Spiders' sci-fi take on the French Revolution gets its first gameplay reveal

Steelrising is an action RPG set in the grimy streets of 18th century Paris in the midst of the French Revolution. Oh, and there's robots. The majority of these murderous clockwork robots belong to King Louis XVI himself, and they're designed to protect the doomed monarchy against the revolutionaries. As Aegis—an android guard belonging to Marie Antoinette—you'll need to use your superhuman abilities to fight against these forces and, presumably, the king himself.

Sounds wild, and promising. Spiders has a reputation for ambitious RPGs that are a bit rough around the edges—think Greedfall, The Technomancer and Mars: War Logs, among others. It sounds like Steelrising is pushing further into action, with Spiders CEO Jehanne Rousseau writing that it has "a strong emphasis on fast-paced combat."

"If you have ever played a Souls-like, SteelRising will feel familiar to you," Rousseau continues. "And this is one of the reasons why we wanted you to play as an automaton: Aegis is much more acrobatic than any human could be. She brings great agility and verticality to any fight. What’s more, throughout your adventure you will unlock various tools, opening new paths to explore as well as new gameplay possibilities during combat."

The footage above definitely wears its Souls influences proudly, coming across as a melding of Sekiro's speed and agility, and Bloodborne's drab Victorian setting. Aegis is lightning quick with the melee attacks, but also comes bearing projectiles.

Greedfall was pretty heavy on combat, though Lauren wrote in our review that "it wasn't particularly exciting." If you're going to cite the Souls series as an influence, you've got a very steep hill to climb to make that combat meet expectations. Let's hope Spiders manages it, when Steelrising releases in June 2022. 

Shaun Prescott

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.