PAX East: Strayed Lights Offers Rhythmic-lite Combat In Its Growing Colorful Universe


Posted on March 29, 2023 by Nick Moreno

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“Explore a dark and oneiric world of rampant nature and corrupted cities. Embody a tiny being of light on its path towards awakening. Fight your inner demons and restore your balance,” the description for Strayed Lights reads. And what you can pick up from the synopsis alone is certainly not the full experience. Instead, the game in action delivers a split mechanism, both visually and in concept, that delivers a unique experience worth embracing.

Upon discovering the game initially, Strayed Lights appears to be a basic enough third-person action adventure as you fight different creatures with unique abilities to mend light and such. What draws the line however is how it is implemented. Simply switching your color – between subtle blue to loud orange – allows you to properly engage in combat. And this is not for certain foes as all enemies continuously flip between the two.

The choice in constantly changing obstacles offers a nice pace in diverse combat and in instances proves to be a somewhat rhythmic experience once you grasp the flow of the combat. Although there are no weapons, your player is introduced to traditional dodge rolls & precise parrying to help fill an energy bar. When executing the special after such emits a massive amount of damage.

What makes this more interesting is how standard attacking is not introduced until after the prologue of the demo I played. While you can certainly hack your way to the enemies’ demise, you can reach the end of the game without landing a single hand on the adversaries you face. For the player’s skill tree they will find early on, this plays into the daring combatant or non-lethal fighter path options.

Moreover on the colored combat of Strayed Lights, there is another layer to it. While you parry enemies, there are two mechanics to your benefit: parrying with a matching color heals you whilst parrying with the opposite blocks damage fully. The same is said for direct combat as only landed hits when matching will inflict damage on your counterparts.

World building is also a strong suit for Strayed Lights you find early on. From the purple hues of the caverns you find early in the demo to the vibrant forests of green & blue seen in screenshots of later parts of the game, color for this title is a constant tool in delivering a world to engage in. More from the story synopsis reads:

“You are a tiny, growing light seeking transcendence. Explore a land of otherworldly ruins and glowing trees, where entities of flickering lights and luminescent shadows reside.” Another pro for Strayed Lights is its choice for the soundtrack. It is revealed that ABZU, Journey, Banner Saga composer Austin Wintory is behind the OST for the game as well.

When speaking to the team at PAX East, Strayed Lights release come next month will be a full release across all platforms. While the team perfected its PC version, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch were ported via third-party. But, the team is confident in the other versions with respected performance/quality modes on the new systems and the overall presentation on the Switch. The game is even Steam Deck verified as well.

You can wishlist Strayed Light by visiting the official Steam page by heading here.

Strayed Lights ships for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and PC on April 25, 2023.

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