Death's Gambit is a very blunt attempt to fuse two beloved games, Dark Souls and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, into one challenging 2D action-platformer. Developer White Rabbit shows a strong understanding of what made each of them great but glosses over fundamentals that all great games need, such as responsive controls and an understandable game world, and falls short of its promise.
Ambitious ideas and a twisting story are marred by bad design choices.
This 2D action-platformer is a gorgeous but frustrating test of patience.
In the end, Death's Gambit resonates as a flawed gem, one I'm happy to have played. It's an uneven experience bogged down by technical woes and stilted combat, but if you can enjoy less-than-pristine games in spite of rough spots, it's worth taking a chance on. Just hold out for a few patches first.
Death's Gambit is almost an above average 2D hardcore title, with challenging bosses and some solid environmental design. However the game lacks atmosphere and the story just doesn't quite take hold. The world is compact enough that repetition is unavoidable, and repeating the same steps can you wear down. Death's Gambit isn't a bad game but it simply doesn't have the spark that others in the genre do.
A great way to enjoy a great cocktail between the Souls saga and a metroidvania. Lots of time to die and an interactive death system are his main features.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
The gameplay is solid and the combat is weighty, with some decent platforming physics to boot. I enjoyed its sumptuous visuals and the inventive design of some of its creatures and characters.
Death's Gambit is buggy, unpolished, frustrating, and derivative. At the same time, it features some interesting bosses and unexpected storytelling tricks. It's sure to be a divisive game, but you may be won over by the atmosphere its fantastic art, music, and voice acting create, if you can overlook its flaws.
It's worth a look because of its unique style, which really is a cut above the rest, and it is clear that White Rabbit have had a good crack at producing a game that tries to be creative with an established formula. However, be prepared for a journey that's a bit of a slog in more ways than one.
Death's Gambit is a good attempt to make a 2D version of Souls with an interesting game mechanics and a large and well-designed world. The game captivates and makes you come back to it again and again, even despite kinda bland bosses.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Though it's not the best platformer, the story and environment alone make it a must play for Dark Souls fans and retro Metroidvania junkies alike. There's plenty here to enjoy, with plenty of replay value for those it hooks.
Death's Gambit is 40 per cent trial and error, 40 per cent reliant on upgrades, and 20 per cent luck. Racing to the next level only to be stopped abruptly in your path by an opposing foe issues an element of surprise and delightful unpredictability, and exploring its pixelated medieval world feels both refreshing and nostalgic. Though the inclusion of a fully voiced cast and more platforming elements wouldn't go amiss, its difficult boss battle encounters are enough to keep you motivated, providing you have a great deal of patience, and are willing to put in some time upgrading your character and skill set. Just don't get mad if you die, like, a lot.
With its enjoyable story, melancholic atmosphere, competent gameplay and outstanding soundtrack, Death's Gambit is an enjoyable take on the Dark Souls series formula. Some flaws, such as floaty movement, weird hitboxes on select weapon types, and some mediocre bosses, however, prevent the game from being a masterpiece.
While Death's Gambit as a whole falls a bit short of expectations, the game itself is a solid action-RPG.
Death's Gambit never quite sheds its skin as simply a Dark Souls-inspired side scroller, and is done no favors by gutless, awkward combat. There's plenty to love in its visuals and designs, but ultimately it's a title that struggles to find footing in a saturated genre.
Death's Gambit is a fantastically crafted game; the controls are tight, the bosses are memorable, and the graphics are great. However, the unrelenting difficulty makes it a tedious and sometimes painful affair. It's brutal challenge often feels like it's more of a test of the player's endurance and perseverance limits than it does supply an enjoyable experience. Each sitting is a grueling endeavor which can, unfortunately, be offputting all in all. It excels in a lot of situations and would undoubtedly appeal to fans of the Dark Souls series, but for everything that Death's Gambit does well it's unforgiving nature can take away from the game as a whole.
Death's Gambit wholly embraces the Dark Souls way of giving players just enough leeway to barely survive against unrelenting adversity, for good and ill. A compelling story, smooth and frantic melee combat, and a robustly grim 2D world come together to form a game that's wholly unafraid to embrace the Souls-like moniker.
Death's Gambit had such promise. At its core, it is the blueprint to properly take risks and make attempts to improve a game design that we all take for granted. But it's just surrounded with poor quality of life choices, while missing some things it should have absolutely nailed. Weird animations, strange pacing, counter-intuitive combat, and way too many bugs holds this game back from being something truly great.
For Souls fans, there's a lot to love about Death's Gambit. There's a multitude of secrets to be found, shortcuts to be unlocked, and lore to be read from the cryptic item descriptions. When the game isn't being held back by the weird boss and level designs or technical issues, it can be charming and sincere in its own right.