Aztech Forgotten Gods is far from flawless. Lienzo, on the other hand, appears to have a clear vision for the game and is working towards it.
Of course, some games are easier than others, and other less polished previews require us to use all of our resources to make an educated prediction. With its early – very early – demo version that will be available to play for free during Steam Fest, which begins this week, Aztech Forgotten Gods, from award-winning developer Lienzo, falls into the latter group. While the demo for Aztech Forgotten Gods has its fair share of challenges to overcome before its official release, we are certain that the Lienzo team, like the game’s player-controlled protagonist, will rise to the occasion.
In the initial chat segment, you don’t get a lot of backstories. All you know is that your character, Achtli, is attempting to assist her scientist mother in unlocking the secrets behind a new artifact with the assistance of Achtli’s stone-tech mechanical arm, Lightkeeper – which is also possessed by a magical, ancient entity. However, during a test, Achtli appears to reveal a secret that only she can see, causing giant creatures to emerge and destroy the cyberpunk city of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec Empire’s crown jewel. It’s up to Achtli and her mechanical arm’s extraordinary abilities to save the day.
Although the demo only includes a single boss encounter, the game is largely about that. Consider Aztech Forgotten Gods to be a Saturday morning cartoon rendition of Shadow of the Colossus with a Latinx-Futuristic twist. However, despite certain similarities in battle techniques, this is not a Team Ico game.
But first, let’s talk about the combat mechanisms, which are at the heart of the game. During the combat, you’ll utilize Achtli’s arm to fly around and smash the crap out of your massive foes, aiming for specific weak places (sound familiar?). However, you won’t be climbing these foes — at least, not in the demo. You’ll be using Achtli’s cyberstone mechanical arm, which allows you to fly for a surprising amount of time. In the air, you’ll pummel the animals while evading their assaults, the most frustrating of which in the demo is the area of effect strike, which allows very little room for error while attempting to avoid being struck, and which feels like it should be tightened up significantly.
In that regard, the camera system is particularly aggravating. We regularly found ourselves clipping below the surface when we were on the ground, gazing up to see black and a few scattered pieces of Achtli’s polygonal hair moving around. The only way to solve this was to jump up and fly into the air again, this time with the camera in tow. Despite these flaws, the combat in the game is a lot of fun to play. That is to say, we believe it will be a lot of fun once everything is sorted out for the complete release. Without a doubt, the boss encounter requires endurance. It never felt like it outstayed its welcome, though. Because of how intense the combat was, we were able to overlook the in-battle complaints. That appears to be exactly what the doctor ordered in a game billed as a “colossus fighter.”
Before the final release, we want to hear true voiced characters. Currently, dialogue is delivered through subtitles and a series of grunts and gasps that sound like Simlish and rapidly get irritating. Aztech Forgotten Gods feel like a game with a lot of heart-based on the demo’s quick interactions and discussions. We believe that emotion might be evoked and felt much more effectively with vocal characters, resulting in a significantly more interesting story.
Aztech Forgotten Gods is far from flawless. Not at all. Lienzo, on the other hand, appears to have a clear vision for its upcoming game. We have faith in their ability to carry out that vision. We were never really good at Shadow of the Colossus. However, Aztech Forgotten Gods appear to be perfectly up our alley.
During Steam Next Fest, which runs from October 1 to 7, the Aztech Forgotten Gods demo will be available to play for free.