We analyze Dolmen, the new title from Massive Work Studio. A demanding RPG of science fiction in third person, the game has a space theme, but with touches reminiscent of the mythical Dark Souls franchise. You'll have to keep yourself from succumbing to all kinds of enemies, and conserve your resources, or you'll lose everything, and start all over again.
Dolmen, is an action RPG, whose futuristic theme mixed with horror, in the purest Alien style, will delight players who love space shooters but, above all, those who enjoy the universe of Lovecraft. We have finally been able to get our hands on this game, which was initially scheduled for release in 2018.
If we had to describe it in a more "commercial" way, Dolmen would be a symbiosis between Alien, Doom and, as mentioned above, Dark Souls or one of the demoralizing franchises of From Software. Alien and Doom for the theme, plus Alien for aesthetics and the atmosphere, and Doom for the design of resources, consumables, and interaction platforms. As for Dark Souls, it is clear because the gameplay is demanding, if we die, we will find check points, but if we die, we will still be able to we will lose everything. To recover it, same mechanics as in that game: go back to our corpse, which will be like a hologram, and simply pass over it. If we die again, before reaching our corpse, we will lose all resources and we can say goodbye to level up, improve our stats and create weapons or costumes
We have tested this title on PlayStation 5 and, we have to say that, graphically it has many interesting details, which clearly make Dolmen a very ambitious title. This helps to have a fully immersive experience, which takes place in the planet Revion Prime, starting in a kind of beehive, with an infinite number of intersecting corridors
A story about civilizations
Dolmen's futuristic story is based on the race to conquer space, in a way. In the opening cinematic, we are shown how humanity has been colonizing planets, and corporations and companies seek, as always, to be at the forefront of technological and military improvements. This is when Zoan Corporation, the company responsible for shipping genetically engineered humans, the Drillers (Drillers), to the planet Revion Prime, with the intention of investigating and colonizing it. According to reports, Revion Prime is a planet rich in Dolmen, crystals that allow interaction between different dimensions and, therefore, are a super important resource for those fighting to conquer space
This is where our adventure begins. Our character is sent to Revion Prime after an accident, in which the Dolmen crystals have been lost. We will have to pick them up again, while we clean the planet of invading creatures, and we uncover information related to the crystals and discover how they affect interdimensional relations between civilizations
Choice of character
The choice of character in Dolmen is relevant, as each starting class is indicated according to what gameplay preferences we have. There are four classes: melee, ranged, hybrid and neutral, so to speak. The latter would be equivalent to the most basic type, to complicate the game more. We have opted for the hybrid, as we wanted to test the balanced point distribution, to see how the character reacted to the different types of weapons and attacks, including those with effects such as ice, fire or acid.
Although you can not customize the physical appearance of our character, only decide between male and female gender, we can customize the colors of our costume, completely or piece by piece. Actually, it would not be relevant to be able to modify the physical characteristics because our character does not remove the helmet at any time, nor the suit, so, well, it is not something that is missing
Level and technology
Once the game has started, all modifications and level upgrades will have to be performed on the ship, for which you will have to reach a teleport beacon, which also serves as a checkpoint. On the ship you can craft weapons and suits, the game has different advantages, thanks to the different objects that the enemies drop, and the "nanites" that you get, which are the points that you will earn as you kill enemies
Nanites also serve mainly for leveling up, and you will need more and more of them to do so. The management of the leveling up is the basic one of an RPG, leveling up the attributes available to our character constitution, stamina, energy, strength, dexterity and science. The distribution will affect the character's stats and, as usual, we will not be able to use certain weapons, shields or costumes until we have reached the appropriate level of each attribute.
On the other hand, there are the technological branches, the branches, which our character can scale depending on the costumes and equipment in general that we give him. These branches are three human, revian and driller. These branches can be changed according to our needs in the game, simply by changing our attire and weapons, we can take advantage of the benefits provided by each of them
Use of Dolmen crystals and multiplayer
The use of Dolmen crystals is a little more special, with them we will be able to invite other players to join our game, to finish with a Boss, through the multiplayer platforms that we will find just before entering the place where it is. This is an important clue, because if you find one of these platforms, you know what to do. The multiplayer is only available to kill the bosses, and will consume three Dolmen crystals each time we request it
These crystals are the base of the game, therefore, they are quite limited, and if you lose them in a death, even worse. That is why it is important that you use them wisely, because Dolmen is not a simple game, and you may need help at some point. But also, it is important to keep in mind that the crystals also allow you to generate the respawn of the bosses, and this is essential to create some weapons, because certain bosses are the ones that drop the necessary resources for it
A more than entertaining challenge
Depending on the type of enemy, some will be vulnerable to certain elemental damage, which can be caused by specific weapons, be it ice, fire or acid. It's important to keep this in mind, because it can help you a lot in certain areas. At first, creatures will be vulnerable to ice, which is probably why we started with an ice gun
The title is demanding but affordable, even though you're going to die a thousand times, the bosses are not as complex as it might seem. The combined attacks between sword and firearm facilitate the task of keeping enemies at bay, plus we will have a shield that, if we activate just when we attack us, that enemy will be "stunned" and it will be easier to finish him
In Dolmen it is true that "the bigger, the more dangerous", even among the basic creatures that you will find in the area. If you look closely, even if sometimes the size is slightly bigger, you will notice the difference in life points and resistance of that enemy. You will find everything, starting with small alien creatures of arachnid type, to humanoids that resemble zombies, but with a super power at a distance with which they will throw fire at you, and so on and so forth. Do not rely on the distance, because most enemies have a significant range of launching attacks
Keep an eye on the hub, where you will see three color bars, which correspond to hit points, stamina and energy, from top to bottom. Dolmen has an attack system that will depend on your stamina, if you run out of it, run until it regenerates or you will be lost. On the other hand, stamina has two functions: to restore our health to a certain point, consuming some of it and, on the other hand, to shoot our firearm. Each shot will consume a small percentage of stamina, and this will be regenerated by killing certain enemies and consumable objects
If you're looking for an entertaining title that is challenging, but at the same time affordable and doesn't take your life (literally) or make you destroy a controller, Dolmen is for you. We have enjoyed it a lot, its atmosphere is very well cared for, and its soundtrack keeps you in tension every time you have to turn a corner of the passages. Pay attention to this, because more than once you will be assaulted by an enemy that you did not expect, in our case we had an epic encounter, which made us jump, with an enemy that reminded us to Jack the Reaper, of the Medievil . Impossible to escape from these blades
In summary, a more than worthy game to spend great times, the game is a game that will get you hooked every time you die, because you want to improve yourself more and more. And, as we say, it is difficult, but affordable, a game that is worth playing, with a story that in unraveling little by little
- It is a challenge, but it is not extremely complex, you will not suffer excessively
- Combats that require a combination of actions and attacks, quite careful
- Endless possibilities for the creation of weapons and costumes
- Online up to 4 players to give you a hand with bosses
- You can't jump, it seems silly, but sometimes it's a bit unsettling
- Not having a map means that you sometimes waste a lot of time walking around
- Camera and aiming controls are not particularly comfortable, they could be polished up a bit
We have made this review thanks to a code provided by Koch Media, for PlayStation 5