Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Austin Wood

"The Elden Ring of Metroidvania in terms of map size" is blatantly threatening me with a good time

Fallen Tear: The Ascension.

Fallen Tear: The Ascension has been on my wishlist ever since I found myself scrounging around the search-action space in the latest Steam Next Fest, and now developer Winter Crew has come in for the kill with a bold claim, saying this could be "the Elden Ring of Metroidvania in terms of map size."

"We just wanted to cry after seeing how enormous our final map size is," the devs said in a Twitter post earlier this month. "Our team is joking around that this may be the Elden Ring of Metroidvania in terms of map size. Wish us luck!"

This came paired with an imposing image of the Metroidvania's world map. I'm a stone-cold sucker for a good Metroidvania map, and in my expert (read: first-blush) opinion, this is some heckin' video game cartography. Those are, indeed, some levels. Caverns! Waterfalls! Impossibly large trees! And what's that skyward palace? The rough map showing actual pathing makes for an interesting comparison alongside the in-game perspective: 

(Image credit: Winter Crew)

Fallen Tear: The Ascension is promising some neat, interconnected environments, and that's what I'm here for. Unlike Elden Ring, it also claims to have packed it all into "over 40 hours of gameplay" rather than the, I don't know, 150 hours it takes to see most of FromSoftware's open-world epic.  

Another detail in this post caught my eye, and it's the same thing that drew me to Fallen Tear in the first place. This is a Metroidvania with a whiff of JRPGs about it, to the point that the developer has apparently adopted the term "#JRPGvania" in some promotions. I'm assuming this partly stems from the "fated bonds" system that seems to tie character relationships and some sort of light party management to the abilities of playable character Hira. 

More generally, Fallen Tear just looks quite good. Anyone remember Dust: An Elysian Tail from the Before Times (by which I mean 2013)? It kind of reminds me of that, with Winter Crew talking up fully voiced characters, dynamic 2D combat, and "classic, hand-drawn animation." Platforming, attacks, and animated cutscenes all look incredible, so if they feel as good in motion, this could be a must-play when it eventually arrives. When that will be is currently unclear, as the game's Steam page still has "to be announced" penciled in for the release date. 

By the way, I did find some cool Metroidvanias in Steam Next Fest. Check out The Last Faith, which is like a 2D Bloodborne; TEVI, the follow-up to a legendary 2016 Metroidvania; and underdog Noreya which quickly won a space in my heart. 

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.