Return to the temple and face a new Curse of the Dead Gods.
It’s been a while since I’ve played Curse of the Dead Gods — the incredibly well made Early Access, rogue-lite hack and slash RPG from Focus Home Interactive and Passtech Games. In the past six months, it seems as though the developers have been hard at work, adding content and refining the already well constructed and sharp gameplay. Whilst there’s still work to be done, features to be added and bugs to squash, there’s still a wonderfully well-made game for you to sink your teeth into, even at version 0.21.
If you aren’t fully aware of what Curse of the Dead Gods is, I’d encourage you to take a look at my initial review of it by clicking on the link in that paragraph you just read! As a quick reminder though, you play an explorer, trapped in an ancient tomb with access to a number of temples. Within these, you’ll fight monsters and collect gold and weapons before taking on one of the dead gods’ champions. Success nets you rewards to power you up for future runs, whilst failure gives you a meagre stipend to support your next effort.
You’ll not only take health damage as you’re attacked, but also corruption, which will eventually lead to you accumulating curses, adding challenge to your runs and changing the way you play. This was all excellent before and is still excellent now.
Since then, Passtech have added a whole new temple, as well as new weapons, curses, and fighting techniques. The new temple, which has been in place since the previous update, is swamp themed, with insectoid creatures and poisonous clouds looking to bring you down alongside sentient plants that will slam down upon those who venture too near. It’s a solid addition and relies on gradually whittling you down as you move from room to room.
The most recent update, The Armoury, adds a host of new gameplay mechanics that will change the way you set up for a run. You can now have multiple weapon altars set up before an exploration, giving you a choice of starting equipment, as well as spending Jade Rings — a new resource acquired from successful runs — that will allow you to unlock powerful weapons that could drop in future journeys into the temples.
Additions aren’t just kept to the setup though. There are over two dozen new weapons, including whips and thrown weapons ready to be experimented with, alongside a slew of fresh swords, bows, and hammers. Bows and hammers have been rebalanced to make the former more effective at quick-firing, and the latter hit harder but with a smaller range. The hammers being more powerful is a particular treat, as they’re absolutely my weapon of choice. Pleasingly, Curse of the Dead Gods has also updated the dodge roll to have far more i-frames meaning that if your character appears to have dodged an attack, the damage will be avoided, rather than sometimes taking damage in spite of being mid-roll.
There are still a couple of bugs here and there, although the developers have acknowledged most of these and are working on them for the next big update — The Eagle’s Spire. Sometimes, albeit rarely, bosses can glitch out of the arena which could be infuriating, although I haven’t experienced it. Once or twice I found that tutorial text would remain on the screen no matter what I did, forcing me to restart. These will be cleaned up ready for the next update with any luck.
Whilst there’s still some time before the full release, which will coincide with a console launch, Curse of the Dead Gods continues to impress with its levels of polish, slew of content, and hugely enjoyable gameplay. I look forward to marching back into the temple to be crushed again when the next update arrives, which can’t come soon enough!
Curse of the Dead Gods is currently in Early Access on Steam, and will be released on console in 2021.