So long and good night; so long, good knight
There’s something to be said about a good old fashioned bullet hell, you know? I can’t quite put my finger on it (literally, because one hit and I’m dead), but bullet hells are, in my opinion, one of the best ways to relax with fun and frenetic gameplay. Something about avoiding being hit being the primary mechanic with the ways in which you dodge the onslaught of bullets being somewhat similar across titles but never boring. And if you do get something entirely new thrown into the mix? Well… now that’s a game to keep on your Wishlist.
Enter Good Knight, a “butt-clenching” one-button bullet hell imbued with Philippine mythology and its own fascinating lore. Currently in development by Team Good Knight with publishing being handled by Doublethink Games, Good Knight is available now as an Early Access title on Steam with a hopeful eye on a release date sometime this year. A “shooter, rhythm, arcade, retro, and more fused together in this Dante’s inferno meets Philippine Horror bullet-hell,” Good Knight brings the heat while deftly ensuring players don’t get too burned (just a little crispy).
Good Knight has players taking on the role of one of several characters, each with their own unique looks and weapons. Once chosen, they’re thrown right into the fray — literally — as demons of Philippine horror and mythology await them. Where are they, you may ask? Good question! The playing field is a gigantic disk with some crystalline structure in the middle of it. Luckily, the center crystals can be used to hide behind in an effort to avoid the bullet blasts; unluckily, the disk consistently rotates while you constantly move forward, so quickly being able to switch directions on a dime is key to staying alive. One hit and you’re down for the count, so be sure to bring your A-game in terms of reflexes!
Naturally, it’s dangerous to go alone, so players are armed with a weapon that can fight back against the horrific hellspawn… if you can get close enough to them without taking damage yourself. If you need a breather or two to survey the scene, there’s a slow down mechanic as well that will alter the pace of the onslaught, but be careful — a poorly timed slowdown is just as bad as running headfirst into the flames. Timing is of critical importance in Good Knight, that’s for sure!
I feel like it goes without saying since this is pretty true for the genre overall, but just be prepared to die a lot in Good Knight. Like, a lot a lot. Like, you’re going to make little progress for the first hour kinda dying. But the way Good Knight handles death is fantastic, as it’s just a button click away from getting right back into it. No death animations, no credit scenes, no laughing asshole dog, nothing — just a humorously toned game over screen, which goes away after one quick click. There’s something to be said about a game that understands how to mitigate game overs in such a way that lessens the frustration, and Good Knight does it flawlessly.
I’ll be blunt — there’s nothing I dislike about Good Knight. It has a god-tier soundtrack that would be right at home in any JRPG boss battle, extremely satisfying visuals, insanely cool utilization of Philippine horror (a woefully underexplored topic because holy shit you guys it’s awesome), and a surprising amount of humor that I just wasn’t expecting to be injected into a game like this. I may not be great at Good Knight (as expected, it’s pretty punishing), but Good Knight itself is great. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some dying at the hands of a gigantic mythological beast to do…
Be sure to check out Good Knight on Steam today!