Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is a third-person action game that looks far more Star Wars Jedi: Survivor than Dark Souls, and I couldn't be more pleased

I'm genuinely pretty excited for Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn, shown off earlier today at our PC Gaming Show: Most Wanted showcase, and that's due to its fun position of being a sort of 'second-generation soulslike'—which is a term I just now made up and already cannot wait to stop using when we think of better words for this stuff.

See, Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn gives off some major Star Wars Jedi: Survivor energy. In that it takes the slow, methodical combat of its inspirations and loosens the restraints enough to let the player feel flexible. Even calling Survivor (or Flintlock, for that matter) a soulslike feels weird.

Sure, Survivor still has Meditation point bonfires, difficult bosses, an Estus Flask-style health system, a sprawling metroidvania-style labyrinth of shortcuts and blocked areas. But it also meets with modern action game sensibilities.

Everything I've seen from Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn follows in the footsteps of that philosophy. Developed by A44 Games and published by Kepler Interactive, the game aims for that same cake mix of weighty, timing-focused combat, but looks like it'll top it with a more God-of-War style icing. You even get your very own cute sidekick: a little magical fox thing, Enki.

Setting-wise, Flintlock is a bold mash-up of high-magic fantasy and renaissance goodness, giving you an axe, a gun, and deities to fight. The core concept is that the door to the afterlife has opened (bad) but you're part of the coalition army that's here to stop them (good). It's straightforward, sure, but if you're going for god-slaying action fantasy, straightforward works.

It's also nice to see a game taking influence from the soulslike genre straying away from 'the world is screwed, we're all upset, watch a video essay to make sense of why' brand of storytelling. Instead, you're cobbling together a rag-tag resistance group to commit deicide with.

These are big-budget shoes I'm expecting Flintlock to fill, but the developers A44 did also develop Ashen, a solid game we gave an 85 to in our Ashen review. It's had five years to brush up on its act since then, so I'm pretty confident that A44 Games are in with a chance of making a smashing edition to the genre's history, even as that genre splinters off into its own subcategories and becomes even more of an impossible nightmare to talk about.

(Image credit: A44 Games)

I'm just glad the change is happening, though. Any genre that defines itself based on a specific game rather than a verb ('soulslike' over 'FPS') becomes a real bugger. Mainly because it means any time you talk about a soulslike, it'll inevitably be compared to FromSoftware's catalogue, which doesn't seem all that fair to me.  

The fact I was able to talk about Survivor more than Dark Souls here shows how things are moving forward. That being said, the term "metroidvania" is still around, so who knows. Maybe we'll all be talking about "soulbornevivoremnant2likes" in the dystopian future, and I'll need prescription painkillers to deal with the migraine.

If you want to see for yourself, you'll have to wait a little while longer. After a delay from its original release date, the studio has revealed it has plans to launch Flintlock Summer 2024.  You can find it over on Steam.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.