What if a game removed all the fluff? What if it decided that going through hours of grind beating away various minions with ease was a pointless endeavor? What if that same game decided that leveling up your character, finding new and improved weapons and armour, was all…well, pointless? What if it was you and the bosses?
Welcome to Titan Souls!
That is exactly what this game is, you vs 20 different bosses, no fluff, no upgrades, no leveling, just you and your single arrow vs 20 different mighty Titans.
It may sound like yet another Indie trying to be different for the sake of being different, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, if anything this is an homage to games such as Shadow of the Colossus, where it wants to create a spectacle and make each encounter a memorable one.
Unlike Team Ico’s epic, this is on a much smaller scale and seems to focus more on a trial and error system and for the most part it works and it does it with next to no handholding whatsoever. You are dumped into a world and you have to just work stuff out on your own.
At no point does the game explain to you that you just have a single arrow that you must retrieve each time it is fired, nor does it tell you what you need to do to progress, or what you might encounter next. It sets you into a level and turns its back on you.
This means one thing…you will die and you will die A LOT! You thought you die often in the likes of Dark Souls and Bloodborne? Well this takes it to another level. Because even when you think you may have worked out what is coming, or how to take on a Titan, something will surprise you, or blindside you when you least expect it.
Now I half expected this mechanic to frustrate the living hell out of me, but it is so well designed that you can and you will learn from every death. You go back to the same encounter armed with more knowledge, you find other ways in which you can use your solitary arrow and after many tries you can finally beat your current nemesis.
Now 20 Titans with no other enemies may sound very little, especially when many can be killed in a single shot, but I defy anyone to make their way through the game first time in just a couple of hours. This is a game that requires patience and rewards perseverance. You don’t get in-game rewards, but you do get a sense of accomplishment for having beat a game that has set out to beat you.
It is also a game that is set up for not only beating it, but ideal Twitch and Youtube fodder for those speedrunners. To see someone get through Titan Souls in one sitting and going for speed records will be something to behold because to myself, it will require a special amount of effort to get that good and to learn all the various Titan patterns and not fail at any of them.
Titan Souls is a game that will leave you feeling beaten for the most part and at times it may not always feel enjoyable, but at the very same time, it is so well designed and crafted that you accept that and you take on the difficulties as a challenge you must beat, which makes this a must have game.