With regards to its features Griefhelm is very modest, these being a three-directional side-scrolling system of dueling and a stylized flat-shaded style of art.
There’s no harm in referring you to Wikipedia for the latter but as for its combat system, Griefhelm’s seamless stance control allows use of the Right Controller Stick in picking your direction of stance – up, directly forward, or below – and blocking in that general direction.
Depressing the Right Trigger in this position then facilitates an attack in the same direction; simple, right?
At least it seemed to be in the month of March this year, when Johnny Lonack introduced his game alongside a basic combat prototype that featured nothing more than a couple of death animations and something called inverse kinematics for realistic body movement.
The cloth simulation for each of the dueling knight’s robes, ragdoll death effects, foliage and audio that followed soon after were complemented with support for up to four players, corresponding selection and very basic helm/armor customization options, plus a main menu to boot.
Fast forward to July and Johnny was already calling Griefhelm 0.4.1 a fully functional game; as of then it featured thee game modes of Tug of War, Free for All and Team Skirmish respectively, where the first of these has duelers attempting to slay the other and reach their end of the level to take the win.
That might sound like Messhof’s 2014 side-scrolling venture Nidhogg, except Griefhelm’s Tug of War supports up to four players as opposed to Messhof’s two. Then there’s your very basic Free-for-all bloodbath to which Johnny adds that ‘a cool way of playing this is actually having one player fight another one while the others watch. Whoever wins gets to fight the next one.’
Before Team Skirmish ends the lineup with friendly fire included even. To keep things varied players can choose between four armor sets to play dress up in while more importantly, athletics and melee bring additional flavor to the single playable level in classic Prince of Persia fashion.
You now have ledges to climb, ladders to navigate and plenty of platforming to keep duels busy and as of Griefhelm 0.4.2, Johnny understands you might not have very many friends to play with. He’s included A.I to this end that he intends to craft the perfect fighting machine with.
See how he fares by trying Griefhelm, here.
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