As someone who has whiled away many hours in Iron Forge’s classic MOBA Smite, Smite 2 certainly has my attention. Having come out swinging earlier this year, we haven’t heard too much since – understandable, the game is very much still in its pre-alpha form. So, imagine my face when I discovered Vellum, a new roguelike multiplayer that channels the third-person perspective of Smite, and the upgrade pathways of Slay the Spire. Safe to say the wait for Smite 2 doesn’t feel as long anymore.
You begin in the absolutely spectacular Illuminated Library, where you’re informed that several of the myriad tomes contained within have been corrupted. In Vellum, your job is to defeat this dark magic, and cast out the virulent Torn who have taken up residence in these age-old tomes.
Vellum is both a multiplayer game, and a solo one, meaning you can dive into new Tome runs with your pals, or by yourself. As you defeat enemies and progress through the pages, you’ll be able to choose from various different power-ups to help you defeat your enemies – think of Slay the Spire.
Your enemies, however, are wise to this, and will consistently grow in power as you do. Thankfully, you’re in the driving seat, meaning you get to choose their powers, too. You can give your enemies an invisible floating shield to make your runs harder, or make them even tankier if you’re looking for a challenge.
You’ll be able to imbue your spells with magical ink, allowing you to cast a plethora of game-changing combinations. Defeat The Torn, upgrade, and dive right back in – the Illuminated Library beckons.
Now I’ve played an awful lot of MOBAs, and far too much Slay the Spire, yet I’ve never seen anything quite like Vellum before. It’s got the fast-paced action of League or Smite, but it isn’t reliant upon specific items to buff up your damage or defense. If anything, it reminds me a little of Heroes of the Storm, which is one of my favorite games of all time.
A free demo of Vellum is available now as part of Steam Next Fest, and I really suggest that you dive right in. If you do, you’ll receive a unique cosmetic set, Rookie (seen in the header image of this article) with a Stylus and Raiment, and there are two other looks, as well as a book, up for grabs, too.
The Vellum release date is also set for Thursday March 28, so you won’t have to wait long between completing the demo the full launch.
There are a whole host of other Steam Next Fest demos for you to try this week, but we have a list of all the best free Steam games for when the party ends. Alternatively, if Vellum has inspired you to pick up Slay the Spire again, we have a rundown of all the best Slay the Spire mods for your perusal.