Driven Out is a retro 2D side-scroller with what the developers at No Pest Production describe as “deliberate combat” and has a gorgeous 16-bit pixel art style with animations reminiscent of the original Prince of Persia game.
When they say deliberate combat, they mean it. You have three strikes and three blocks; low, mid, and high. Your enemies have three strikes as well but can get a little creative with how they can attack. It all comes down to memorizing each enemy attack pattern and being able to act and react accordingly as there is no character progression present. No health max increase, no damage increase, no new moves to learn, no means of leveling up, etc. It all comes down to you as a player.
You do have the ability to drop a device that acts as a checkpoint. If you die while one of these is out and active, it will create a copy of your character and you can continue where you left off. Be wary as some enemies can attack and destroy these devices if left unattended.
I ran into a few bugs during the livestream, one of which save locked me in an inescapable area and forced me to restart on a fresh save slot. These have been brought to the attention of the developer and will be addressed before release.
Overall, I enjoyed my time taking a look at this game. The way the game ramps the difficulty is as deliberate as its combat system. It gives you enough time to learn a new enemy's attack pattern in a controlled environment. They then ramp up the challenge in the next encounter by introducing two of them at the same time without making you feel like you are at an unfair advantage.
If you're looking for a game that will test your mettle, reaction time, and pattern recognition, Driven Out may be the exact game you're looking for. Driven Out is set to release on October 17, 2019, on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.