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Deaths Gambit

The promise of immortality lies at the heart of Siradon. As Death's right hand, challenge the undying guardians of the realm and endure the eternal struggle to purge their souls. But what reward awaits a faithful servant of Death? Death's Gambit is a hardcore 2D action platformer with rich RPG elements. Master the precise combat, utilizing a wide variety of weapons and abilities to confront the horrors that lurk deep within Siradon. Explore a mysterious and unforgiving world to uncover the true price of immortality. Embrace the challenge of being an agent of Death.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Im writing this as a player of both, the after release game and trying the Afterlife expansion.
Regarding the Afterlife expansion, i should just be called a whole game remake. The changes done to the whole experience make it feel... complete. The Afterlife expansion breathes life to the game in a sense that they got rid of the awful Soul mechanics to add more metroidvania mechanics.
But before you say its now a Metroidvania, its not fully one, The same style of the original game is still here, just polished with metroidvania mechanics. The parts that needed work were done exceptionally well thanks to the player feedback. One of those is movement. Movement in this Expansion is much, MUCH smoother than the original release.
Now into the meat of the expansion, the combat is really enjoyable. Rn im trying to go as a Wizard with magic, and as someone how played the wizard before, its just more pleasant and enjoyable to do so. I have played almost all classes, but before it was clear there was one that was worth it and one that doesnt. Now i really feel that there is a path to make your own OP prefered class. Controls are polished and well optimized for the game. You can combo with the new Metroidvania moves while keeping the old Death Gambit weapons.
Talent System is now more rich to try, with many new talents that now are worth something if you decide to invest. Now, the new chance is more talents to spend, and while on a first walkthrough you might not get them all, thats a new challenge for the New Game Plus.
Story is now enriched, and while i havent played much at the moment of this review, the presentation is less cryptic and more colorful. Old characters feel more alive and now the story has a true sense of progression.
Honestly, while im not deep into the game, the elements i see are enough to warrant a: 8/10
While this might change after i finish, i can 100% say this is one of the best Indies on the Souls/Metroidvania category. If you have some more money for a indie, this is now a solid and great choice to play.

Review from Steam

I so want to give this game a glowing review, but I just can't. The story, the art, the characters, and the combat system are all amazing -- or at least sufficient. Its easily one of the prettiest most satisfying metroidvanias around. Yet I can only recommend it with caveats. I play quite a bit of metroidvanias, but I'm not a completionist. I want the 'good' ending and don't care to go through a NG+ cycle to get it. So I usually look up the flags for the GE and that is where this game starts to come apart.
The game possess a game mechanic called will which increases with deaths and you must be below a minimum threshold to achieve the good ending. You heard that right -- die too much and no GE for you. Certain legendary bosses will reduce your will on defeat to help you get under the threshold. Problem is these legendary bosses are no cake walk either and you will die many times. It becomes a numbers game as you grow more and more frustrated watching your will tick up as your prospects of the GE go down until defeating the boss is 'just' enough to almost break even from the number of times he gibbed you.
So you say to yourself -- ok.. I'll go grind like there is tomorrow so I have the stats to make sure I can beat these bosses without dozens of deaths -- nope.. Your first play through you are capped at level 150 with subsequent playthroughs only increasing that cap by 50 -- and your damaging stat hard capped at 150. Vitality scaling also makes it so even if capped you will live through oh one extra hit from a boss before going down.
So you can't get strong enough to trivialize the 'heroic' fights and anything over 200 deaths through the course of a play through basically ensures your the lesser ending. So instead your supposed to what spend 3 hours learning to do a heroic with narry a single mistake so your NEXT playthrough you can get closer to the good ending? No Thanks. I'll go watch someone with more time than me's Lets Play and move on the next Metroidvania. Its been a fantastic game, but its not good enough to justify doubling and tripling my time in it to see a few extra scenes.

Review from Steam

Afterlife has changed everything. GET THIS GAME!
Originally Deaths Gambit was a short, fun yet somewhat flawed Soulslike with some really cool ideas like sacrificing heals for extra damage, boss rematches that changed the boss fights etc. Now, many years after the original release, the DLC Afterlife has released.
HOLY [email protected]#*! This game is a full on metroidvania now! multiple abilites that allow you to backtrack and crisscross a huge map (oh yeah it actually has a map now!) there is a ton of new stuff, boss reworks, all new bosses, enemies, entire areas. The game has a massive amount of content now and Im just scratching the surface. It controls better, it runs smoother, the story makes coherent sense and there is way more actual humor than it has any right to have.
My favorite thing about the original Deaths Gambit was the awesome boss fights and they are still the highlight here, but the exploration is now a equal part, you are rewarded very well for exploring every nook and cranny, and there are always multiple paths to check out at any given time.
There is a huge amount of build variety now, tons of new weapons and trinkets, the soundtrack is good, the art is good, the voice acting is amazing...
I literally cant stop gushing about how much of a change this game has gone through for the better, this is a devs love letter at its finest, and I cannot recommend this enough, this should be at the top of your list of any genre, this is the best release in September, and quit possible the best indie of the year for me.
Absolute 10 out of freaking 10 well done dev

