Steelrising test: is the French Souls style really revolutionary?

Test Steelrising : le Souls-like français est-il vraiment révolutionnaire ?

The game begins with an argument between Marie Antoinette and Gabrielle de Polignac, virtual prisoners in the Château de Saint-Cloud. Indeed, the king has deployed an army of automatons in the streets, created by the inventor and mechanic Eugène de Vaucanson, to quell any attempt at revolt… or revolution! But Aegis, the queen’s mechanical bodyguard, differs from her peers in that she is gifted with speech, even sentience. Therefore, it is up to the player to take control of it, to convince the king to come to his senses and, along the way, defeat a multitude of ancient robots. A small customization tool allows you to choose between several proposals for hairstyles, faces and metallic colors, while the selection of classes presents us with four different archetypes. Thus, Aegis can be a robust bodyguard capable of withstanding blows, a soldier skilled in heavy weapons and powerful physical attacks, a dancer focused on fast attacks and critical hits, or an alchemist specializing in elemental weapons capable of igniting, freezing, and destroying. enemies. This initial choice influences certain basic characteristics (which we will not detail here because there are perhaps twenty) as well as the equipment provided automatically. But afterwards, it is possible to equip and develop our character as we see fit. In this, as in many other points, Steelrising perfectly respects the Souls-like codes. Fights are therefore built around the essential mechanics of target lock, dodge, quick attack, power attack, charged attack, and stamina management. Once the latter is exhausted, our automaton overheats and can no longer attack, dodge, jump or run. Suffice it to say that the vulnerability then becomes maximum, and that everything possible must be done to avoid it. Fortunately, it is possible to activate instant cooling by pressing the right key at the right time.

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rise steelThe classic Souls recipe unfolds throughout the game. Mechanical Vestals act as campfires. Manes replace souls. And the often “loopy” level design offers plenty of shortcuts to unlock. The pace of the fights is quite slow, and constant attention is necessary in order not to succumb stupidly. It is essential to carefully study the behavior and the different movements of each enemy, to block and dodge as soon as possible and, above all, not to be too greedy. Try to land three hits instead of two at the wrong time and you’ll be knocked out immediately. You also need to do your best to isolate enemies and fight one-on-one, either by drawing their attention using a cobblestone or by clearing the area thanks to the little infiltration mechanic (which allows you to back-slam an opponent who is still didn’t notice). of our presence). Enemies hiding in corners and fake corpses also surprise us from time to time, while good big bosses punctuate the adventure.

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The latter’s metallic design doesn’t have From Software’s unlikely creature class, but most of these encounters make a lasting mark anyway, especially when one finds oneself dying in a loop more than ten times before emerging victorious. In short, this is a Souls-like worthy of the name that, not surprisingly, will please lovers of the genre and full-bodied difficulty. But the game is also open to a more novice audience, thanks to the presence of an assist mode. To the famous question “should we integrate an easy mode into Souls-like?”, the developers of Spiders answered yes and even went a little further by offering a modular difficulty. So it’s possible to fine-tune the damage taken reduction and stamina recharge rate, while two toggle options allow you to turn on or off the easy cooldown and the chance to sustain after death. The only drawback to using this system comes from the blocking of certain achievements related to difficulty. So obviously we lose intensity with this mode that doesn’t force us to “git gud” anymore. But its presence is still welcome, because it can allow new players to take the plunge, and does not detract from the pleasure of regulars, who will know how to resist temptation.

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rise steelSteelrising also stands out from other souls at one point in particular: its universe. By choosing the French Revolution as the period and Paris as the setting, the game definitely scores points, especially for us French. The setting constantly takes us from one iconic location to another (Château de Saint-Cloud, the Invalides, the Tuileries, Luxembourg…), which leads to some strong moments. Fighting automatons in the corridors of the Louvre Museum is, for example, quite exciting. It is true that after Elden Ring, the absence of an open world is felt anyway. But at least we have the pleasure of traveling from one area to another in a rather elegant mechanical carriage. And then meet La Fayette, Louis XVI, Mirabeau, Lavoisier, Bailly or even Robespierre, priceless! Except that the game commits almost unforgivable bad taste by ignoring the French voiceovers. The publisher is French, the development studio is French, the game takes place during the French Revolution, cut-scenes and dialogue stages feature French historical figures…and yet Marie Antoinette speaks English! This is not the only black spot in the overall picture, as we found several notable bugs. Some are purely cosmetic and therefore not too bothersome (overly bright backlight during cut-scenes, strange light spots appearing in certain places during exploration…), but others are more difficult to get past. Losing your ghosts because target lock refuses to activate, a weapon swap doesn’t validate, or infiltration fails for no reason, it kind of hurts! On the contrary, it can happen that an enemy gets stuck in a door frame and makes our job too easy. These issues remain relatively punctual and we can’t speak of a bug-fest like sometimes (hello Saints Row…), but they do contribute to denting the overall experience and make Steelrising just a nice Souls-like, rather than an unmissable headline.

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