The preview of Aztech Forgotten Gods begins with some scene-setting story segments. Starting deep underground, Achtli, the protagonist, and her mother are experimenting on some ancient Aztec artifacts. These experiments result in an earthquake that unsettles the pair, and they quickly return to the surface. Heading topside, we get to see the openness that Aztech promises, opening up to a large modern Aztec metropolis, futuristic buildings mixed with their ancient Aztec design sensibilities. Lienzo, the development studio, calls it Cyber-stone, a fitting name considering the huge stone towers across the city with cyber highlights. The preceding elevator ride back to the surface showcases our protagonist as a bit claustrophobic, perhaps understandable considering the city’s openness on display.
The below-ground start to the demo is largely story-driven, with only a short interlude to test the movement capabilities of Achtli. The story and the character of Achtli look to be core to the experience that Licenso is creating — giving Achtli a good personality to be developed through the journey, instead of merely a named vessel for the mobility in the game. On the surface, it seems the underground earthquake did not affect the metropolis until a colossal god erupted from the ground to terrorise the city. Jumping into the action, Achtli uses her Gauntlet and gives us the first look at the verticality and mobility in the game, which is shaping up to be a highlight.
The verticality is needed right away, as Achtli is unable to damage the massive creatures from the ground. The Gauntlet acts as a bit of a jetpack, being able to fly in all directions at any given time. I played through the demo twice; the first time, I mostly used the Gauntlet to soar and glide around the boss, awaiting opportune moments to rush in and attack the weak spots, all while dodging the flying minions and attacks from the colossal boss. The Gauntlet does have a limit on flying, but this is quite generous, and with floating rings giving boosts when you fly through them, it was easy to maintain flight. On my second playthrough, I did things a bit different, focusing less on just soaring at all times and instead utilising wall running to break it up, and this allowed for quicker movement as I circled the boss waiting for the right time to dive in and hit him in his weak spots.
What I’ve played indicates promising levels of depth to the verticality and mobility. The attacking was a bit simpler. Move around the target to the next weak spot, fly in and time your attacks before retreating to safety and moving on to the next weak spot. The movement felt good as it is quick and responsive, and what isn’t fun about flying around enemies and then shooting in and hitting them with a gigantic fist? While the open exploration was limited in the demo, the promise of exploring the seemingly massive city with the traversal mechanics on display is an intriguing proposition.
Aztech Forgotten Gods is slated for Q1 2022 and is releasing on Nintendo Switch, Steam, Playstation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.