Umbra gameplay video demonstrates unique character balance system


Umbra is an action-RPG being developed by French studio Solarfall Games that will take a run at Kickstarter next week. In advance of that, the studio has released a gameplay video demonstrating two of its foundational mechanics: The "Resource Opposition" system, and "Elemental Effect Interaction."

The Resource Opposition system is designed to "provide balance to the freedom of character development that the player has," the studio explained, by imposing a penalty on characters when a particular resource—essentially a powered ability—is used. When your character performs a melee attack, for instance, his Rage stat will increase, but Stamina and Mana will be lowered, as will their regeneration rates.

"A similar process happens with all the other resources," the narrator explains. "It is up to you to find the way you want to play, but remember: There is always a price."

Elemental Effect Interaction, meanwhile, is just what it sounds like. Fire, water, lightning, and ice will all interact with one another; freezing an enemy leaves it susceptible to bonus melee damage, while water can douse fire, making it less effective in a fight. The system appears very similar to the one used in last year's Divinity: Original Sin.

More information about Umbra, which will feature open-world gameplay and a "free-class character development system" with highly customizable weaponry, is up at The Kickstarter will go live on May 13.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.