Valdis Story is an action/exploration platformer with strong ties to the metroidvana genre. Thematically it is set in a world engulfed by a war between beings known as angels and daemons. Those are lead by the dark goddess Myrgatoand and her twin sister, Alagath the goddess of light. As angels and daemons are created by human souls, they are targeted by both forced for reinforcements and are vastly dwindling in numbers. The stage where the game unfolds is a submerged and frozen city, which can be explored by the player. As the player progresses in the game, more facets of the history of the city are unfolded and the story of the war between angels and daemons becomes more complex than first thought.
The player is represented by Wyatt, a warrior whose crew is fighting both the angels and the daemons to free humanity from their grasp. After a fierce sea-battle he and his crew get washed ashore in the titular Abyssal City. There he has to fight his way not only through angels and daemons, but feral monsters provide another thread. Not everybody in the city is an enemy, however. Several settlements of non-hostile NPCs can be discovered which, as tradition demands, require the help of the player.
As mentioned, the gameplay is in the veins of the metroidvana genre. Meaning the city in which the game is set becomes gradually more open and explorable as the skills of the player character develop. But not only angels, monsters and daemons are hindering the player, several timed puzzle challenges are part of the game design. Combat is a mix of sword-fighting and magic. Equipment and magic can be either daemonic, angelic or neutral and finding a balance (or purposefully abandoning it) is part of mastering the game. Additionally, the game has light RPG elements which represent itself in several stats and perks, which are increased via levels. Experience points are gained by killing enemies, making grinding part of the character development. In the cities the player can trade found collectibles for better armour, weapons or trinkets with (at first) unclear use. A further feature is that boss fights are rated after completion and the player is rewarded within the range of small XP bonuses up until full stat increases.