What do you get if you combine classic Diablo with Vampire Survivors? Well one developer decided to show you with an unholy combination in Halls of Torment.
Available now in Early Access on Steam, I’ll admit I’m a little bit obsessed with this. I played the demo prologue it had for a long time and the developer sent over a key so I’ve been giving the bigger version a go and honestly, it’s great. It’s clearly going to be my next obsession for whenever I have a few minutes free, as I'll keep going back to it.
Check out my video, talking about it and showing it on Steam Deck:
For an early access game, it has a ridiculous amount of content already including at least 3 stages, 7 characters, 11 abilities to upgrade, 12 unique bosses, 30 unique monsters, 14 blessings that make you stronger over time for each run, over 150 quests to complete and the list goes on and on.
Much like Vampire Survivors, Brotato and many other popular games like it, the games are short, taking a max of about 30 minutes a pop. Each run lets you build up a slightly different build and you can become overpowered if you play it right. What makes it interesting and worth playing though is how different it feels, as yet again a small developer has taken a popular game and put their own spin on it.
Like a more traditional ARPG, you find equipment out in the world to use during your run, there’s a quest system for some meta progression, the monsters and bosses have some really varied abilities and behaviours so they don’t just walk at you and hope for the best. Although it does have plenty that will just walk at you to attack, because they’re your levelling up food for the grinder.
Even the environment has some interesting bits to do like putting down traps and dealing with hazards. There’s a few other differences here, instead of levelling up and choosing a new weapon or major ability, the level ups are mainly about general character buffs, because the weapons you find in the world to pick up. Although when you find a new ability, level ups can then contain buffs for those too - the choice is yours.
The direction you face is important too, because this is a mixture of a twin-stick battler and an auto-battler. So you attack with your main weapon where you’re facing, but your abilities fire automatically making it quite the fun blend. That said, there are some accessibility features to make it easier on you if needed. You can set auto-attack and auto-direct both on to control it more like Vampire Survivors, letting the game deal with the aiming but then you can turn it back off when you want to focus on a particular area or creature more than other.
If you have a love for RPGs, auto-battlers, Vampire Survivor likes and anything in between those, you’re going to feel right at home here. It’s been kicking my butt too, as it’s quite a difficult game which is good because it keeps you wanting another run, it keeps your entire attention when you’re playing it.
For me I’m just in love with the design of it, the environments and the enemies look fantastic with the retro Diablo theme it’s going for, the sound design too sounds very much like the classics but it’s all wrapped up in modern mechanics so it doesn’t feel old — it’s thoroughly satisfying to play though.
On Steam Deck, no problems at all. It has full Native Linux support and so works brilliantly out of the box. Considering how intense it gets with all the different creatures, mini-bosses and full bosses it really sucks you in and it’s so easy to play multiple hours at a time.
This is probably one of my favourite indie releases this year, and it’s not even finished. The developer mentioned they’re aiming for about 6 months in early access, to add in an increased number of characters, stages, quests, and items. This would also include, they say, unique and bespoke mechanics for specific characters and items. They want to provide longer meta progression, improve balancing based on player feedback and polish the experience overall.
You can buy it on Steam.