Crumbling World – PC Review

Crumbling World by developer Dani Marti and publisher Dume ArtsPC (Steam) review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Crumbling World by Dume Arts is something that had hit my radar right before Christmas. Set in a world that would eventually begin to fall apart under your feet as development moved on, here was an interesting Hack & Slash RPG where keeping your feet on the ground was a must as you could fall off the ledge. Moving from an Alpha state, to a Beta, the full version is now in players hands and with the loads of optimizations done, Crumbling World is a dungeon crawler that I more than enjoyed my time with.

Having only upped the ante since the beginning, the final version has a balance in its difficulty that was perhaps one of the only real issues that I had when I previewed it just a short time ago. Easy while still being easy can have its challenges but Normal mode is no longer brutally hard causing you to reload over and over to gain experience and level up only to be able to see the end of a stage. With plenty of other characters now available from the previously only selectable knight, let’s dive in.

Taking things from the top, Dume Arts’ Crumbling World is the story of one of its selectable characters on their quest as they fight against the evils that have already won and taken over the land. Needing to cross through fairly perilless territories, as it literally falls under your feet as you travel over it, Knights, Archer, Wizards and a Rock Golem will all have to fight their way through bandits, dark elves and the hordes of the underworld as you’ll be visiting it a few times on your journey as you run out of solid ground to run on.

While the idea of being able to fall off of the side is what originally piqued my interest as you could literally punt enemies off instead of hacking away at their health, it was the second iteration of the ground falling out from under your feet that really sold me on the overall idea. Not only did this mean that you have to fight your way through hordes of enemies to level up and make it a little easier, but you also had to get a move on because if you took too long, you would fall into the underworld and have to fight even tougher enemies there. And it wouldn’t have been so bad as the underworld doesn’t crumble beneath you, however, because it’s the underworld and you don’t belong there, you can only stay down there for as long as you have time left in your protective hourglass. Killing enemies will help to fill it up, but once it’s empty, you’re dead.

It’s the combination of all of these elements that makes for an interesting time. Both above ground and within the underworld, you can run, jump and hack away at your enemies. Above ground you can grab onto a ledge that you jump over to reach if you don’t want to take the long way around just as easily as you can grab the ledge of the ground that you just accidentally dodge rolled off of. In the underworld since there’s no ground to fall out from underneath you, there’s plenty of lava so following the actual path is quite necessary as you fight through its hordes for a portal back to the surface.

As you fight through and defeat your enemies you’ll be able to level up your character through a points system. Attack, defence, stamina and a few other stats are all available to be increased and each character starts off with a different loadout making some easy enough for first timers while others, especially like the glass cannon mages, harder because you really don’t want to get hit. The different characters while all having the same core elements such as attacking, blocking and dodging, all do these a little different from one another making trying out the classes worth it for at least the first overall area to know which of them really suits your style.

While running, jumping, dodging and attacking seems pretty basic as a combat system, it works well especially when you can work on your golf swing to knock enemies clear off of the ledge. Upping things a bit however is that characters will be learning skills as they defeat the bosses of the area and instead of mapping them to buttons, they’ve been integrated into attack patterns. So while using the Rock Golem for example, Attack, Attack, Block will launch a giant rock wave at the enemies in front of you while Block, Block, Attack will summon several wolves to help you out. It was neat as it helps prevent the system from being too stale as you go through the areas.

With most of my previous issues having been resolved such as the difficulty curve, the collisions with the environment and not being able to see where you’re going if you’re walking behind something, I would say a minor issue is that there are only currently three save files available for six characters. While you do have copies, such as two knights, it would have been nice to have a few more slots as there are four characters and several difficulties to be played. There were a few issues that I did encounter, but they were less gameplay related and more bugs such as never unlocking a steam achievement or having a character continuously level up after killing each mob. I did have to delete that save file as that’s not how I wanted to finish the game.

So overall, in just the last six months Crumbling World has come a long way and I’m impressed with the current result. With different character classes offering different approaches to combat while the ground falls out from under your feet, there’s a nice challenge to it all making it more than just another Hack & Slash to go through.

Score: 8 / 10



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