Hey everyone! At Pax West, I found next year’s best game hands down, of all places on the Indie games floor. That game was Pray for the Gods! This hit is what people have been waiting years for, a void market left after the series developed by Team Ico. For those that don’t know who they are they are the creators of the games ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian. No Matter is the group currently developing this game and they have taken an amazing idea, made it their own and added more to their game that we were missing before. While standing in line for a long time (it was like everyone wanted to play this game or something), I got to speak with two of the developers of Pray for the Gods. I asked them what was going to make their game, that we have all been waiting for, stand out for the players of the Team ICO series. Their response was that there would be more stuff to do. The emptiness of Shadow of the Colossus was their main thing. They wanted to fill it in while adding in depth to the story for us to enjoy. They both mentioned taking elements they loved in Breath of the Wild to make this happen. With all the little things you could do while traveling between areas in Breath of the Wild to feel like this is more of a living world that you can explore and enjoy than running from place to place hunting down massive creatures to kill. For me, that is a major improvement, while the world of Shadow of the Colossus was amazing it was just empty. I know lore galore people will jump in and say, “Well this is what was why..,” but I don’t care it was empty and nothing much to do besides little extras here and there. So depending on how this element is implemented, we could really have a ton of extra stuff to do. Plus on top of it, we have no reason to do it. Making it a very real open world, instead of the open world-ish games lately that are open world but it’s the same thing different areas over and over. The gods in the demo, and what we have seen so far are what you would expect from a developer that is trying to catch the feel of Team ICO. They are massive, they have points to hit, they will try their best to toss you off. Yet there is a catch. One of the developers were saying there is more than one way to climb and maneuver on the gods we will be taking down. They are shooting for a minimum of three ways to get on them so no mastering the patterns for this game. Sometimes it will be easier to get on a left leg, or a right leg, or with the extra contraptions that we can get, a whole other way to mount them. Such as the grappling hook that was demonstrated on the demo. This could make each fight with the gods in this game very unique to the user depending on how he wants to take them down. Making it fun to play over and over again. Did I mention the open world? Cause they did, the developers mentioned that you will be able to follow the story or go exploring on your own. You do not have to fight the gods in a certain order, nor do you have to explore everything. Its all up to you on how fast or slow you want to play this game. There will be some items for those who decide to wander off that they will find will help them with some of the Gods, but they are not required to take down the Gods. So play this game 100% the way you want to play it! Now on to the demo, the demo featured a very straightforward showing of the game. It taught the player how to use the controls, how to damage a boss, as well as give us a sneak peak at one of the items in the game. The grappling hook, that was used to cross and get around the terrain. While I didn’t find a use for it while challenging the god, it was neat feeling that I knew there was a good chance that I could have used it in some manner to take him down. The controls felt the same as Shadow of the Colossus, but it had one major difference. I learned right from the start; No more holding down the grip button to stay latched on to. It was a toggle on and off, but I’m guessing you can set up the controls the way you want to. So no more death grip hands on the controller, making you feel that you are literally holding on for dear life with your avatar. The God felt very fluid and humanoid enough to pose a threat. Each climb felt challenging enough as well as when he shook or moved a certain way. You must press a button combination to hold your grip. For this demo, it was only one button, but I would assume as the game progresses and the Gods get harder to beat. There will be more challenges and combos to keep ourselves latched on to our soon to be dead God. There were three points to hit on this one and they were very clearly marked. That was something I didn’t like. Actually, one of the best parts in the Shadow of Colossus was trying to discover where the spots were to strike as I stumbled around on this massive beast’s back. Now maybe this was just something for the demo, but I hope it doesn’t make it into the final game, or that it changes based on the God we are after. All in all, I still stand by that this game is the next game I’m looking to put in my Library. This was the gem you hope to find on your PAX adventure. So, from me to the team at No Matter. Keep up the amazing work, keep us informed, and toss us some more demos to play down the road! Darktide.