Already seen at this year’s PAX West revolving around God’s fallen angel Lucifer, I played the ecstatic and risqué Big Drunk Satanic Massacre which told the story of the descendent from Satan himself as he reclaims Hell from the invading humans who exploited the fire underworld’s inhabitants for gluttonous gain. However, I also demoed another title following the notorious Antichrist in a more serious toned hack and slash interpretation of John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Matrioska Games’ Fallen Angel instead treads behind the footsteps of Lucifer during the aftermath of being exiled from Heaven: while the soon to be proclaimed ‘Devil’ pursues his journey for retribution against those who ordered his banishing, the Archangels are also met with interior conflicts as God has abandoned the Biblical Nirvana and leaving his disciples to fight for power of Heaven.
For my part of the demo, I played the exposition of the game as Lucifer washes up on the shores of Christianity’s nether underworld and fights his way to the surface of the Earth. While climbing the layers of the world’s core, the tutorial initiates towards settling players unfamiliar with the pixelated combat system. Lucifer is equipped with a handful of standard combat techniques like attack, jump, and dash. Although he does seem bare on the surface, the combat options multiply with other gadgets and upgrades that you can unlock as you progress.
At the beginning of the demo, you learn to jump and glide with Lucifer’s expandable wings that eject from his back, but later you will discover that you can also use the same function alongside a attack to launch an enemy into the air to make it vulnerable. Other additions like the handgun that you are also provided with can be useful in tight situations as it offers two firing options as seen from the game’s trailer.
However, this is only half of the cake as Lucifer has an ability which transforms him into his full demonic form which then paints the gameplay mechanics with exclusive functions only available with the ultimate being active. Speaking with the game’s Director Hunter Wu, he shares that the full project is planned to incorporate a fully functioning skill tree for both respected classes Lucifer is assigned to. Wu goes on to explain that this will reward players with more powerful attacks, efficient dashes, and damaging rounds for your sidearm.
New abilities are also shared to be in the full game, but will not be tied to the title’s skill tree. Instead, the player will unlock said abilities through defeating each of God’s Archangels. The Director adding on to in-game abilities reveals that the order in which you choose to pursue each Archangels will not be structured in any order, giving the player more freedom to choose how the story will play out. How this will be done is through the hotel-themed hub world that is planned to be integrated into the project at a later time.
Upon the topic of the plot’s composition, Wu shares that Fallen Angel will include different endings depending on order of Archangels you eliminate. Assuming that you will get a more definitive ending if following the arrangement of Milton’s epic: ultimately, each ending is clarified to still be unique, but will only differ in miniscule changes depending on how you take on the game.
Additionally, the finished product is said to other features such as savable NPCs which can be rescued and take shelter in the lobby of the hub world after completing the specific realm. Wu states that the game is configured to be a 4 – 6 hour experience; taking an average 45 minutes for each distinctive realm. Expanding on the numerous endings that will be in the game, players can easily sink at least three full playthroughs into the game. Pressing Wu on the game’s Steam page, I asked about the local co-op feature that will be in the project which could add even more play time to the game atop of solo completions.
“The local co-op is planned to include two Lucifer’s if we have the time to make it,” Wu explains to me. “We would like to create a new character with their own skills, but that would depend on how much resources we have left after what is currently on our schedule.”
Interesting enough, the traditional format for a pixelated game of any genre typically has the player read title cards when taking in the game’s story. But for Fallen Angel, the studio decided to incorporate voice acting to read the project’s dialogue. Asking Wu why exactly Matrioshka Games chose to do this, he tells me that the team wants to give a realistic persona for all characters you come across on your journey for vengeance. He also clarifies that the developer also decided to indulge in voicing rather than standard text to break the bond of standard retro-looking games.
Fallen Angel is scheduled to release sometime in mid-2020 for PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. You can wishlist the game on your Steam account by going here.