Dolmen is set in a fictional universe where humans have colonised distant planets across the galaxy; expanding empires, federations, commerce companies and mining colonies. In order to survive the inhospitable conditions, they genetically engineered humans who are vastly different; those descendants are referred to as Xeno species.
The player controls a mercenary – hired by Zoan Corp to intervene on the planet Revion Prime – where Driller Xeno humans were performing a scientific and mining operation. Things got catastrophic and the player is the first to arrive to contain the problem and retrieve sensitive data and materials for Zoan Corp.
Saving the Drillers is not mandatory… even if some of them survived. As you play through the mission, you’ll discover that the Zoan Corp have been covering up some horrifying secrets and dangerous technology.
The name – Dolmen – is used to describe megalithic constructions used in funeral rituals and portals to the afterlife; on Revion Prime, it was used to describe the red crystal found on the planet. This crystal is the focus of the Drillers and they used the name to refer to its capacity to revolutionise travel using portals.
To the fans of the genre, Dolmen is an action RPG with Souls-like mechanics and to progress through the game, players must learn how to control their character, timing the enemy’s attacks at the same time he or she manages the resources as energy bar, stamina bar, hit points, block, parry and so on.
The game offers a large spectrum of armor and weapons to fulfill different game styles, including ranged, melee and mixed combat.
To craft equipment, players need to gather different material found in Revion Prime, combining technologies in different designs to boost character skills and understand how each piece of gear can help to overcome your enemies.
The game uses a rock, paper, scissors system, with each enemy being resistant against two elements and weak against the third. Strong enemies – both bosses and champions – may be extra hard to beat if you don’t identify the weakness between fire, cold and acid.
A unique mechanic of the game, called Energy Mode, allows the character to expend energy instead of stamina to perform melee attacks. During this energized condition, attacks are enhanced with one of the elements, causing extra damage; however, the best result will occur if the weapon has the elemental damage buff that the enemy is vulnerable to.
And if at first you don’t succeed: bosses can be re-challenged multiple times using Dolmen crystals and you can also create a multi-play session to take them down with co-op play. Each additional player will increase the difficulty of the fight, so each battle will remain as a thrilling challenge.
The game, of course, is not just about bosses. Regular enemies will also test your skills as they’ll make a concerted effort to put a stop to your mission.
The art team tried to pull out every phobia they could find in the books and materialized them into an enemy trying to kill the character. Are you afraid of spider/insect-like creatures? Are you afraid of the undead? Infernal fiends grasping chains while trying to reach you? Gigantic monsters climbing buildings or moving below the earth? Maybe flying terrors or dark matter assassins? Well, this game has them all.
The game is divided into three sectors: The Dump, where the main accident occurred; the Wastelands, where the player will find out the extent of the disaster and the Old Lab, where players will try to end the crisis. All through the game, players will get the feeling that no one is welcome, with danger lurking in each corner.
Organic tissues and strange fungus grow everywhere; abominable creatures looking for new prey; a planet destroyed in a matter of hours. Pack all this with great voice actors, music artists working to maximize the main battles, text localisation for more than twelve languages, and the additional immersion on PS5 thanks to the DualSense wireless controller’s adaptive triggers, and we have a good overview of what awaits players in this 12-to-16-hour adventure in a Xeno world.