An intro to Steelrising’s unique combat system.
At Spiders, we love exploring different types of RPGs. Since our creation we have tried various styles of combat systems and learned something new with each game we’ve released. For our latest game, Steelrising, our goal was to focus on providing a more action-oriented, deliberate, detailed, and fun fighting experience.
A Soulslike game
From Demon’s Souls remake to Elden Ring, Soulslike games have captured players’ attention. Of course this wasn’t necessarily the case when we started the Steelrising, but everyone in the team wanted to pay homage to this genre. We wanted to home in on combat, making sure players must think about the best course of action and the skills at their disposal, but in a universe of our own. We also wanted to share our passion with as many players as possible, which is why we decided to create an assist mode.
Steelrising leans into the Soulslike formula, but with the unique heart of a Spiders game.
The story of Steelrising happens in one night, at the very beginning of our twisted version of the French Revolution. Automatons are running rampant. They have totally overpowered the revolutionaries; these humans simply didn’t stand a chance when facing even the most basic of these creations.
Fighting fire with fire, you are Paris’ last hope. A single automaton against an army, your task is not easy, every enemy standing in your way can be your last if you underestimate them.
To compel players to save the city, but also the permanent danger in attempting to do so, we decided to put the emphasis on a detailed combat system. Timing, studying your opponent’s every move, making sure not to draw too much attention so as not to find yourself outnumbered, and finding their weaknesses will be key to your success.
Yes, they are strong, but so are you.
You will not only have to master your skills, you will also have to manage your cooling system. The more aggressive you are in combat the more heated you will get, which could lead Aegis to overheat and become briefly incapacitated. This mechanic may remind you of the classic stamina system that is present in many games of the genre, but by using instant cooling you can quickly reduce your temperature to land a few more hits or escape to safety. But beware! If used excessively or at the wrong time this could lead you to become completely frozen mid-combat, and open to attack.
In addition to stamina management, other classic action-RPG aspects include stats that you will need to thoughtfully upgrade, as well as plenty of items and modules to collect for customizing and enhancing your playstyle.
One of the specificities of Steelrising’s gameplay is its verticality. Aegis can jump, and this ability will open new possibilities to attack and surprise enemies, use different combos, or even avoid some fights altogether if you want to choose your battles. While very useful in combat it is also another way to explore the city and its narrow streets.
Aegis and her arsenal
Aegis is not just another automaton. She is a complex masterpiece and as such, has many possible fighting styles at her disposal: you may decide to be a fearless bodyguard, a quick and deadly dancer, or an alchemist shooting from a distance. Aegis’ fighting style can also of course be altered and adjusted at any point during her journey.
We wanted the combat system in Steelrising to have its own identity and to reflect Aegis’ mechanical nature. As such, she’s not just holding weapons, they really are an extension of her body.
With 9 types of weapons and over 40 variations, weapons are a core component in Steelrising.
You will find weapons you might be familiar such as the mace or the dual swords, but some are more unique to Aegis, such as her fans that can be turned into a shield, or the more eccentric weapons like the alchemical rifle that consume precious Alchemical Capsules which you can find while exploring or buy when resting your cogs at a vestal. Heavy weapons like the Wheel may at first seem too big for your small frame, but Aegis manages to wield them with no less grace, and with devastating effect.
Each of these weapons has a special move that provides even more playstyle possibilities. And remember that Aegis can also switch quickly between two weapons at any time and even use her tools in combat, which can make for some brutal combos.
The more you progress, the more powerful these weapons can become if you upgrade them. These improvements will certainly be handy in your quest, especially against the Titans, the most dangerous enemies that you will face.
In order to vanquish the Titans, you will have to understand their ways of fighting, by learning their patterns and finding the right time to strike. It might require a few attempts as they hit hard, meaning each blow can be fatal. But don’t worry, the tools at your disposal and the way you master Aegis’ skills will make the difference.
We really wanted every boss fight to be epic and to provide a feeling of achievement when you finally beat them.
We can’t wait to discover your first impressions, which Titans you found the most challenging, which playstyles you prefer, and which are your favourite areas of Paris. We hope that you will have as much fun playing the game as we did making it. And as Steelrising’s release is right around the corner, we won’t have to wait for long. Vive la révolution!
Steelrising is coming to PS5 on September 8.