South of Midnight, a gorgeous action adventure game with weighty, Souls-adjacent combat and stylised cutscenes will be dodge-rolling onto PC next year

South of Midnight - Gameplay Reveal - Xbox Games Showcase 2024 - YouTube South of Midnight - Gameplay Reveal - Xbox Games Showcase 2024 - YouTube
Watch On

I can't stop raving about Spider-Verse to anyone who'll listen—so I'm already glad to see game studios toying with lower framerates (in cutscenes, naturally). We got to see a little more of South of Midnight today, and I'm happy to report that it's not just a game with a cinematic stride completely catered to my tastes, its gameplay is full of stuff I like, too.

First announced last year, we got to see a little more of what Compulsion Games has been cooking up during Xbox's 2024 showcase today. Namely, a drop-dead gorgeous adventure-platformer packing some soulsy combat under the hood. Protagonist Hazel, a "Weaver" imbued with magical energies, goes toe-to-toe with a nasty bayou monster that looks like it's crawled straight out of FromSoftware's catalogue.

Though, looking at the footage—and the traversal abilities that Hazel uses—I'm getting more Star Wars Jedi: Survivor vibes, insofar as you're playing a predetermined character with a specific set of moves, quicksteps, and weighty attacks. It's the timing and general flow that's lifted more from the soulslike genre, rather than its RPG mechanics.

Unlike other games of its ilk, though, the level of polish here is what's hooking me—the folktale-driven deep south of South of Midnight looks like a post-apocalypse still teeming with life, and you know I'm a big fan of climbing towers to ring a bell which, let's be honest, is probably going to be a part of some gameplay loop or another.

The only thing that might take a minute to get used to is the swap from the Spider-Verse framerates of the cutscenes, and the fluid 60 fps gameplay of the real world. Part of me wonders if they should've pulled off the same trick that the Spider-Verse suits from Insomniac's Spider-Man games did—limiting combat animations to the same gimmick—but it's something I could acclimate to in time.

Mind, there may even be options settings to toggle the limited framerate on and off, though like the stylistic choices of Spider-Verse it's something I can definitely see myself getting used to. South of Midnight will be coming to PC (including Game Pass) sometime next year.

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.