We had a chance to do a hands-on preview of Dolmen on PC to get an idea on how the game plays and what it’s all about. I used a PS4 controller in playing it as it supports the use of controllers.
Dolmen is a sci-fi action adventure roguelite game that takes place in this mining place where alien creatures have taken over. You have been tasked to retrieve crystals which they called Dolmen which supposedly allows interaction between dimensions.
Your character will have attributes that you can level up by getting points from defeating enemies. These points are called Nanites that you can use to level up your character once you gain access to be able to return to your ship.
The game has that Dark Souls vibe as the enemies are actually smarter than they look. They can also really hit a punch and inflict massive damage on your characters. Dying in this game means you leave off your Nanites and Dolmen Fragments which will be marked by a blue silhouette of your character. You can pick this back up should you be able to retrace your steps to where you died.
This is because dying in the game will take you back to the nearest checkpoint. The enemies also get respawned so there’s a potential that you could die on your way to retrieving the nanites. Should you die before picking up your points, you will lose those points forever. Despite all that, the game isn’t really that punishing when you get defeated as you get to keep all your equipment and that there’s no penalty on your HP when you die. But because the Nanites are the game’s way of leveling up your character, the game tends to be challenging in that regard.
The enemies in this game really vary but at the same time, I feel like some of it are harder than how they look. It goes to show that you can’t really judge the enemies by its appearance.
Combat is very simple but can be difficult to master. You have a basic attack and a heavy attack as well as a jumping attack. You can dodge enemy attacks but you can also parry them and even fling back projectile shots aimed at you back to an enemy. However, as with a parry you’d need to time it perfectly for a shot to ricochet back to its owner.
The game also introduces us to crafting. With the parts that you get by killing enemies or picking up items from seemingly hard to reach places, you can craft weapons and armor to help you in our journey. As soon as you get the materials for a craftable weapon, it will then give you the option to craft a weapon or armor and then add materials to it to improve the crafted item.
The possibilities of all the weapons and armor that you can use here are plenty and will surely help you enjoy combat more as each weapon have their own advantages and disadvantages. You also have access to a ranged weapon in a form of a pistol which is actually very OP because you have an unlimited amount of ammo as long as you have the energy for it.
What’s interesting about the energy though is that you also need to use this should you need to heal your character. You also have a limited amount of battery which will fill up your energy gauge but these are refillable in checkpoints. However, if you ever touch a checkpoint should you want to refill, it will also respawn the enemies back.
From what I have played so far of the game, it really has an interesting concept because for me it felt like a cross between Dead Space and Dark Souls. Two of my favorite games to play. I do see the potential of Dolmen to be a great game and I cannot wait to explore the game more once the full version of the game has been released.