Thunder Lotus Games, creators of the beautiful hand-drawn adventure Jotun and its PS4 iteration ‘Valhalla Edition’ which we reviewed here, announced their second game Sundered a few short months ago as we reported at the time. In a post on the PlayStation blog yesterday, the game got a brand new trailer as well as confirmation of a host of details on the gameplay, mechanics and story. Feast your eyes on the typically gorgeous trailer above and then read on for a breakdown of the details.
When we recently interviewed Thunder Lotus Games founder Will Dubé, one thing that came across clearly was the strong vision and design philosophy that was applied to his studio’s first game. That uncompromising vision looks like it’s set to continue with the developer’s next offering, Sundered. The game, set to come to PS4 and PC in 2017, once again utilises an enthralling hand-drawn art style while eschewing the Norse mythology theme in favour of a more Lovecraftian horror vibe. The game itself will be a Metroidvania-style platformer with procedurally generated levels. This fact caused some confusion when first announced with fans questioning how a procedurally generated game could fulfil the tenets of a Metroidvania, namely back-tracking and ability-based progression. Thunder Lotus have clarified this in their latest release, stating that while each room and the monster spawns within will be randomised with each death the overall structure, as well as the story beats, will remain fixed. They liken this to games like Diablo where maps may change but will always lead you to the same place.
The game will feature a ‘hub’ that players will return to upon their death which will allow them to upgrade aspects like their character’s health or critical hit chance before venturing out into the world again. This is achieved by spending ‘shards’ earned in-game. The second layer to this skill progression are perks which can be found in the world and equipped at the hub and grant gameplay-changing modifiers to the player. Further increasing the opportunity for customisation are ‘abilities’ which will be significant moves that increase your capacity for both exploration and combat. One of the key mechanics in the game, and the reason for the tagline ‘resist or embrace,’ is the presence of the ‘elder shards.’ Obtained for defeating bosses, these shards can be applied to your various abilities to ‘corrupt’ them – making them more powerful at the cost of your character’s humanity. The developer states that your decision to utilise these artefacts or not will have an effect both on gameplay and the direction and conclusion of your character’s story.
The trailer’s fast and fluid platforming gameplay, its art style, and the tantalising details so far revealed are all pointing to Sundered being a fantastic follow-up to Thunder Lotus’ impressive first title, though development still has some way to go just yet, you can check out the latest screenshots for the game below. For more information on the game or to sign up to Thunder Lotus’ mailing list, go to the game’s official website here. Sundered will release for PS4 and PC at an as yet undisclosed time in 2017. Like the way Sundered is shaping up? Let us know in the comments below.