The word ‘Metroidvania’ has become synonymous with disappointment and cynicism for me over the past few years. Every game with such a label either plays nothing like the side-scrolling action titles with an emphasis on exploration that I fell in love with as a child, or cannot live up to the quality of their peers in the genre. You can argue it’s more down to my excessive reverence of Super Metroid and every 2D Castlevania game post-Symphony of the Night, and you’re probably right, but any self proclaimed Metroidvania will be held up to my extremely high standards. That’s why I’m beyond excited for the upcoming Into The Rift – with some of the best pixel art graphics I’ve seen in years, coupled with game mechanics that look like they’ve attempted to work on and improve the excellent formula of Metroidvania titles, there is a lot of promise that my expectations can be met.
While there has not been too much announced so far, and the game is only in a very early stage, the developer has shared some stunning animated gifs of combat, exploration and movement on our forums. Showing numerous different environments from a desert to a castle and even a forest, it appears that Into The Rift will have a significant degree of variation, rather than falling into the trap of one generic castle that blurs into one. Furthermore, what appears to be relatively clever enemy AI that pursues your character looks quite exciting, and includes an element of urgency that is occasionally lost in the sprawling environments of other Metroidvania titles.
Obviously, it is far too early to make too many assumptions from a handful of brief animations – hopefully Into The Rift has an element of puzzle solving to change up the pace, rather than a sole emphasis on combat and platforming action – but it certainly is a great start to begin fanning the flames of excitement amongst the iOS community. From its Facebook page – which is full of even more animated gifs to fixate over – the game seems to have been in development since April of last year, so hopefully we see some more solid details, or even concrete footage, sooner rather than later. To stay fully up to date with any development updates for Into The Rift, be sure to check out our forum thread for further details.