Ultros is a psychedelic metroidvania set in a cosmic uterus

I don't always play surrealistic metroidvanias about escaping the clutches of ancient demonic beings, but when I do, I prefer for them to be set in giant cosmic uteruses. A difficult scratch to itch, but that's the setting for Ultros, developed by Swedish studio Hadoque, and due for release in 2024.

Above is a new trailer shown during the PC Gaming Show: Most Wanted livestream, offering further proof—in case you need it—that Ultros is a gorgeously distinct adventure. Its setting and themes are embedded in sci-fi, but the art style avoids any of the cliches associated with that tag. No, Ultros looks fecund, ornate, alive. No surprise then, that Ultros' dextrous hack-and-slash combat is balanced by a meditative farming component, which appears to be how the protagonist develops their abilities.

If I had to make comparisons, I'd imagine Hollow Knight adopting the more varied color palette of Dead Cells. Or perhaps, a more goth Spinch. It's not just the art that begs comparisons with the former two games, because Ultros' precision-oriented close-quarter scraps remind me a lot of Dead Cells. Wrap that in a surrealistic coat with a bizarre time-looping system at its core and, oh geez, I'm ready.

Ultros releases on February 13, 2024, and you can find it on Steam now.

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.