We might be getting a Souls-like that doesn't suck

Khazan fighting
(Image credit: NEXON)

What you should know

  • From the people who published Dave the Diver and MapleStory comes a Souls-like game entitled The First Berserker: Khazan.
  • The developer, Neople, previously created Dungeon Fighter Online.
  • The First Berserker: Khazan is based on the Dungeons & Fighters franchise and takes place hundreds of years before the DNF franchise story begins. 
  • Revealed prior but previewed at the Xbox Partner event, another trailer dropped showcasing combat.
  • No release date or price was revealed.

I should preface my title. Tons of Souls-like games do, in fact, rock, but there are so many games in the genre that it feels like the majority are lousy. Games like Remnant 2, Dead Cells, Sifu, Lies of P, and more have all found welcome places in the genre, if not redefining the genre in nifty and unique ways.

However, with every fantastic addition to the genre comes a Mortal Shell. Then there's the Lords of the Fallen series, with the initial entry falling below 70% on Metacritic and the reboot not scoring much higher. Sure, there's an audience for these games, but amongst the community of Souls-like fans, many find them sub-optimal. Even browsing a Reddit thread, where I read through people's favorite and least favorite games, I saw something like Hellpoint mentioned by both people who liked and hated it—a total split.

I hope effects like this translate as well as they look in the trailer onto my OLED. (Image credit: NEXON)

I was watching the Xbox Preview Partner Event today when, out of nowhere, The First Berserker: Khazan came on screen. My coworker Zachary Boddy commented on how bloody it looked, and I couldn't have agreed more. It looked like one of the best-looking stylistic choices I've seen in the genre since Elden Ring.

Diving into the trailer, we see fantastic particle effects displayed in red and gold hues splattered across frosty white snow. Trails of blood and snow pave their paths independently from both player and enemy actions. It's eye candy for me, and I'm sure for many fans of the genre.

Check out the latest trailer that was dropped at the Xbox event:

The First Berserker: Khazan is based on the Dungeon & Fighter franchise that dates back to 2005. The first game was an online multiplayer side-scrolling beat 'em up, as was the rest of the series. It looks like Khazan is taking quite the departure from the rest of the franchise.

I wanted to also note that it appears it's not coming to Xbox Game Pass, but if you love what you see just as much as I do, you should know that it's already available on the Xbox wishlist! Of course it's also available for PC as well. Do it; you know you want to. If you have any thoughts you'd like to share on this game or anything else you saw at the partner event, drop a comment below or on our social media pages. Until next time, happy gaming!

The First Berserker: Khazan

Wishlist: Xbox | Steam

The First Berserker: Khazan

The First Berserker: Khazan is a hardcore action role-playing game. The player will become Khazan, the great general of the Pell Los Empire, who overcame death, and sets out to reveal the incidents that led to his downfall and seek vengeance on his enemies.

Wishlist: Xbox | Steam

Michael Hoglund

Michael has been gaming since he was five when his mother first bought a Super Nintendo from Blockbuster. Having written for a now-defunct website in the past, he's joined Windows Central as a contributor to spreading his 30+ years of love for gaming with everyone he can. His favorites include Red Dead Redemption, all the way to the controversial Dark Souls 2.