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PAX East 2022 Preview: The Last Oricru Wants to Be Your Go-to Co-op Soulslike

The Last Oricru preview PAX East 2022 hands-on impressions GoldKnights Prime Matter co-op Soulslike Dark Souls

I did not know about The Last Oricru before PAX East 2022, but I managed to snag a preview for the title when booking my appointments. I’m happy I did because I found an interesting Soulslike adventure where story choices matter and co-op is heavily promoted. Plus, it mixes a medieval setting with sci-fi elements, which is pretty unique.

The Last Oricru preview PAX East 2022 hands-on impressions GoldKnights Prime Matter co-op Soulslike Dark Souls

Better Together in The Last Oricru

One benefit I had playing The Last Oricru demo for preview was that I had PR Manager Tobias Stolz-Zwilling alongside me. Playing co-op with someone who knows the ins and outs of the game allowed me to just follow his lead. There are three factions in the title: the Broken Army, the Ratkin, and the Naboru. For the demo, we focused on two scenarios with the latter two.

In the first part of the demo, we were aligned with the Naboru, with the Ratkin hating us. We were tasked with defending an area. Player one, Tobias, has to drive the narrative forward. They are responsible for talking to NPCs and making plot decisions. My character was more of a soldier who excelled at close range, while Tobias was more of a mage that could attack from afar. This allowed him to show the benefits of co-op: By casting a lightning spell between us, we created a beam that would zap any enemy that got in its way. It was quite powerful. Combat was very Souls-like: You could lock on, jump, defend, dodge roll, drink potions, and whack baddies with your weapons. It was more strategic than in combo-heavy games like Devil May Cry.

The second part of the demo had us aligned with the Ratkin and battling the Naboru. This meant we were attacking the same area as before instead of defending it. Changes were dramatic: We infiltrated the area through a sewer and had a whole new boss fight to conquer. This showed me how different The Last Oricru could be depending on which faction you support. Furthermore, Tobias told me there are instances where co-op can open up possibilities not present in single-player. For example, there is a spider boss you can encounter where one player can distract it while the other hits a lever that drops an iron gate on top of it, killing it instantly.

The Last Oricru preview PAX East 2022 hands-on impressions GoldKnights Prime Matter co-op Soulslike Dark Souls

The Three Pillars

Tobias was quick to mention the three main pillars of The Last Oricru: the more accessible Soulslike combat, the RPG story where decisions lead to branching narrative paths, and both online and offline co-op. Getting into a game is quite easy, too. Players can hop on and off at any time, will always match the main player’s level, and have the ability to have different stats than each other, hence why Tobias was a mage while I was a knight. Playing with a friend also has the difficulty scale up so that the game is harder than it would be playing alone.

I thought The Last Oricru was a fresh take on the Souls genre in preview. The branching paths are interesting, and the co-op is a lot of fun — so much so that I don’t think the title is going to be as enjoyable without someone gaming with you.

There is a Steam demo you can try out right now. The developers are targeting a Q3 or Q4 release this year on PC, Xbox Series X | S, and PlayStation 5. Give it a go with a buddy!

About the author

Arthur Damian
Arthur Damian has been covering the video game industry for over ten years, and joined The Escapist in 2022. He is a huge fan of platformers, indies, and fighting games, and strives to cover them for The Escapist every chance he gets. Arthur received his Bachelor’s Degree in English from Brooklyn College in 2009. He is also the Editor-in-Chief over at That VideoGame Blog. When he isn’t writing, Arthur enjoys playing games on his Switch and PlayStation 5, and sings the praises of the greatest video game ever, Chrono Trigger, to anyone who will listen.