Cast of the Seven Godsends on PC
If you’ve ever found yourself thinking that all these modern games are alright, but we could really use a new Ghosts ‘N Goblins, I’ve got some great news. Inspired by the punishing difficulty of that arcade classic, Cast of the Seven Godsends brings that same intensity and action to the modern era. With the look, play style, and music all rooted squarely in the quarter-devouring past, this title hopes to rekindle a time when games were unapologetically hard and players weren’t expected to succeed without considerable effort. How does a game like this, though, really hold up so many years after the games that inspired it?
Cast of the Seven Godsends does not waste time with a deep storyline, cutting-edge graphics, or most of the trappings of modern games. Though a brief introduction does give some motivation, there’s little dialogue or backstory beyond a pretty typical “evil entity from ages past is attempting to return, and the hero must stop him.” In this case, our hero is a young king named Kandar who, bolstered by the gods of the realm, must fight to save his son from becoming a ritual sacrifice and prevent the return of the ancient evil. The seven gods each represent a different natural element, and lend their powers to Kandar as he travels through several levels, battles powerful bosses, and ultimately seeks to restore peace to the land. Along the way, upgrades to health, armor, damage, and more increase players’ abilities and chances of making it through to the end. If that’s not enough, the game also includes an option to turn on God Mode, making Kandar immune to damage from enemies and their attacks.
While Cast of the Seven Godsends may not seem like it’s up to par with the current state of games, make no mistake: this title is not trying to modernize or update the formula used in 1980’s-90’s run-and-gun action titles. With simple controls, constant action, and little breathing room, it’s a serious throwback to bygone days that does a great job of recreating the relentless, near-impossible struggle. Luckily, a few modern innovations are present to assist players in their progress, such as frequent checkpoints that save your progress and weapon. Throw in the ability to change between various God-imbued powers on the fly, and you’ve got a recipe for updated but still brutal gaming fun. The game also features multiple endings that require solid work from players to reach. There’s even the obligatory slippery-floored ice level, platform-heavy sky areas, and all of the other traditional zones that you’d expect from an homage to an older, simpler era of gaming.
So, what’s the final word on Cast of the Seven Godsends? It’s tough to say; while I’m a fan of nostalgic throwbacks, this title isn’t bringing much that’s new or innovative to the genre. Still, with a low $6.99 price on Steam and offering a free demo, it’s not exactly a high-risk investment. I tried blasting through the game as fast as I could with God Mode enabled, and got about 45 minutes of play time that way. It would be nice to see some kind of save feature so that you weren’t starting from scratch each time you fired it up, but with the relatively quick play time and consistent difficulty, it’s not a devastating loss. With the availability of the previously mentioned demo, players can get a good taste for the game at no risk, so there’s no reason not to check it out. If you’re the kind of person that looks back fondly on the old-school, no-holds-barred platformers that tried to break players’ will and threw out any notion of hand-holding, you should certainly take a peek. More modern-minded gamers who prefer an eloquent, strategic experience may want to keep looking elsewhere, though, as Raven Travel Studios isn’t interested in making things easy for you.