Young Souls Has Me Wary But Optimistic of Its Future
The upcoming story-based RPG Young Souls has a lot going for it, but needs the time to deliver a perfect execution.
Going into PAX East 2020, Young Souls was one of the titles I was most looking forward to finally getting my hands on. Being a 2D dungeon-crawling RPG, it definitely felt like my kind of game. But after playing through my preview demo behind closed doors, I really don’t know how to feel about the game yet.
Young Souls seems like it could be a stellar new indie title, but on the other hand, it feels familiar and generic. This could be because I didn’t get a big enough taste of what to expect from the game, though. I’m not really sure, but I will say that I’m still going to give Young Souls the benefit of the doubt for now, and I believe that the team over at 1P2P is making a fun adventure for players to enjoy.
Young Souls stars two rebellious, red-headed twins, Jenn and Tristan, who search for their dad after he has gone missing. The twins end up traveling through their dad’s lab portal to dungeons that include a variety of nasty creatures. With the ability to play in either single-player or co-op, each twin can be customized giving them whatever loadout you see fit.
The choices are also much more in-depth than I expected. You can choose what weapons or armor that the twins will have equipped while crawling through dungeons, but depending on what you pick, that will determine attributes like your speed or ability to block, for example. The RPG systems used in Young Souls are detailed, but the combat itself feels uninspired. There are a fair amount of options that players can use, but from what I saw, I don’t see battles evolving very much as you progress through the game. Yes, there will be new gear to unlock, but I wanted to see new abilities to expand on combos, and for each twin to have exclusive capabilities that will make them stand out on their own.
When you’re not slaying monsters, Jenn and Tristan can leave their home to explore different areas of their town of Portsbourgh, which will benefit them in one way or another depending on what they do. Young Souls is a narrative-focused RPG with Matthew Ritter (Telltale’s The Walking Dead) writing the story. As such, a precedent has been set where I’m expecting strong writing along with a lot of interaction with townspeople that might have quests for the twins to complete. It is cool that there is more to the game than just going from dungeon to dungeon, but if there are going to be outside activities, I want them to have significance to both the characters and the narrative.
While playing through the demo, the developer was very transparent that this was an old build and most importantly a buggy build, and it definitely showed. It was so buggy to the point where I didn’t really know what to think of the game. I never want to see a game fail, but games come out all the time, making it important for a game to stand out in some way.
Based on what I’ve played, I feel like I don’t have a clear vision as to how Young Souls is going to end up. I am at a loss because I don’t know if I would have felt differently if the demo I played didn’t have bugs. It felt more like a presentation showing off different things you can do in the game, compared to a more structured demo where it gives you a small taste of the final experience and shows you the potential of what it could be. While it did show that to a certain degree, I don’t know what to think because it was mostly a broken experience.
Even with my mixed feelings coming out of the demo, I still have hope. Young Souls has a gorgeous art style and aesthetic that drew my attention to it originally. I see the potential that Young Souls has, and I think 1P2P can make a great game, but only if they are given the time they need to make it so.
Young Souls currently has no release window or platforms set for release.