I recently got the chance to attend a hands-off preview for Solar Ash to get eyes on how the game looked outside an orchestrated trailer. Despite the seemingly effortless movement behind protagonist Rei’s actions, there was a palpable tension surrounding her as she skated over clouds, grinded across rails, and dashed from one end of a room to another. Since I didn’t have the chance to try out the game myself, I couldn’t tell, but it seemed as if every movement was carefully calculated.
With how graceful Rei was moving through the level, it all looked rather simple. But if the repeated efforts to correctly maneuver through the same time-based puzzle or multiphase boss fight were any indication, Solar Ash is anything but simple.
Though Solar Ash is a movement-based game, creative director Alx Preston told me that just going fast isn’t the goal. Solar Ash is a game all about using different moves to achieve the right level of speed and get the ideal window for timing an attack. It’s as much about achieving mastery in how you move as it is about moving quickly.