A new independent 2.5D fighting game has been announced called Umbral Core, which will be released for PC, PS4, and PS5.
The game will be set in a dark fantasy world and is confirmed to feature rollback netcode and uncapped FPS.
Early footage of the game has been released on the Umbral Core official Youtube channel:
According to the game’s website says that Umbral Core started out as a passion project that has sparked the interest of “extremely talented professionals around the world”. It takes heavy inspiration from fighting games like Darkstalkers, Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, King of Fighters, and Tekken. The gothic setting also takes cues from Castlevania and Bloodborne.
So far one character has been revealed for the game, the Adventurer Byron who fights with a sword and demonic arm. He is meant to be the game “all-rounder” archetype.
The game will be funded through a Kickstarter campaign which they plan to launch in November of 2022. The team currently has an alpha build running with all the game’s mechanics training stage, online versus and one character will all his animations and FXs.
Umbral Core will be released for Playstation 4, Playstation 5, and PC. The development team says they aim to work on the game over the course of two years after the Kickstarter campaign has ended.
All of this information and more can be found on the game’s Discord Server where the developers are actively communicating with members about the game’s progress and mechanics.
Here is the more in-depth information about the game’s mechanics that have been released so far:
Umbral Core (later abbreviated as “UC”) uses an ordinary fighting game layout with 8 Directions and 4 Buttons:
L = Light attack
M = Medium attack
H = Heavy attack
U = Unique attack
Numpad notation is a system for writing the directional inputs used in fighting games. Numbers are used in place of directions, according to their position on a keyboard’s numpad. Numpad notation always assumes that the player character is facing the right side of the screen:
1 = down/backward
2 = down
3 = down/forward
4 = backward
5 = neutral
6 = forward
7 = up/backward
8 = up
9 = up/forward
(i.e. Pressing H while holding the “down” direction is written 2H)
Walking is the most basic form of movement, done by simply holding forward or backward (6 or 4). Each character has different walk speeds and different speeds between forwards and backward.
Running allows you to quickly advance on your opponent, and it’s done by double-tapping and holding forward (66). Running is faster than walking, but it comes with certain drawbacks – specifically you can not cancel running into guard. You can still cancel and run into all other actions (including jumps and attacks). Just like walking, each character has different run speeds.
The momentum gained from running in UC carries over into most other actions. This means that while running, forward jumps will travel further than a normal forward jump, and a running attack will reach further than if it was performed in neutral.
Back dash is inputted by double tapping back (44). It is often used for quick retreats but, unlike other fighting games, back dashes in this game don’t have any invincibility. Despite that, they are considered airborne during the first part of the move, thus making them naturally invulnerable to ground throws. The rest is completely vulnerable to attack, and can easily be punished.
Jump is one of the air movements in UC and it’s done by inputting up directions. You can control which direction you jump towards by using 7 (backwards), 8 (upwards), or 9 (forwards). Jumps are generally the highest risk/reward movement option, since you are in a set jump trajectory and you cannot guard any attack while jumping.
High Jump is the secondary air movement in UC and can be done by starting from neutral (5), then tapping any down direction (1/2/3) quickly followed by any upward direction (7/8/9). High Jump’s trajectory is higher and longer than that of regular jumps.
Air Dash is a way to move faster in the air. While airborne, you can air dash forward by pressing 66 and backward by pressing 44. All jumping normals can be canceled into forward air dash.
Performing an air dash as close to the ground as possible is called Instant Air Dash (IAD). The fastest way to perform air dashes is to quickly input 9 then 6 (forward) or 7 then 4 (backward).
Blocking is the most common defensive option and it can only be performed on the ground.
Hold 4 to guard against high attacks and 1 to guard against low attacks. Mid attacks can be blocked with both 4 and 1.
You can break a throw by pressing L+U when a throw connects.
Breaking a throw causes you to push the opponent away, preventing any damage and returning both players to neutral. Only regular throws can be broken, command grabs and air throws cannot.
Other defensive options involve resource usage and will be covered in the Resources section.
Normal moves refer to any single button hit and are common across every character. Press L/M/H to perform normal attacks.
Depending on the current state of your character (standing, crouching, jumping, close to the opponent), your character will do different attacks. As a general rule, L attacks are weak and fast, H attacks are strong and slow, and M attacks are between the two.
With very few exceptions, standing normals actually have 2 versions – one when you’re close to the opponent, and another when you’re far away. For notations, these are generally distinguished by the prefix c (close) or f (far), like f.M and c.M.
Sweeps are universally performed by pressing 2U. They must be guarded low and they cause a hard knockdown when hitting on the ground.
Special moves usually have special properties compared to normal attacks. These moves require a sequence of directions + a button to be performed.
