I Love Indies
Leon (AKA Trimallchio)   Lancashire, United Kingdom (Great Britain)
 
 
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11.7 Hours played
There is No Light is a challenging action RPG with souls-like elements. From the off, the pixel-art is immediately striking. The top-down perspective is reminiscent of 16-bit Zelda games, but with an intricately detailed Lovecraftian aesthetic.

The game takes some time to reveal itself. The first 20-30 minutes are rather slow, but effectively set the scene and establish the story, which, in a nutshell, is about a man (The Hero) who sets out to rescue his child after they are abducted by demons. The narrative is surprisingly deep, and much more engaging than I anticipated. NPCs frequent town and hub areas, all have unique dialogue and many can influence the path you take. There’s a moral, or ‘karma’, meter that moves according to the choices you make and this affects the ending you receive.

The game world is epic in scale. The developers state there’s 30 hours of gameplay here, and that would not surprise me. I’ve played 10 hours and feel I’m only scratching the surface.

There is No Light features a satisfying combat system. You have a melee attack and a dash move. There are four weapons to collect and upgrade, and, like any good soulslike, learning enemy patterns and precision timing are required to overcome the hoards of demons in your way. As with the locations, enemies are beautifully designed, and bosses are huge and overwhelming. My only complaint is that things can become a little repetitive with most encounters playing out to an attack, dash, attack, dash rhythm.

The ‘normal’ difficulty may be too much for some. The Hero can be killed in three of four hits, sending you back to your last save point. Checkpoints are fairly frequent (and there’s always a save before a boss fight) so you’ll never be too far away from where you died, but, expect to repeat some sections multiple times.

That said, the developers have included plenty of accessibility options to make this a game for all. After restarting a couple of times, you will be given the option to unlock a health kit. This is not free and affects your karma meter. There’s also a fast travel gate to skip retreading certain sections; again this costs ‘moral’ points.

If you decide the difficulty is still too much, you can switch to ‘Traveller’ mode, which gives you more health, reduces the number of enemies and makes the bonus health kit and extra checkpoints free.

For Steam Deck owners, I can confirm the game plays fantastically ‘out of the box’ at a rock solid 60fps. It really is a perfect fit for Valve’s handheld.

There is No Light is a beautiful game, with a compelling story. There are plenty of collectables, many hidden off the beaten track and there’s a useful fast travel system, allowing you to revisit previous areas.

The difficulty can be brutal, but it hasn’t put me off. This is a game I’ll be playing through to the end!
All in all, a potential indie classic.

8/10
Highly recommended for lovers of great pixel art, Lovecraftian horror, SNES RPGs and soulslikes.

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EGOIST Jun 27, 2021 @ 4:53am 
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✿𝐻𝒶𝓋𝑒 𝒶 𝓷𝓲𝓬𝓮 𝒹𝒶𝓎✿
EGOIST Dec 30, 2020 @ 11:03pm 
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