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Deepening Fire: A Heartfelt Indie Side-Scroller That Channels the Souls-Like Experience

By Weilin Li
Apr. 28, 2023 updated 08:00

After dedicating three years of hard work, the solo developer known as VeryBigDog has successfully launched the highly anticipated action-adventure side scroller, Deepening Fire, on Steam as of April 20th. We had the opportunity to play the game and were thoroughly impressed by its captivating visuals, dynamic maps, and innovative Parry system, which the game is renowned for.

Deepening Fire offers players a thrilling adventure through a lost kingdom, where they will encounter over 30 unique bosses and a variety of other challenging enemies. The ultimate goal is to unravel the hidden truths behind the chaos that plagues the kingdom. The game's setting is defined as a souls-like experience, featuring dark, fantastical stories with environment storytelling that immerses players in the game's lore.

The fully released version of Deepening Fire has added a new mode called Ruinous Fire Mode, which offers even more challenges to skilled players who are experienced in this type of action side-scrolling game.

Deepening Fire's core mechanic, the Parry systemDeepening Fire's core mechanic, the Parry system

The souls-like style of gameplay in Deepening Fire requires reading enemy patterns carefully in order to combat them effectively. The core combat mechanic in the game is centered around mastering its Parry system.

When executed correctly, the Parry system allows players to disorient enemies, causing them to become vulnerable to the player's attacks. This also triggers a powerful skill called FireBrand, which deals significant damage to the enemy. In addition to dealing damage, executing a parry also grants the player some HP recovery, making them even stronger.

Deepening Fire's character development systemDeepening Fire's character development system

In addition, Deepening Fire has a rich character development and upgrading system that allows players to choose from a variety of professions at the beginning of the game.

The game features a wide array of weapons to choose from, including heavy swords, giant axes, spears, staffs, etc. With over one hundred weapons, equipment options and Firebrand choices, players can customize their characters to suit their individual playstyles and preferences.

As the protagonist progresses through the game, they will encounter increasingly difficult challenges that, through repeated deaths, will result in their skin becoming burnt and their armor being eliminated. However, they will still be able to use their weapons and Firebrand abilities. To restore their body and armor, players must visit an NPC to mend the damage. This design element adds an extra layer to the cycle of fighting and death.

While Deepening Fire is an impressive game overall, we think that one area where it may fall short is in the balance of damage between the player character and certain enemies at the early stages of the game. The dog-shaped enemies attack at an excessively fast pace, making the character's power feel under-tuned by comparison.

Screenshots of indie game Deepening FireScreenshots of indie game Deepening Fire

Toward the end of the game, players have the opportunity to discover an Easter egg that transforms them into a furry wolf. This little addition enhances the game's overall appeal and replay value.

Currently, the developer is continuing to adjust and fine-tune multiple elements according to player feedback. The game has received Mostly Positive reviews on Steam, which is a testament to the quality of the game and the dedication of the developer.