Coridden is a smooth action RPG with combat juice and an excellent shapeshifting hook

Diablo meets Animorphs in Aftnareld's co-op action RPG epic.


One of the biggest surprises for me at PAX East was easily Coridden. I sat down with one of the developers to run through their co-op demo, and I didn’t want to get up. This game not only makes the familiar hacking, slashing, and looting of the classic action RPG feel great, but it has a monster collecting-slash-transforming gimmick that fits the space perfectly. I do have some questions or concerns for the full thing, but after one demo session I’m completely on board to find those answers myself.

Co-op action gameplay in Coridden
Source: Anshar Publishing

On the surface, Coridden is a traditional action RPG with up to four players. The characters are defined, but their roles and skills are not. Some of that will be determined by the equipment you find as you go, but there are plenty of skill tree options to dive into as well. Those choices feel important, as Coridden definitely has the juice when it comes to combat. It wasn’t complex, but the way I could seamlessly play with light attacks, heavy attacks, skills, and dodging felt almost out of place in this genre. But in a good way that elevated the Diablo-like structure to more than simply button-mashing.

On the ground combat in Coridden
Source: Anshar Publishing

The icing on the cake is the monster system. While it doesn’t go as far as approaching Pokemon-style collecting, certain encounters result in a monster “drop,” which you can then equip as a new skill tree. From there you can transform into the monster on demand, giving you access to a whole new set of gameplay mechanics. That extends from combat into exploration, an example being the first monster you get allowing faster movement speed and longer jumps. Also, in co-op, you can have one player ride the other, giving you even more combat options. And it all feels great in your hands. Nothing stood out as clunky, janky, or anything like it.

My biggest concern with this system, though, is limitations. You get skill points to spend when you level up, but all the monster forms share the pool. That feels like a big roadblock (potentially) to fully exploring and experimenting with each monster, especially depending on how long it takes to unlock all of them. Hopefully respeccing doesn’t come with any major hurdles, so players can try everything out without worrying about compromising their build too early on. This could end up being a non-issue in the final game of course, but it’s something that immediately stood out to me.

Shapeshifting in action in Coridden
Source: Anshar Publishing

Aside from that concern, my experience with Coridden was as positive as a short convention demo can get. Everything about the way the gameplay felt was intuitive and frankly impressive. I can see myself giving this one hours and hours of my time, just because of how good it feels to move around and engage in the action. Even little details, such as dialogue showing little colored triangles (so you know who to yell at for not pressing their button), indicated the developers thought of almost everything.

Co-op, mounted combat in Coridden
Source: Anshar Publishing

I love collecting and fighting monsters in games, and I certainly enjoy diving into the occasional action RPG for grinding and looting. The two of these things together feels like an ambitious premise, and it feels like developer Aftnareld really thought it out. I can’t wait for Coridden to launch so I can put these systems to the test.

Coridden will be available for PC sometime in 2024, with consoles still TBA. Hands-on time with a demo was provided by the publisher at PAX East for the purpose of this preview.

Contributing Editor

Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favorites include Dragon Quest, SaGa, and Mystery Dungeon. He's far too rattled with ADHD to care about world-building lore but will get lost for days in essays about themes and characters. Holds a journalism degree, which makes conversations about Oxford Commas awkward to say the least. Not a trophy hunter but platinumed Sifu out of sheer spite and got 100 percent in Rondo of Blood because it rules. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas being curmudgeonly about Square Enix discourse and occasionally saying positive things about Konami.

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