Atlas Fallen was one of the more surprising reveals from Gamescom Opening Night Live this year. Developed by Deck13, who spent two games developing their own FromSoftware, souls-like style with The Surge, this new game abandons all of that and seeks to create a grittier, combat-focused version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s formula.
The core of the game involves you hunting down pieces of a magical gauntlet you have found to overthrow the Gods, who have made humanity slaves on Atlas, and restore the gauntlet to its full potential. In a presentation to The Loadout at Gamescom, Deck13 described hunting down these shards as the “main journey within the story”, which reminded us of the Korok Seeds in Breath of the Wild.
With a large open world at your disposal, Atlas Fallen has its own plans for how to keep you gripped to the screen. Breath of the Wild was all about the physics and possibilities open to you in the open world, but Atlas Fallen is giving you a bunch of giant monsters to fight with a massive variety of abilities at your disposal.
In that way, the game has shades of Monster Hunter as you will use the “150+ Essense Stones to craft powerful builds of attacks and combos” according to Deck13. These include a giant axe that deals powerful damage, projectiles for long-range, and a lengthy sword that focuses on wide attacks, to bring giant sand monsters created by the gods to their end. You can also freeze body parts to deal significant damage by focusing your attacks on those parts, similar to how Monster Hunter works.
But unlike Monster Hunter where your movement is slow, Atlas Fallen gives the player a lot of mobility, from dashing about through the sand to large jumps and glides to help you dodge attacks. That focus on mobility gives the game a fantastic injection of Japanese action you would see in games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, as you rack up combos and hits and land more powerful attacks while dodging and dashing any blows from the monsters.
That is then amplified by the fact that your weapon can grow in size or expand in length as you land more attacks and build up Momentum, a bar that fills up as you land more attacks back-to-back.
So, not only are you getting the satisfaction of doing more damage as you weave in-between hits during a fight and master combos, you are getting a visual reward and flair with your weapon looking bigger and physically becoming more powerful as you continue to fight these giant sand crabs and tigers that roam the world.
Based on the presentation, Atlas Fallen clearly is emulating the freedom and open playground Breath of the Wild popularised back in 2017 but isn’t trying to be a one-to-one copy. Its more realistic and gritty art style helps give Atlas Fallen its own identity.
But the most impressive aspect of what The Loadout saw was the combat described above which seems dynamic, fast, fluid, and satisfying. And, a game built around allowing you to explore a vast open landscape easily, while letting you obliterate hundreds of giant monsters with crazy attacks and abilities sounds like a game we want to play.
Atlas Fallen was one of the far more impressive games at Gamescom and it is great to see a developer use what Breath Of The Wild introduced to open-world games while bringing its own ideas to the genre. If it isn’t already Atlas Fallen should be on your radar before it comes out in 2023 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.