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Phantom Abyss looks like a first-person Indiana Jones game with parkour

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Phantom Abyss is a first-person roguelike about exploring randomised temples laden with traps and bottomless chasms. The whip wielding protagonist is fast and agile but not particularly violent: Their job is to retrieve sacred relics, and as far as I can tell there’s no combat in Phantom Abyss. The whip can be used as a kind of grappling hook, or else to trigger switches, but you won’t be slaying bats with it. Tonally, it sits somewhere between Spelunky and Indiana Jones, with a touch of Fall Guys in its obstacle course-style progression.

In a nice touch, during each run you’ll be accompanied by the ghosts of up to 20 other players, who you can either ignore or follow—doing the latter might help you avoid a hidden trap, or lead you to an upgrade you might otherwise have missed. It works kinda like the ghosts in Dark Souls games, only you’ll be able to chase Phantom Abyss’s ghosts from the beginning of the run all the way to their death.

As you’d expect, the deeper into the temple the better the rewards. There are different unlockable whips to obtain, as well as some neat-sounding traversal skills: you can unlock double jump, an Apex Legends-style extended slide, and a glide jump among other things. In other words, it’s a roguelike, but what sets Phantom Abyss apart, as far as I can tell after watching a stream, is that its first-person platforming is moreishly fluid—think Titanfall 2 by way of Mirror’s Edge.

Phantom Abyss is in development at Brisbane-based studio Team Wiby, and published by Devolver Digital. It hits Early Access (opens in new tab) next month some time, where it’ll stay for “at least a year” while the game gets new rooms, traps, whips and zones, as well as other features. 

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.