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Nocturnal Preview: A Fiery Action Platformer That Should Be On Your Radar

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It doesn’t take long for Nocturnal to get its hooks in you.

Coming to PC and consoles later this spring, this action platformer casts you as Ardeshir, a warrior returning to his land to find it covered in a strange mist. And so begins a fight to discover the cause of this anomaly, and hopefully put an end to it. But there are some who stand in his path, consumed with darkness. Needless to say, your journey through Nocturnal won’t be easy.

As a soldier of the Enduring Flame, fire plays a large role in Nocturnal. Darkness is very much your primary enemy here – if you stay in the dark too long, a sudden death is all but certain. It’s up to you, then, to light your sword aflame whenever the opportunity arises, and use your burning weapon to light torches along your path. But you need to be quick, as your weapon will only burn for so long.

With that in mind, platforming in Nocturnal is something to be approached with haste but also caution. You need to be quick in order to be able to make it to the next torch and light it up, but you need to be careful as you never know what lies around the next corner. There could be a bottomless pit, or perhaps even some enemies laying in wait.

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Of course, with your weapon ablaze, it does more damage to enemies. You need to make important choices though, as fire is also the energy that fuels your ability to heal. Outside of combat it isn’t really an issue, as you can light up your sword, heal, and then then light it up again. But in combat, you need to weigh up doing extra damage and restoring your valuable pips of health. And you need to decide fast, in case the fires die out naturally.

There are some puzzles to overcome in Nocturnal, too. You might need to light up numerous torches in a certain order, for example, with clues hidden behind flora that you can burn away. Add in new weapons to be discovered, such as throwable knives that can also be infused with flames to light faraway torches, and you have a game that keeps you on your toes.

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All of this is wrapped up in art style that is absolutely sumptuous. Every frame of Nocturnal looks like a work of art – like a painting steeped in detail. The animation is impressive here, too. In fact, the only thing that lets presentation down a little is a lack of voice acting, but it’s no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

While the combat of Nocturnal isn’t anything out of the ordinary, combined with the fire-infused platforming, it makes for a compelling adventure. With a mysterious story to be unravelled and multiple powerful bosses to overcome, we’re very much looking forward to going hands-on with the full version of Nocturnal when it launches later this year. It’s shaping up to be flaming hot.

Nocturnal launches later this spring on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!