South African developer Kopskop Games is working with Free Lives to release the upcoming Shattered Realms, a cooperative, side-scrolling beat-’em-up game. They’ve been slogging away for quite some time on this sprite-based fighter, where you battle through enemies using special moves and high-impact combos.
Back in November of 2017, developer Pieter Visser from Kopskop posted up a blog detailing their progression on the game and how after months and months of work there was finally an alpha demo that’s available for download over on the itch.io page.
Some gameplay videos and Let’s Play sessions have popped up since then, but Visser mentioned that depending on the feedback and how gamers feel about the gameplay and direction will determine what the future of Shattered Realms will be like.
Right off the bat it’s a gorgeous looking game, with highly detailed sprite work and fantastic animations. You can tell it’s a passion project with a lot of time and dedication added to the process of bringing the game’s characters and world to life. You can see what the gameplay is like with the trailer below.
The game will feature three playable characters. The combat reminds me of Treasure’s Guardian Heroes for the Sega Saturn, which looked and played very similar to Shattered Realms, save for the fact that it had the z-plane fighting mechanic where you could move into the background. There’s also a hint of Mega Man X5 in there, with the way the characters are designed and animated.
You can perform basic melee attacks but also execute air-juggles, technicals, chain combos, and cancels. There’s also a cooperative mode where two players can work together to battle opponents or duek it out in a versus mode.
I really hope that this project doesn’t end up dead in the water because it looks really promising, and we can also never have enough side-scrolling brawlers; they’re a truly underrepresented sub-genre in today’s market.
You can keep track of the game and its developmental progress or download the demo and test it out for yourself by visiting the Shattered Realms webpage.