Chasm's path from Kickstarter project to final release has been slow. On the surface, its E3 demo appears to be the same as it was last year at this time. However, Dan Adelman, business developer and marketing for Bit Kid Games, reports the game is currently playable from start to finish in its current form. If the rest of the game follows the smoothness and accessibility of the demo, the sword-swinging Metroidvania will be worth the wait. The running, jumping, and power-sliding evokes Castlevania games like Symphony of the Night, but the chunky, pixelated characters make it look more like an idealized SNES classic. Character animations are smooth and self-assured, and the boss monster I faced at the end of the demo was sufficiently ghoulish.
Daltyn, the hero of Chasm, begins the story by investigating the mystery of an abandoned mining town. At this point, the story is told through discovered notes and diaries. Later, beyond the part I played, he begins to meet and interact with NPCs. Loot supplements a traditional experience system, although not all loot provides steady improvements. At one point, I found a broadsword that did more damage than my trusty short sword. However, its slower attack arc left me open to attacks from swifter enemies. Skill scrolls add another dimension to advancement. I started the demo with the power slide scroll, which allowed me to move quickly and low to the ground. Later, after traversing a disappearing block puzzle, I found the wall hang scroll. After adding that skill to my roster, the procedurally generated dungeon started adding rooms where I was required to leap onto tall ledges and haul myself higher to proceed.
As Chasm crosses into beta it will receive a laundry list of tweaks including more interactive NPCs, greater dungeon variety, and general polish. When it's complete, Chasm will be available for PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux.