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Hands-on with ‘Hail To The King: Deathbat’ – Gothic Hack N’ Slash

We’ve talked a bit about Subscience Studio’s collaboration with Avenged Sevenfold, Hail To The King: Deathbat. After taking it for a spin recently, there’s definitely more to this hack n’ slasher than just a big name, and setting and locale are worth keeping tabs on its impending release.


An old-school hack n’ slash title, Deathbat doesn’t seem to offer any kind of loot depth found in the likes of, perhaps, a Diablo. Rather, the really fascinating thing about Deathbat is the perpetual challenge that seems to exist throughout the game. You start out with five lives, and you’re expected to complete the whole game on those lives. Sure, you can purchase more (at a pretty steep in-game currency cost), but that prevents you from picking up potions and permanent stat upgrades, which may be more beneficial in the long haul towards saving lives. Deathbat allows you to replay missions for collectables and currency, so it’s certainly possible to grind some currency if you’re concerned about lives.

That is, assuming you can master the battle system. Deathbat’s combat is pretty simple, but not easy enough that you can simply hold down the attack button and win. Minions know how to faint and will get through your offense if you don’t know how to strategically dodge and pivot around them. Meanwhile, bosses require even more agility, as they will simply mow you down if you try and go toe to toe. There’s difficulty here that’s rarely seen in similar games and it’s amplified by the limited life system.


Meanwhile, I’m a big fan of the setting, visuals and of course, the music that Deathbat brings. Gothic metal is an excellent backdrop to the initial undead locales and I’m anxious to see if there’s more in terms of variety as you go further into the game.

Most games with a big name attached to them tend to focus more on said name and less on the actual game. Based on what I’ve seen so far, Hail to the King Deathbat tries to focus on the game first, and then throws in the homages to Avenged when it can. If you’re interested in joining the nightmare, Deathbat will launch next month on October 16th.