Thunder Lotus Games, makers of hand drawn viking epic Jotun, are busy working on their new title, Sundered. You may have seen our previous coverage of the game that has so far only hinted at its core mechanics and shown off its beautiful animation in a short trailer. That all changed yesterday, as the developer announced a July 2017 release window for the game and opened up a brand new Kickstarter page which goes live from the 16th of January. As well as the release window, the preview version of the game’s Kickstarter page reveals a host of details about the game and how its various systems work. Read on with us for a rundown of what we know so far and why not do it while listening to the atmospheric track from the Sundered OST which we’ve included above.
We knew before today that Sundered would continue Thunder Lotus’ hand-drawn art tradition while trying to bring us a game that is a different beast to the studio’s debut, Jotun. Sundered has been described by the creators as a ‘replayable Metroidvania,’ blending a scripted story with multiple endings and a procedurally generated level layout. Now, thanks to the new information, we have a better idea of exactly how that will work. According to the developer; while the structure of the world through its three unique regions is set, the layout of the levels in each subsection is reshuffled each time your character dies. Adding to this layer of randomness, the monster spawns in each area are also generated at random based on factors like difficulty, location, and time, in a system which the developer has likened to Left 4 Dead. In a move inspired by the Roguelike genre, death will be frequent in Sundered. Each death will return you to the game’s hub which will allow you to customise and upgrade your character before taking another trip into those randomised levels.
The other key to Sundered’s design seems to be player choice. As hinted in previous material, the player will have choices to make throughout the game as to whether to harness the Eldritch power of defeated foes and sacrifice their humanity for greater abilities, or to resist the corruption of these artifacts. The new information reveals that there will be seven ‘major’ corruptible abilities including a wall run, gun, and shield, among others. Choosing whether to ‘corrupt’ these abilities will affect the story as well as the gameplay – the level of corruption that the player has reached will determine the final boss they face and thus the ending received. The page also reveals that protagonist Eshe is not the only one warring with light and dark, as there will be a non-player faction representing each side of the struggle too; the light-seeking ‘Valkyries’ and the mad, dark cultists, the ‘Eschaton.’
All these details and more can be found on the game’s Kickstarter page here. The page is a preview right now and goes live on the 16th of January. One thing to note about the campaign is Thunder Lotus’ comments regarding its objectives. Rather than seeking funding to complete the game, the campaign seems to be focused on polish, balance, and player feedback, and backers of a certain level will get access to the game’s alpha and beta test phases before release. While the developer is up-front about their objectives here, this is a position that is not always appreciated by the Kickstarter community – some of whom view the platform as a place that should be reserved for those who require funding to complete a project. It remains to be seen how this will be interpreted when the campaign goes live. No specific stretch-goals have been stated yet, though more information may become available once the campaign starts.
We’ll be bringing you more on this potential indie gem as it becomes available in the run-up to the July release, as the art style and Lovecraftian horror-vibe have already piqued our interest here at Pure PlayStation. Are you keeping Sundered on your radar? Plan to back the Kickstarter campaign? Let us know in the comments below.