GDC 2024: Hands-On Preview of Anima Flux

Come check out this new upcoming co-op Metroidvania!

By Brandon Elkins. Posted 04/05/2024 15:50 Comment on this     ShareThis

Anima Flux is a co-op Metroidvania set to release on Steam and GOG later this year, with a port for Nintendo Switch coming later down the line. The game can be played with a friend or with an AI partner controlling one of two genetically enhanced soldiers that specialize in ranged or melee attacks. Taking advantage of each character’s strengths is essential to covering each others weaknesses as you fight your way through swarms of mutants in a desolate, dystopian space city to save what remains of humanity’s last stronghold.

I had the pleasure of trying out Anima Flux at GDC 2024. The game caught my attention as I hadn’t seen another co-op Metroidvania since Guacamelee and quite a few people were in line to try out the demo. I tried both the solo AI-assisted mode and 2-player co-op mode. The solo mode allows you to command the AI to stay put or follow you, but I found it to be a bit finicky as sometimes the AI wouldn’t attack enemies that were hurting it or would just stand in place doing nothing.

The intended and far superior co-op mode is where Anima Flux shines best. I played the in-person demo with another conference-goer and my rusty Metroidvania skills were apparent as I died multiple times trying to brute-force my way through the beefier scorpion enemies as the Swordsman, leaving my partner to pick them off from a distance with the Archer’s bow before reviving me.

Each character has unique attacks that reflect their playstyle. The Swordsman is up-close and personal and can use a stun attack to create openings to wail on foes while the Archer has the ability to evade attacks and pepper enemies with projectiles to support the Swordsman. When damaging enemies, a rage meter will fill up that when activated boosts the power and strength of your attacks, allowing you to shred through hoards of enemies. You can also spend some of the rage meter’s charges to use special attacks instead of using all of the meter to activate rage mode.

The Swordsman’s Left Trigger (costs 1 charge) special has him charge up his blade before launching forward, slicing through enemies. The Archer’s equivalent (costs 2 charges) is a charge shot that fires a cone of piercing arrows in the direction you are facing. True to the Metroidvania genre, more abilities can be unlocked as you progress by finding upgrades or purchasing them with the purple orbs that are obtained from breaking objects in levels or enemy drops. One of the upgrades I recommend to get first from the shop is the map, as it can be easy to get lost as you uncover more of the game world.

Overall, I’m looking forward to what Anima Flux has to offer once it releases later this year and its future Switch port. Check out the game’s site here to learn more and then try the demo currently available on Steam.

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