The button pressed after the required directional input determines the version of the special move.
For most special moves there are 2 regular versions (Light and Medium) and 1 EX:
- Light (L): usually faster than the others but less damaging
- Medium (M): usually a slower version with higher damage
- EX (H): the strongest version. It has the best properties and consumes 1 Power meter to be performed
Each character has a Unique attack, executed by pressing U. These Unique attacks define the character granting access to unique mechanics that can range from attacks, to power ups, movements and more. Some characters also have access to Unique Specials, Special moves performed with a motion + U.
Annihilation Impacts (AI) are extremely powerful moves that cost 3 Power meters to be performed. Hitting the opponent will result in cinematic animation. The inputs usually require a motion + L + M (i.e. 236+L+M). Some characters have more than 1 AI.
Doom Impacts (DI) are powerful moves that can only be performed when your Health is at 30% or less. They don’t cost any resources but can only be performed once every round. Inputs usually require a motion + U + H (i.e. 236+U+H) .
Throws are attacks that can’t be blocked. The only way to avoid getting hit by throws is to throw the opponent at the same time or jumping/getting out of range. Throws are performed by press L+U while next to the opponent. Inputting 4+L+U will result in a back throw instead.
A burst is an energy explosion that launches the opponent on hit. It’s performed by pressing L+M and it consumes 2 Power meters upon activation. Burst has different properties if done in neutral or on offense.
Canceling Normal and Special attacks into a Power Burst (BC – Burst Cancel) recovers quicker than the neutral version, allowing for combo extensions and pressure.
Performing Burst in neutral has much more recovery but it’s fully invincible on start-up, actually making it a universal invincible reversal that can start a combo on hit.
Combos are performed by successfully hitting the opponent with attack sequences without them being able to block in-between. Whenever you score a combo, you will be notified by the hit counter that appears in HUD. There are 2 main ways of connecting multiple attacks in combos: chains and links.
Normal Attacks can usually cancel into one another, generally following the strength order L > M > H > U. These successions are called Chains. Aside from the strength chain order, moves of the same button can cancel into one different version of themselves (i.e. close version can be canceled into far and low).
Links are harder than chains since they require precise timing to successfully connect before the opponent is able to block again.
Auto-combos are performed by pressing the same button in quick succession while being close to the opponent.
You will perform a different auto-combo depending on the button used (L/M/H) and on your range.
Auto-combos also use resources if available, adding an Annihilation Impact at the end if the Power gauge is full or a Doom Impact if your health is low.
Auto-combos act as an easy way to tack on a bit of extra damage, but compared to other combos they usually don’t do as much damage.
Power is UC’s main resource. The Power gauge is divided into 3 sections called Power meters.
As a match continues forth, certain actions like hitting or blocking attacks will start filling up the Power gauge.
Power can be spent for:
- EX Special moves -> 1 Power meter
- Power Burst -> 2 Power meters
- Annihilation Impacts -> 3 Power meters
You start each battle with an empty Power gauge and you retain whatever amount of Power Gauge you had at the end of any round to the following one.
Fury & Control
Fury and Control are the other 2 universal resources. Both gauges are divided into 2 sections called Fury meters and Control meters respectively.
Fury is gained by performing offensive actions like hitting and throwing the opponent.
Control on the other hand is gained when performing defensive actions like blocking and breaking throws.
Fury can be spent for:
- Fury Cancel -> 1 Fury meter
- Fury Install -> 2 Fury meters
Fury Cancels allow canceling a Special attack into any other special attack.
Fury Install is a power-up state that lasts a few seconds and grants a few offensive buffs for its duration:
- Ability to perform as many Fury cancels as possible
- Damage increased by 5%
- Forced Counter-hit on the first hit you land (even mid-combos)Chip damage is increased by 10%
Control can be spent for:
- Control Counter -> 1 Control meter
- Control Install -> 2 Control meters
Control Counter (U+H) is a parry stance that can absorb 1 hit before triggering fast recovery, allowing for punishes that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
Pressing U+H after parrying an attack will trigger a follow-up attack that crumples the opponent, leaving them open to a full combo.
Control Install is a power-up state that lasts a few seconds and grants a few defensive buffs:
- Immediate spawn of a shield that absorbs damage (any shield left when Install ends goes away)
- Ability to perform as many Control Counters as possible
- Punishing the opponent rewards you with Counter-hits
- No chip damage taken
You can activate both Installs at any moment, with the only exception of being knocked down. The activation doesn’t trigger any animation and doesn’t stop any action you’re performing.
You start each battle with empty Fury and Control gauges and, unlike Power, you don’t carry any of them to the following round.