Have you ever heard the saying “all good things come to those who wait”? I imagine you have, possibly when you were a kid and your mom told you to wait for desert. Or when you were twenty-something and bought a sweet action figure, but told yourself that you couldn’t open it and all because it might someday be worth a lot of money (my Doctor Fate action figure is barely worth $10. solid investment). Luckily for Chasm fans, the long 6-year wait is finally over.
With this week’s announcement of a July 31st release date the end is finally near. But while reading the press release I thought to myself “what if people have forgotten about Chasm?”. What if these long years have caused this amazing indie game to fade into distant memory? Images of forgotten locker combinations and important phone numbers flashed before my eyes (who the hell knows anyone’s phone number anymore. It’s all in your contacts). So that’s why today I’m going to remind you of the myth, the majesty and the wonder that is Bit Kid Inc.’s Chasm.
Chasm is a 2D action-adventure Metroidvania game, in which you play a new recruit in the Guildean Army. Eager to prove your worth as a knight, you investigate rumors that a mine vital to the Kingdom’s prosperity has been shut down. Upon arrival, you find the mining town barren, its people kidnapped by the supernatural beings that emerged from the depths of the very mine that made them prosperous. You must embark on an amazing adventure to save the town’s people, uncover the mysteries of the mine and restore peace to the kingdom. Along the way, you will encounter all manner of deadly monstrosities, delve into ancient catacombs and uncover powerful equipment and spells that will help you on your journey.
Each and every player will have a different experience with Chasm, even though we will all take part of the same story. Due to the procedurally-assembled areas, made up of handcrafted rooms, my playthrough might be drastically different than any of yours.
But in my opinion the one aspect of Chasm that sets it leagues above its contemporaries isn’t its hack and slash combat, tight platforming sections or its replayability, but its art style. Chasm’s pixel art is absolutely breathtaking! The only game in recent years that I can think to compare it to is Studio Thunderhorse’s Flynn: Son of Crimson. And even its art style seems to be somewhat inspired by Chasm. The way Bit Kid Inc. has crafted Chasm’s world is wholly amazing and authentic. Of course the art is inspired by retro games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, but Chasm shows the true versatility of pixel art. With its vibrant and colorful aesthetic, Chasm is in direct contrast to Castlevania. And where the Castlevania series seems to be geared more toward realism in its pixel art, Chasm in my opinion is much more free form and cartoony. Even though they’re made of the same colored squares, Chasm looks entirely different than the games that inspired it.
Chasm is heading to PS4, PC and the PS Vita (VITA LIVES!) on July 31st, 2018.