Friday, January 8, 2016

The Friday FREE GAME Feature! Ep48: Cornerstone, The Song of Tyrim

Legend of Zelda Windwaker meets Dark Souls in this action adventure game!

Cornerstone, The Song of Tyrim is an epic adventure of exploration, combat and crafting. You begin on the docks of a small island with no real idea of what you're supposed to do. The game provides you with some tutorial popups to teach you the necessary controls, and you're left to explore as you wish.

The game makes use of some physics, allowing you to pickup and throw objects, break things into crafting materials, or use them to interact with the environment (such as placing mines or setting things on fire with a torch). You can even use the environment to kill enemies - I shot the ballista on my ship to take out a guard and kited other guards into some laser-shooting flowers! I felt like a number of strategies were available for getting through an area, which was awesome. Additionally, the island is packed with little hidden areas and shortcuts along with a number of puzzle-type obstacles to get from point A to B.

For the most part, the controls were fairly tight for keyboard and mouse. Controller support exists, but you have to map the buttons before launching the game. Being that this is a demo, I can excuse that. It's just nice to see that the game's challenge isn't about fighting with the controls. The art style is cartoony, bright and whimsical, obviously inspired by the LoZ series. I'm not sure if there's really a story in the demo, but I feel that it was intentionally focusing on decent gameplay instead of throwing lore and background in your face (perhaps taking a cue from Dark Souls here as well).

I was a bit skeptical when I saw the claims of Windwaker meets Dark Souls, but having tried the demo I have to say they're going in the right direction. Sure, the demo is unpolished (it crashed a few times and there were a few other glitches) but overall I was impressed. I'll be keeping an eye out for Cornerstone, The Song of Tyrim to see where it goes once it releases on Steam.

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