Phantom Abyss, by developer Team WIBY and publisher Devolver digital, is an asynchronous multiplayer game where you are tasked with finding hidden relics of old forgotten temples. Fear not, though, for you are not alone in your task; by your side are Phantoms, ghosts of players who have fallen before you. You must use these Phantoms to your benefit and learn from their mistakes, follow and watch so that you may succeed where many others have failed. You will dodge hidden traps, leap chasms, find treasures, and flee relentless guardians through branching paths to hopefully find the relic you seek. Or perhaps you’ll fall just like those before you.
With the 1.0 update that is set to release on January 25th, Phantom Abyss will be coming out of Early Access with many new features and touch ups to the original game. When you start the game, you are tasked with finding your first relic and shown how to play the game. I played on keyboard and mouse but the game does feature full controller support. The basic controls are WASD to move and Shift to run, F to dash but it has a cool down, Left CTRL to crouch or slide. While traversing the tutorial temple, you are also given a whip which is a very important tool on your journey, not only do you use it to break vases for coins but if you Right Click to aim as a ledge and Left Click to fire you can grapple and swing onto platforms. Once you are out of the tutorial phase you meet Altec who is the God of the Abyss, which is where you find yourself, and he tells you that you and him are both trapped within the Abyss and can only escape by obtaining relics and breaking his chains. There are 6 ruins to start off with and after completing 3 of them you will break a chain and unlock higher leveled ruins. Within ruins you will also find keys you can use to purchase various upgrades, and upon completing a ruin you will obtain a relic as well as new whips that have different abilities. Now on top of Adventure Mode there are two other modes, Abyss Mode which features special ruins that can only be completed by one player before disappearing, and a Daily Mode that has a ruin challenge that you can repeat multiple times to rise to the top of the leaderboards. All in all this seems like a well polished game full of adventure and action. The Phantoms, themselves, are a cool mechanic, they make you feel less alone in these dark and treacherous ruins.
There is very little I have to say in the way of issues or problems I had in the game. Overall, the gameplay was smooth, the movements and even the grapple with the whip work very well. The only thing I had a problem with was the timing of the dash, when it came to dodging traps and such it felt a little delayed at times. The other thing I will mention is that there is a lot more that could be done with the overall story and lore. At the surface, Phantom Abyss is an almost roguelike action game where you come to run ruins and there is some lore tying things together, but while exploring the starting area, there are little clues and secrets to find that add more depth to the game. I hope to see more of the lore as time goes on and I dive deeper into the game.
Phantom Abyss is a very interesting asynchronous multiplayer game where you rely on Phantoms of previous players to help guide you to victory. You will dodge hidden traps, leap chasms, find treasures, and flee guardians through branching paths to hopefully find the relic you seek. Beware of the dangers and the secrets that lay in the shadows and free Altec from his chains. Overall, this is a fun action packed adventure that requires skill and strategy to overcome. I am giving Phantom Abyss an 8 out of 10 because it is a very fun game with interesting mechanics.
Phantom Abyss is available for PC via Steam.
Related: Reviews by Brianna Keller