Soulframe, the upcoming free-to-play fantasy action RPG, just received a fresh preview showing off combat, questing, and character customization.
Developer Digital Extremes has unveiled 30 minutes of footage from the game, showing off questing, combat, and elements of the game's character customization systems. The demo culminates in a boss fight, which, while reminiscent of soulsborne titles like Elden Ring, seems to take a gentler approach to melee combat.
Soulframe takes place in a beautiful fantasy universe, visually reminiscent of Final Fantasy 16 or Elden Ring. Rather than offering the fast-paced combat of its sibling title, sci-fi shooter Warframe, Soulframe opts for a slower, more deliberate experience. We also got a preview of the game's story, which offers a conflict between the forces and nature and industry, steeped in high-fantasy drama.
In Soulframe, careful planning, dodging and parrying is the order of the day. The preview also showed off character customization, giving us a look at the Virtues system, which allows players to divide their build between Courage, Spirit, and Grace - representing the trifecta of strength, magical prowess, and agility.
We also got a glimpse of the Nightfold, the eerie parallel reality that the protagonist can withdraw to when you want to do some character management. Soulframe is set to use specific archetypes of combatants, known as Pacts. By bonding with defeated bosses to acquire new Pacts, players can significantly affect how their character plays, offering a wide range of different possible approaches.
The preview also showed off some of the game's open-world elements, including an insectoid quest-giver who was as adorable as they were well-animated. Soulsframe's move to open-world marks a departure from Warframe in a big way, which has tended to use self-contained instances for its environments which, though connected in an overworld map, are usually very much separate. Soulframe's missions, while procedurally generated, take place as part of a wider world, brought to life by impressive graphics and highly detailed environments.
Though it's early days, it's clear that Digital Extremes has high hopes for Soulframe. Since Warframe is rightly regarded as one of the best free games around, it looks like Soulframe will be built on sturdy foundations, incorporating a decade's worth of lessons learned from Digital Extremes' work on its sci-fi cousin.
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Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.
Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure.
Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.