Last year, I saw a trailer for an upcoming Metroidvania called Souldiers, and I thought the combat looked so fantastic that I published a headline to that exact effect. Today, I’ve played a bit of Souldiers, and I’m happy to report that it feels pretty great with controller in hand, too. If you like the idea of a non-linear exploration-focused platformer with chunky melee combat, you should probably check out this Steam Next Fest demo.

With an RPG-style leveling system, Souldiers leans more ‘vania than Metroid, and there’s even a bit of Souls in there. (The devs say ‘Soulslike’ on the Steam page, I promise this isn’t just me.) With the default Scout class, you’ve got a light attack with a horizontal slash and a heavy attack with vertical range, and enemies tend to position themselves just so that you have to be particular about which you’re using.

A dodge roll, a stamina-dependent block, and a parry that you can time for big follow-up damage complete those Souls comparisons, and even in the early parts of the game the demo showcases, it all comes together quite well.

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