Preview: Soundfall - Rhythm-based dungeon crawler

Published: 09:28, 30 March 2022
Soundfall artwork showing a female character and vast world

Soundfall is a rhythm shooter dungeon crawler title from developer Drastic Games and publisher Noodlecake. We had the pleasure of playing this one recently and saw plenty of positives.

We had the opportunity to play the PC demo of Soundfall recently, which includes only a fraction of the content that will be in the final version of this cool dungeon crawler. 

To put it as simple and as honest as we can, Soundfall is super fun. We had a blast with the game, which may look shallow at first but actually impresses with the amount of gameplay mechanics, enemy variety and the actual implementation of music and how songs impact the mayhem that happens on the screen.

Once you get into the song and start hitting those beats perfectly and once everything gels together, Soundfall feels majestic. There's something uniquely satisfying when you hit those combos in rhythm-based games - add a couple of guns or a sword in the mix and Soundfall becomes even more enjoyable. 

AltChar Soundfall gameplay Soundfall gameplay

Drastic Games describe Soundfall as "a dungeon crawler that combines looter-shooter action with rhythm-based gameplay." And that is a perfect description of the game. You start a level, shoot enemies, pick up health, search for loot that is often hidden off the main path, solve simple puzzles until you ultimately reach a boss or the end of the level.

When it comes to shooting, the goal is to stay on the beat as long as possible since your gun will deal higher damage and shoot projectiles farther away if you click your left mouse button in sync with the song's rhythm. 

If you miss the beat sequence, you can still shoot a couple of projectiles but the gun will soon jam. The projectiles will also have a very short travel distance and your damage output will be almost non-existent. 

The songs that were available in the demo were mostly from the electro genre which is not surprising since Soundfall seems to work the best with tracks that have very noticeable drum patterns. This also makes it easier for players to follow the rhythm. 

AltChar Soundfall - Ultimate Ability Soundfall - Ultimate Ability

During the preview event, which we attended before actually getting to play the game, the developers mentioned that Soundfall has a code that analyses the song and generates the level based on the beat and the pace of the song.

For example, I played the Volcano level with an aggressive metal track in the background, and the game generated more enemies and other obstacles than on other maps that have slower, happy mood songs.

The difference was more than noticeable, at least in my playthrough.  

AltChar Soundfall Volcano level Soundfall Volcano level

One of the most exciting features of Soundfall is the option to import your own songs to the game. Soundfall will then analyse the song and create a level based on the rhythm and the mood, at least that's what the developers told us during the event - We haven't been able to try this out on our own since the feature was not in the demo but nonetheless, it's a feature I can't wait to try. 

All in all, Drastic Games have made something really special with Soundfall. We hope that the final version of the game delivers but judging by everything we've seen in the demo, Soundfall is right on track to become a true gem in the sea of big-budget AAA releases. 

A massive thank you to thank Dead Good, Drastic Games and Noodlecake for this preview access.

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