Good Night, Knight (PC) Early Access Review
Inventive mix of gameplay
So many different types of monsters
Procedural level design is great
Lack of music
Very slow start
Feels slow/heavy to attack
Top-down RPG’s hold a special place in many hearts. They symbolize a time long past in which things were simpler and remind us of when we were young. From Zelda to Chrono Trigger there are so many examples of quality games with compelling stories and interesting gameplay. RedEmber now wants to crystallize that feeling and to actually improve on it if possible and somehow mix the old and the new in Good Night, Knight.
Having a top-down view and pixel graphics definitely sets you in the mood for nostalgia, but it becomes immediately apparent that things are different this time. You are a knight killing monsters of course, but now it’s a charged attack that takes stamina, and with the dynamic field of view, you can only see what a normal person would see. With shadows around every corner, it’s not always smart to just charge forward, but instead to think strategically how to kill your enemy and not get ganked yourself. Incorporating unseen corners, blind spots, and stealth is a definite change, so it feels like an odd mix of 90’s RPGs and something like Metal Gear Solid, with some Dark Souls stamina management and dodge rolling thrown in.
The gameplay wasn’t the only thing to evolve either, as it is now possible to save your progress at doors at the end of the level. From there you can also craft new weaponry, items, equipment, potions to help you on your way. Most RPGs gives some equipment to start off and sprinkle in gear that lets you go further in dungeons, and GNK isn’t different in that aspect but I do feel that things start off way too slow and it takes time for people to understand the way this game is different so it takes longer to really appreciate it for what it is. One of the things that makes it feel that way is the charged attack. Instant attacks are so synonymous with gaming that it feels alien to fight any other way. Using stealth and tactics are nothing new of course, but hitting a button to attack feels so natural that you end up screwing up the attack often and get killed because of it, which causes you to think negatively of the game.
This new entry from RedEmber more than anything requires more time to get used to it than others. It’s not a hack and slash like normal, according to the developers it’s a “sneak and slash”. Definitely a different way of playing, and there are many adjustments for players to make to get the full effect. Its inventive, original, but does ask more than the casual glance for a ticket to play. It’s not perfect, like the lack of music other than a looping theme that gets to you over time, or the very slow start, and the charged attack but if you’re willing to put in the time to try something new and different, then this one is for you.