Death's Gambit: Afterlife Preview

Death's Gambit: Afterlife will provide a massive and totally free overhaul to the original game thanks to feedback from its community. How is it going? We got a chance to see.

Published: September 16, 2021 12:00 PM /


Death's Gambit: Afterlife Key Art

Death's Gambit is an upcoming title involving platforming, monster-slaying, and exploring a mysterious world. The development team, White Rabbit, privately showcased Death's Gambit with a hands-off demo explaining the game and some of its features. Many of the systems and implementations come after player feedback for the 2018 release of the game.

Popularized as a Metroidvania or Igavania, Death's Gambit has the protagonist grow more powerful as they collect abilities. These abilities allow them to get to new areas and explore previous ones. In the Afterlife update, the developers have implemented numerous changes to make Death's Gambit feel much more like an Igavania. The patch includes new endings, ten new maps, and six new bosses for players to fight. Most of the presentation to TechRaptor showed off a lot of the game's quality-of-life changes, described below. A list of other fixes and content coming to Death’s Gambit can be found on the official Steam page with some more in the Death's Gambit: Afterlife trailer released in July. The update will also include a more cohesive story to help players feel more engaged.

The combat system in Death’s Gambit saw a massive overhaul. Stamina now regenerates much faster, making gameplay more fluid. Another new combat mechanic is the perfect block, allowing you to stun enemies and counter with your own assault. Parries are still included, and can now heal the player, but are now more difficult to pull off. For mobility, players can now turn mid-animation, increasing their sense of flow and providing better movement options.

Melee attacks were improved as well, and players can now access alternate melee attacks to give players more strategies for taking on enemies. Healing animations have become much faster, but they heal for less. Perhaps one of the biggest quality-of-life improvements allows one to upgrade and scrap equipment from any save point, instead of needing to go to specific NPCs. The cooldowns also got a rework, making them much more forgiving. The last big quality-of-life upgrade is the implementation of an in-game map, which will allow players to see save points, put down markers, and otherwise assist in your exploration.

Death's Gambit Afterlife Screenshot
Many parts of the original Death's Gambit release will address the feedback and criticism levied against them in the Afterlife patch.

An additional request frequently found among the player feedback was more variety in weapons. White Rabbit obliged, bringing the total number of usable weapons from 11 to over 30. New weapons in the Afterlife update will bring in unique mechanics that encourage specific playstyles. There will also be 100 new talents, up from the original game's 20. Players can unlock more talents throughout gameplay as well, giving an incentive to explore the game world. Alternate talent trees will contribute to build diversity, adding replay value and the opportunity for more unusual build concepts. The character creation screen in the Afterlife update allows players to test out various setups before they jump into Death's Gambit, letting them discover their favorite style right away.

Developed by White Rabbit and published by Serenity Forge, Death’s Gambit was previously released to mixed-to-positive critical and audience reviews in 2018. You can read Joseph Allen's own review on our website, which he wrote showed "moments of potential," but cited numerous other issues that marred the experience. Death's Gambit combines aspects of both Igavanias and Souls-like games and packages them in a 2D experience. Highlights include the ability to fight powered-up versions of previous bosses after their defeat and the variety of locales the player visits. Those familiar with Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin or Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia may appreciate the frequent changes in environs.

The free Afterlife update for Death’s Gambit, announced this past June, will include many quality-of-life upgrades besides those shown to TechRaptor. Set to release on PC and Switch on September 30th, all of the content will be the same, regardless of whether you’ve picked up the PC, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Switch version. 

Update 9/16/21 - Correction, Adult Swim Games was the publisher, however, Serenity Forge is now publishing. Also, we do have a release date for PC and Switch versions of the game on September 30th. These changes have been reflected in the article.

Have the changes to Death’s Gambit intrigued you? If you were previously on the fence, has the Afterlife update helped you make a decision? Let us know in the comments below or on our socials.

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| Staff Writer

Staff Writer Jackson is currently learning his fourth language (Polish), enjoys lemon tea, and has angrily refuted claims of being "funny, witty, and/or… More about Jackson