Strayed Lights is a game about a "tiny, growing light seeking transcendence," a state it will apparently reach by beating the stuffing out of large, bioluminescent creatures in colorful soulslike combat.
Has anyone ever achieved a higher state of being through fistfighting? It seems unlikely to me, although I have to admit it's not something I've put much thought into previously. But that aside, Strayed Lights looks potentially quite good: The Steam page promises "a dark and oneiric world that is as vivid as it is mysterious," which sounds like my kind of thing (once I looked up "oneiric," that is, which for the record means "relating to, or characteristic of, dreams") and of course plenty of skill-based melee combat against "colossal shadow creatures gone rogue."
Combat in Strayed Lights isn't as brutal as some soulslikes, but does have an interesting twist: Along with the usual dodges, parries, and strikes, you'll also need to shift the color of your light to match that of your opponents in order to land punishing blows and combos. It takes a little getting used to, but the relatively forgiving nature of combat makes it manageable, and it also adds a certain magical element to battles that you don't get when you're just hammering someone in the face. The shifting lights and neon-infused world also makes for some lovely visuals, and pairs up nicely with the soundtrack from Grammy awarding-winning composer Austin Wintory.
In keeping with the whole "transcendence" theme, the goal of all this brawling isn't to kill, but to get everyone simmered down: "These monsters are meant to be soothed, not slaughtered," developer Embers said.
"Strayed Lights is a story about soothing overwhelming emotions corrupting us and restoring balance," Embers co-founder and creative director Alexandre Arramon explained. "With an immersive soundtrack composed by the talented Austin Wintory and art that evokes a hand-painted feel in 3D, Strayed Lights is being made to inspire people everywhere to have a moment to feel their emotions."
And Strayed Lights isn't just about combat: You'll explore "dreamlike forests, misty valleys, broken cities and dark caves" in search of ancient artifacts that tell the real story of the world and the creatures who inhabit it.
Strayed Lights is set to come out on April 25, but you can sample its wares right now through a demo that's available on Steam.