Feature Art

Preview – Aztech Forgotten Gods [Demo] PC

I was immediately hyped at seeing the announcement trailer for this some months back, I’m always saying that there’s just so many cultural tales to tap into from the Americas that haven’t been explored much in video games. Well, Lienzo, the team that also brought us Mulaka, have delved into some of that history and have given it a cyber twist of their own. By merging together futuristic sci-fi tech vibes with Aztec lore, they’ve created some stunning environments and wonderful new takes on some of the ancient deities, including the classic Quetzalcoatl from the looks of the trailer. The demo, however, doesn’t really get too much into the story or the open exploration boasted by the game’s Steam page and the announcement trailer. Instead they chose to give players a taste of a boss fight, showing off the mechanics around mobility and taking on something ten times your size.

Although it doesn’t go into how Achtli, our protagonist, receives her Hellboy-style ‘Right Hand of Doom’ mecha-gauntlet, it does tease a little of how her powers are activated by some sort of energy orb at a research facility deep underground. I would hazard a guess that there will be several of these throughout the experience that ‘level up’ the glove’s abilities. There’s also a little interaction with her mother and Tez, just a voice in her head as far as the demo shows but more likely a kind of spirit guide in the full narrative. In terms of control, Achtli can move around as expected, jump/double-jump, and perform a basic 3-strike combo. The main mobility hook is that she can also fly for a limited time. By using her definitely-banned-in-arm-wrestling-competitions super mitten, she can blast off similarly to how Iron Man uses his repulsors – point away from the direction you want to move and BLAM, you’re off.

This is a little tricky to control well though. By not holding a direction Achtli flies straight up, then, once you’re at the desired height, you can start moving around. It’s hard to get across how awkward this can feel initially as you can’t fly up and in the desired direction, which is immediately what anyone would try to do when rushing a giant flying enemy from the ground. But I’m sure it’s done on purpose to help with the platforming later on and just needs a little getting used to. Once you start to get the hang of it a little and begin to wear the boss’s health down by smashing up glowing crystals around its 6-armed boney body, you’ll quickly discover that there’s also an energy meter to manage – used up by both flying and performing attacks. Another thing to get used to, as you’ll need to make sure you have enough juice left to actually pop a few punches on arrival. This juggling of needing to work on your control, watch your power usage, and with the addition of floating boost gates up in the air is something I’m very much looking forward to mastering and I’m hoping beyond hope that my reward will be anime-style air battles of epic proportions. My time with Aztech was short but it certainly has me excited to see what the full title may offer, we’ll just have to wait until early next year to find out. Oh yeah, it also has a bitchin’ soundtrack that mixes metal with an Aztec theme!