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New Dark Souls rival taking a “gods versus guns” soulslike approach

We spoke with A44 at GDC all about its upcoming gods and guns soulslike Flintlock, and how the team is evolving what the genre looks like.

Flintlock The Siege of Dawn GDC interview

Later this year Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn wants to bring some new ideas to the soulslike genre, namely a blend of ‘Gods versus guns.’ The genre is now brimming with FromSoftware rivals, and developer A44 hopes that this concept can elevate what it’s actively working on. To see how the team’s getting on we spoke with creative director Simon Dasan at GDC in San Francisco, and learned about the game alongside a nine-minute gameplay deep dive that you can watch below.

While it retains the soulslike core of A44’s previous game, Ashen, Flinklock: The Siege of Dawn is a massive step up for the team. The soulslike game was originally revealed at an Xbox and Bethesda showcase in 2022, so we sat down with some of the key developers behind the project at GDC to learn how it combines the powers of gods, gunpowder, and steel to offer up a completely new take on the genre.

“So Flintlock is based around this concept of ‘Gods versus Guns.’ You had these Napoleonic era armies of men going up against these like monolithic magical gods,” creative director Simon Dasan tells PCGamesN.

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One of the few ways that Flintlock wants to set itself apart from FromSoftware’s classics and the soulslike genre they inspired is via agility, as Dasan explains during our time with the game at GDC.

You can see the mobility in action in the new gameplay above, emphasizing how you’re not always in on-the-ground fights, but instead using your verticality and well-placed platforms to get the drop on enemies.

“We really want to explore the idea of agility, so you can freely move about the world, and we’ve added a lot of verticality into the level design. We didn’t want you to feel like too stuck to the ground, so you can do things that effectively let you double jump and double dodge. Those are not on any cooldown, they don’t take any resources. You can do them as much as you like.”

You’ll have three weapons to work with in Flintlock: melee arms, a flintlock pistol, and secondary blackpowder arms like grenades or rifles. You’ll restore flintlock ammo via melee attacks, with blackpowder arms offering up slower, but oftentimes more powerful, moves to use how you see fit.

These abilities work in tandem to create a push-and-pull approach to combat. Perhaps you’ll need to shoot an enemy at a distance, dodge behind a shield, or build up damage to their armor before going in for the kill.

Flintlock The Siege of Dawn GDC interview

One of the major ways Flintlock also looks to set itself apart is via Enki, a cute fox companion that’ll help you out during exploration and combat. Think of him a little like Atreus in the God of War reboot.

“You’ll meet him really early on in the game,” Dasan explains, adding the Enki can be used to apply the curse of death to enemies and do special attacks on them. Enki then has their skill tree of magic abilities, alongside ones based on ranged and melee abilities too, so you can choose to upgrade your fox friend and focus on their magical abilities in combat if you want.

We also learned at GDC that Flintlock is clocking in at around 15 hours for the main game, and up to 20 if you do all the side content. You can wishlist Flinktlock: The Siege of Dawn over on Steam right now.

If you’re looking for more while we wait for Flintlock, which is set to release sometime in summer 2024, we’ve got you covered with all the best RPG games and new PC games to keep you busy in the meantime.

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Additional reporting by Nat Smith for PCGamesN at GDC.