Aztech Forgotten Gods Interview: Inspired By Both Games & Anime

Aztech Forgotten Gods is a new action-adventure tale of a young woman named Achtli going up against godly behemoths from a time long forgotten.

Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, developer-and-publisher Lienzo discussed how Aztech Forgotten Gods takes a few pages from games like The Legend of Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus, and Spider-Man to find a middle ground between “David vs. Goliath scenarios” and “adrenaline-inducing” mobility.

It might also come as a surprise that for its narrative, Lienzo took a lot of inspirations from popular anime such as Dragon Ball and My Hero Academia. The ending result being a high-paced game set in a futuristic setting with colossal creatures based on the Aztec pantheon.

The large focus on mobility will require players to get overly comfortable with the movement mechanics of the game. Going up against bosses will not always be a walk in the park, but the developer has included an easy mode. The best thing being that there are no achievements tied to the difficulty setting. You can always tweak your difficulty on the fly and still unlock all achievements in the game.

Aztech Forgotten Gods releases on March 10, 2022, for all major platforms, Nintendo Switch included.

SN: Tell us a little bit more about the plot of the game. Why is the protagonist after the power of the Gods? How important the narrative is for Aztech?

LI: In Aztech Forgotten Gods you will play as Achtli, a young Aztec woman who accidentally frees ancient deities from their subterranean prison. In order to survive, she will have to forge an unexpected alliance with the moody Feathered Serpent, and master the hidden powers of an ancient prosthetic artifact by the name of Lightkeeper, that will allow her to face the mighty Forgotten Gods that now threaten to destroy everything she holds dear.

Narrative is a core element of the Aztech experience. Coming off Mulaka, one of the things we wanted to really up our game on was storytelling. We spent a long time working on and polishing the story elements of the game and we now really just hope folks will enjoy it.

SN: Let’s talk about the combat mechanics in the game. What were your prime inspirations for setting up combat of Aztech Forgotten Gods?

LI: Well there were plenty of inspirations. It is hard to make and action-adventure and not take something from The Legend of Zelda. It is also no secret that we looked up to games like Shadow of the Colossus or Spider-Man. We wanted to have a good balance between the ominousness of the David vs Goliath scenarios and the adrenaline-inducing hi-speed movement and verticality that those games are known for.

On top of that, we looked for inspiration outside of the gaming world as well. Our narrative was heavily inspired by anime. The way it can sometimes be a little bit over the top, but also playing heavily with emotional themes was something that we wanted to emulate, and series like Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, Saint Seiya served as great sources of inspiration.

SN: Are there any RPG elements in the game (like skill trees etc)? If so, how do they work?

LI: There are, on top of active upgrades that grant Achtli new abilities, the player will recurringly visit an upgrade shop, that will be referred to in the game as the Central Workshop. In there, skill-tree style, you will be able to purchase a variety of passive upgrades to enhance base abilities like how fast you can fly when using the jetpack ability, the amount of HP on your meter, the tolerance for your combos to trigger a finishing move, etc.

SN: Developers usually have a hard time on Nintendo Switch due to its hardware power limitations, how has your experience been with Nintendo’s console?

LI: Fortunately, given that we were just coming off the back of optimizing our previous title Mulaka for Nintendo Switch as well, we knew what to expect and where we could focus our efforts in terms of optimization so that we could have Aztech running smoothly on the platform.

That is not to say that we didn’t struggle, optimizing the game for Switch was a project-long endeavor and we are very happy with the result and we are confident folks will be able to have a smooth experience on the platform whether they prefer to play in docked mode or handled mode.

SN: Will the game support any DualSense features like the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback on PS5?

LI: This is one of the things that we sadly had leave on the table in order to prioritize other areas of development. However, depending on reception and player feedback we will always be happy to revisit the idea should there be a demand for it.

SN: What resolution and FPS are you guys targeting for Xbox Series and PS5?

LI: For 9th generation hardware, namely Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 we are targeting 4K resolution at 120 FPS. The exception being the Xbox Series S which retains the same 120 FPS at the cost of resolution, outputting a 2K resolution.

SN: What sort of boss fights can players expect from the game? Also, what is the difficulty curve for the game? Will players find combat challenging?

LI: In terms of boss fights you will find some variety, from engaging in close-quarter combat to some other more narrative-driven surreal fights that we hope will be very memorable. In terms of difficulty, we won’t sugarcoated Aztech Forgotten Gods is a complicated game, particularly because of its movement mechanics. However, once our players begin to master movement and maneuverability, we’re certain they’ll have a lot of fun with the boss fights. Players will find that remaining airborne and always moving is a requirement in most cases.

That said, Aztech does have an easy mode for those that might prefer to focus on the narrative aspects of the game instead of the combat and a hard mode for those with a little bit more experience that might enjoy the extra challenge.

It’s worth pointing out that difficulty settings in the game can be tweaked at any time and there is no penalty whatsoever for changing from one setting to another. There are no Achievement / Trophy associated with finishing the game on a specific difficulty.

SN: Did you guys consider bringing Aztech on Game Pass? As an indie developer, what are your thoughts Microsoft’s service. Do you think it can be good for games, specially indies?

LI: We think Game Pass is a fantastic service, and we commend Microsoft on putting together something like it, it crazy to think the amount of value in the service presently, as a consumer it is a great deal. As a developer, it is certainly something that we are keen on having a conversation on, however beyond that, there is not a lot that I can actually talk about in detail.

SN: On average, what is going to be a single playthrough length for Aztech? What about replayability factor? Does the game offer anything to the players to come back to it once they have beaten it?

LI: At this point, our estimates indicate that a single playthrough, focusing only on the main story, should take an average player around 7 hours to complete.

Should you want to go the completionist route, it might take the average player somewhere between 10 to 12 hours to get that 100%.

In terms of replayability, there is certainly some incentive to do a second playthrough, particularly for Achievement and Trophy hunters.

has halted regime changes, curbed demonic invasions, and averted at least one cosmic omnicide; all from the confines of his gaming chair.