This title was reviewed on Nintendo Switch, but is also available on PC.
Lucah: Born of a Dream is a nightmarish action game, that uses hand drawn graphics as a stand out point. It has unique and well thought out mechanics, and I would compare it to the Soul’s series in terms of gameplay (which I am a huge fan of). So how does it compare overall? Check out my full review below:
You play as Lucah “The Marked Child” whose inner demons turn into vicious nightmares. Through the use of Mantras and Familiars, he must travel through his nightmares to lift the curse.
The gameplay style of Lucah: Born of a Dream reminds me a lot of the Souls series. Let’s start off with my favourite part of gameplay – combat: You have three main forms of attack which are a light attack, a heavy attack, and a ranged attack. The ranged attack is determined by your combat setup, which I will explain a bit more about soon. The name explains it self – it’s good for attacking long-range. A light attack is achieved by pressing the light attack button, while the heavy attack is achieved by using the heavy attack button. Both of these attacks can be charged up to do more damage by instead holding down the button temporarily. You can chain your attacks essentially by button bashing, but you can also do combinations of the different attack types.
Your attacks are determined by your Paradigm that you set up. You can have two different attack styles equipped at a time, and you can customise these with different styles of attacks, such as an attack with high damage but low range. You can switch these on the fly during battle, and they will also affect what your ranged attack is. For example, depending on what you have set up your ranged could be a quick rapid-fire gun, or one that fires a massive orb for bigger damage. It’s all up to your play style or what you think is coolest! While using attacks in general, this depletes your stamina. And just like in Dark Souls, running out of stamina means big trouble! Ranged attacks deplete your charge which is different to stamina. The charge metre refills when you attack enemies with melee. Those extra strong attacks I mentioned before where you hold the attack buttons down use a massive chunk of stamina, while also consuming quite a bit of charge.
Do you want to hear my favourite move in the game? Of course you do! It’s the dashing. Aside from the fact that you can run around the areas quicker by using the dash button, it is also very handy for dodging enemy attacks. Some of the enemy’s attacks can be quite unpredictable, so it’s useful for having a bit of a poke at the enemy to learn their attack patterns. But, the most useful thing about the dash has not been revealed yet! Once you unlock the ability to parry, you will have to dash into your opponents’ attacks. If you dash at the right time when they go to hit you, it will parry the enemy which will break them. Now it’s your turn to lay down the smack!
“Break your enemies?” I hear you question. You will encounter a lot of different enemies in your travels through Lucah: Born of a Dream of which quite a number are rather terrifying. What I learnt quite quickly was that going in for three swipes and then dodging out of the way before doing so again is not very effective. Which is why you need to learn enemy attack patterns and go in for a massive amount of hits. Using a combination of light and heavy attacks will break your opponents, which is where the enemy looks a little stunned. To help you along the word “break” will appear on the enemy. This is where you have a chance to do some major damage to bring them down quicker. With most of the enemies you will want to do this often, otherwise the battles will take you quite some time. This is especially helpful when it comes to the horrifying bosses of the game. The bosses of Lucah: Born of a Dream are quite tough to say the least. They have massive health bars, and if you haven’t learnt already, this is where you will definitely get into the break mechanic. When I faced the first boss, I didn’t break them very often, and the battle was dragging out forever. It wasn’t until I got the break move down pat that I started to take out huge chunks of their health.
As you vanquish your enemies you will gather something called “La” which is like experience points. You get to choose between four different choices to level up, and this will refresh for the next level up. These options are things like strength, health etc. You can even learn virtues here which are like new skills to add onto your character, such as having enemies deal less damage.
We will start off with the sound, which is all rather ominous. It adds to the mysterious and unsettling atmosphere of the world that you are in. The graphics are absolutely spectacular and make the game for me. It’s a dark scribble style type of graphics with everything being hand drawn. The only fault I could possibly see is that sometimes with the scribble style it is a bit hard to see an enemy doing an attack until it’s already happened. As I mentioned before, the enemies are bosses are completely creepy looking and have been done very well.
Lucah: Born of a Dream is a great game. It has a mysterious and spooky atmosphere, mixed with some great combat styles and interesting mechanics. I enjoyed the thought I had to put into my attacks, along with the customisability for creating these attacks. The graphics and sound are also amazing which really just tops this game off. I would recommend Lucah: Born of a Dream to fans of the Souls series, and dark combat games.