Game Pass continues to be a treasure trove of indie titles, with Ghost Song coming to the subscription service November 3 (alongside releases on all the major consoles). While the eye-catching art style first drew me to the title, its beauty isn’t only skin deep. During my roughly hour-long playtime, I shot, punched, and dashed my way through a unexplained world filled with freaky enemies and unexplained mysteries.
I am the Deadsuit. Once again sentient, I find myself surrounded by evidence of my long absence. The rain falls from a hazy, purple sky onto a ship long-since abandoned. Its windshield is cracked; its exterior crumbling. Vines grow freely across the vessel as denser vegetation chokes the engine. This ship hasn’t seen use for years, and the protagonist seems to share some of its warn-down characteristics. The mood is set.
After getting to my feet, I play around with the controller, and find the mechanics pretty straightforward. Shooting, melee, and jumping all have a dedicated button, all governed by a stamina bar. Jumping into the menu reveals the first signs of the game’s Souls inspirations. I find stats for things like Gun Power, Vigor, and Resolve. I also discover I’m starting at level 4, and, in my first encounter, the low level enemies begin to drop leveling up resources which I drop if I die. Tucked in a decaying tunnel is a large robot-like figure which grants me the ability to increase my stats with my spoils of war, and a nearby flower offers a place of rest where my health-boosting injection gets refilled.
It doesn’t take long to figure out that Ghost Song is more a Metroidvania than a Souls-like, however. Its branching pathways sometimes lead to blockades, like cliffs just a little too tall for me to jump, hinting at later upgrades. And one defeated foe drops a module called Fishmaster’s Glow that prompts my energy to regenerate when I use a health injection. Getting the module to actually work takes a moment, as I have to power down my suit by hitting down on the d-pad and then install the new power, rather than just equipping it in the menu.
So far, Ghost Song promises to be a satisfying blend of two great genres with its pleasing aesthetic and cryptic world. If you need a little more Metroid style tinged with Souls in your life, don’t miss out.