Gamescom 2022, it’s 11:00 a.m., and it’s hidden in a closed double-tower stand that we discover a preview of the next title from the teams at Primal Game Studio and their publisher Marvelous. After a quick explanation of what we are going to discover, place to a video which reveals to us a 2.5D action RPG with a fine and eye-catching visual.
The dark atmosphere and the medieval universe makes us quickly understand that the life of this world seems at the gates of annihilation. The broadcast video reveals the possibility of using typical weapons such as swords or maces, but also magical powers. In this gameplay sequence, the hero shoots down a few sizable rats, ghouls and skeletons, and is chased by an enemy twice his size, ending up in an equally austere forest.
In these places, he pulls out what seems to be a weed except that it has a body and starts screaming as it comes out of the ground, revealing a mandrake. Here is the origin of the title of the game. The rest of the presentation tells us more about the universe and its history. Humanity has abandoned the world in the face of monsters. People are now hiding behind their wall built by their leaders. The security offered behind this palisade leaves no room for joy and pleasure. So you make the decision to travel through this declining world to purify it and regain your humanity.
On the game system side, we face a demanding Metroidvania whose artistic direction mixes medieval fantasy and gothic for a striking effect. The adventure will take us through the world to face many monstrosities, ranging from simple mutants to deadly dragons. You will also have the choice between several styles of play. Indeed, the developers provide us with a system of skills to unlock which forces us to vary our approach to the different enemies encountered, between melee attack and ranged attack. .
As in any good self-respecting game of this type, we will have to assimilate the patterns to overcome our opponents and we can expect to die many times despite our vigilance. We are also told of unique bosses to defeat without being able to see more on this point as well. New allies will force us to face difficult word choices and the friends of one day may be the opponents of tomorrow.
On the evolution side, it will also be possible to recruit craftsmen who will join our caravan, which allows us to improve our equipment and prepare potions and artefacts necessary for the accomplishment of our quest. Catchy style, gameplay with small onions, dark universe but not devoid of depth, Mandragora captured our attention for, we hope, to be able to try it soon.