terms of gaming experience, Crowsworn also seems to tick all the boxes.
A successful demo?
Some lucky ones have indeed already been able to play a demo of the game. We would have liked to be part of it, but the latter is of course reserved for contributors to the Kickstarter campaign. Impossible to give you our opinion therefore, but fortunately, many of them did so on Twitter. And to read them, Crowsworn seems to be off to a good start.
You asked for a list of everything that players say works? There she is. There is of course the very well polished artistic direction, carried by successful music and sound design. But we are also sold a particularly fluid and interesting gameplay, a raised difficulty without ever being frustrating and pleasant game sensations. So much so that some have exploited the demo to the end to reach the saint no hit. From what we have seen, only one negative opinion stands out, highlighting the lack of readability of certain actions and attacks in particular. Other than that, the majority actually praise the demo.
So I finally got the Crowsworn demo code, and I’m not too pleased with the result. It’s a demo that’s still pretty early in development, but it doesn’t feel that fun to play. – pic.twitter.com/5du1vo6pUZ
— pigdude (@pigdude) July 12, 2022
However, note that this is the opinion of people who have contributed financially to the development of the game. As a result, we are not immune to a perception bias. The fact remains that the various excerpts released from the said demo are still very appealing and seem to place Crowsworn on the same level of quality as Hollow Knight. It only remains to follow this case very closely to see if the little Mongoose Rodeo will manage to overtake its masters.
For the moment, no release date has been announced for Crowsworn, but the game is planned for PC, Mac and Linux, as well as Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox consoles (without further details).