[U] Retro meets modern gaming in Duel Corp, a pre-alpha action RPG

Update: November 16, 2022 at 12:14 PM EST – The game’s developer has reached out to clarify a few things about Duel Corp. First, the ability selection has been tightened up to provide a better gameplay experience for the player.

Next, unlockable items have been removed, as the title is no longer a roguelike, and will instead focus on its unique, and challenging direction-based combat! There are now 60 talents instead of 70 so that all that exist fit the game well. Duel Corp is dedicated to quality and refuses to sacrifice on that, which gets me even more excited for the final product!


A retro fantasy world for the modern age

I’m a big fan of these new HD 2D Remasters that Square Enix is putting out lately. I also love the earthen tones, medieval fantasy aesthetic of Final Fantasy Tactics and other games set in the fictional world of Ivalice.

Just recently, I stumbled upon this really neat action RPG that encapsulates all of those things and sparks a feeling in me that I rarely get from any of the games I play. Duel Corp takes place in a retro fantasy world, and seeks to blend pixel sprites and modern, 3D graphics into one very appealing package.

Duel Corp. is an action RPG with an unrestricted class and AI system with fluid and challenging direction-based combat in a procedurally generated world.

Duel Corp on Twitch

The game’s developer, Dreameffect Entertainment, is based out of Germany, and is hard at work on this early access, procedurally generated title that’s chock full of epic items, hidden secrets, unique skills and talents. What first started as a top down game is now a full-fledged 3D world of 3D models with pixel textures, and I have to be honest – this is clearly the main draw of the game!

Packed full of value

  • 70 talents
  • 100 unique skills and spells
  • 6 classes with 2 more on the way
  • 20 unlockable options
  • unlimited customization options
  • …and that’s just the beginning!

I get serious Octopath Traveler meets Dark Souls vibes from Duel Corp, but that’s just my take since it looks to have challenging, direction-based combat. It also has a beautiful JRPG feel of its own to it that neither of those games can really stack up to, and I think this comes from its fully 3D, close up camera and fantastic animations.

There’s plenty to look forward to with the game, including complex and unique character customization (weapons, armor, abilities and talents), customizable companion AI via a “codex”, which lets you choose how your team will act in specific situations, and a varied, interconnected world with countless hours of gameplay. As previously mentioned, the world itself is procedurally generated, and the developer touts the ability to approach and re-approach it from different angles and strategies to overcome challenges your own way.

I looked and looked, but I simply couldn’t find anything regarding the game’s world lore or story, which is unfortunate, because this entire thing just draws me and and makes me want to immerse myself, learning more about the character and such.

How you can support the game

Anyway, this is totally something I’m going to be closely following up on in the future, and I hope you check it out as well! Dreameffect has an official Discord community where you can interact with the devs and their fans to learn more about Duel Corp as it progresses toward release.

It’s currently in pre-alpha, so use the widget at the top of this page to wishlist it on Steam. There’s no rush on the development cycle though, and the creators want to be proud of what they release, so they’re willing to keep it in early access until it’s done cooking, which I respect.

With that being said, they are looking to add two new classes, co-op multiplayer, and many quality of life improvements. A bonus for me is that it has full controller support, so you should be able to enjoy this both in early access (including its 2 early access bosses and 2 mini-bosses) and post-release on your Steam Deck if you’re lucky enough to have one! Happy gaming!

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