We explore the detailed leveling and upgrade system of Supergiant Games' upcoming Summer of Arcade release.

In case our early previews here and here haven't made it abundantly clear, we're more than a little excited for Supergiant Games' upcoming debut. Bastion has a remarkable visual style, fun action/RPG gameplay, mesmerizing music, and an intriguing continuous in-game narration system that is incredibly engaging.

As we zero in on the game's final release as part of this year's Summer of Arcade, we thought it might be a good time to highlight some of the lesser known role-playing elements of the game. Specifically, how will players level up and upgrade their character and equipment as they play through the story?

Bastion has a number of concepts that support a sense of progression and growth as you play. Each of these different components affects the play experience and interact with one another, and you've got complete control over where you prioritize your capabilities.

Bastion's upgrade system is mostly governed from the hub location of the Bastion itself, a floating island that grows and changes throughout the game in response to your explorations beyond its borders. After most levels, players are able to upgrade some aspect of the Bastion, initially by adding new buildings. Each building has its own role, and you can choose which ones you build first.

One of the most important of these structures is the Distillery. Here, you'll build up a collection of tonics and drinks that are continually active on your character. However, you can only have a number of these potions active at one time equal to your experience level. Like most role-playing games, experience is primarily acquired through the killing of monsters out in the field. As each level passes, you'll have more slots to fill, and you'll get the expected bonus in maximum health. The drinks themselves vary widely in their application. Some offer additional maximum health, others reduce damage from falling, and others still might increase your critical strike chance.

Next up: Building a better weapon