Review from Steam

11/10 best 2D Soulslike I know of.
Pros:
- big world to explore with several secrets -> exploration is rewarded
- not completely linear, e.g. you can often choose to fight a boss later and explore another area first
- lots of cool bosses
- possibility to challenge a harder version of every boss to get special loot
- high replayability due to several different classes and skill trees
- ability to kill almost every npc for special loot (at the cost of not being able to interact with them anymore... since they are dead obviously...)
- lots of different weapons and skills
- interesting story / lore
- great pixelart style
- the latest Afterlife update added a lot of content and fixed flaws of the old version
- moving around the map feels great and is not that time consuming (you can ride your horse / roll / dash / double jump....)
Cons:
- It appears you're not able to change that "ESC" just pauses the game (no menu, it's just paused...) and that "I" is the key to open all the menus (Map, Inventory, Settings, Talent Tree...). It's a little annoying but you get used to it and it's not really a big deal.
Overall really great game! ^^

Review from Steam

The Afterlife expansion has revived this game from mediocre into an amazing experience, and I still cant believe its all for FREE for previous owners of the original:
-The gameplay is smoother
-Build/weapon diversity is wider
-World is larger and features much more exploration and secrets
-Fantastic Musical score
-Old boss revamps and balancing was very welcome, and the all new ones were great too (except for one, screw that bird boi)
-The new endings make the end feel much better than before.
If you're a fan of metroidvania's, this one now stands up there with the best ones such as blasphemous and hollow knight. Check it out!

Review from Steam

PLEASE buy and play this game. It's absolutely my favorite game ever. All the work the devs have put into it has come to fruition in a way that's still recognisably Death's Gambit but better in every single way that matters. If you bought Death's Gambit when it first came out but didn't like it, give it another chance, everything is so much better now. If you're thinking about it, It's one of the best 2D soulslike out there, and it's gone from being fairly linear to a metroidvania on par with titans like Hollow Knight. There's very few bugs now, I played the entire way through on launch without getting a single softlock or crash, and they're putting out patches daily to fix any that still exist. The new content and bosses with Afterlife is really, really good and the ost especially, already bought it for a certain new boss's track. Extremely recommended.

Review from Steam

Pretty good game, I'd recommend it! Doesn't quite reach the heights some of the top games in this genre do but it's worth the price and has a cool art style and story to tell with satisfying combat.
Pros:
- Really cool art style, I liked the visuals especially
- Fairly interesting lore and storyline, it's nothing crazy but it worked and the characters were likeable
- Combat is fun. Challenging enough but not ridiculously punishing.
- Some cool boss designs
- Good voice acting
- Good variety of classes, skills and weapons
- Fun exploring around and finding secrets (plenty of them)
- Has a good sense of humor
Cons:
- Later levels got too spammy at times both visually and with enemies (last boss fight was way too visually spammy AND had too much dialogue mid-fight--despite the boss herself being cool). It was sometimes easy to die due to the colors blending in and volume of stuff going on.
- Later levels have things like nearly invisible traps and "parasites" that DoT you until you open your inventory (which doesn't pause) and drop them manually. These seemed annoying.
- Some of the later bosses were really cool but honestly I found the levels themselves leading to them to be slogs. Too many garbage fights and enemies that'd spam tons of projectiles from off screen if you tried to run past.
- Some of the talent trees seemed poorly laid out and balanced compared to others, with some talents feeling underwhelming. Soldier was far too good as a secondary class over the others. You had weird talents to remove stat reqs on certain weapons but also make them scale with a different stat altogether (so unless you went that new stat, the weapon would then do almost no damage). It was just awkward and didn't feel well conceived.
- When picking talents if you hit the back button it locks them in for some reason and you need to reload to undo
- Should probably have an option to turn off the taunts between deaths (sometimes lol, sometimes I'm frustrated and don't wanna hear it! :P)
- Game badly needs a codex or something to give the player basic info if they forget things or want to look stuff up. There's "parrying" and "perfect blocking" and also a slide, a lot of stuff isn't obvious. Motes are really never explained as far as I can tell. The wiki for the game is outdated and from before the "Afterlife update" mostly so it was almost more confusing than helpful.
Anyway, as you can see the game isn't without its flaws but I didn't feel they were egregious as a whole. I'd still recommend this game. It's a solid entry to this genre. The combat and visuals really carried it for me.