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Independent developers Cultic Games fired over a press release today announcing development of Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones, a new Lovecraftian RPG that promises "a mix of rich role-playing and turn based tactical combat in an authentic 2D graphical style reminiscent of book illustrations." The team is obviously inspired by Lovecraft, but also such classics as Fallout and Planescape: Torment, so this one might deserve a spot on your follow list as it creeps forward toward release:
The gameplay experience promises a mix of rich role-playing and turn based tactical combat in an authentic 2D graphical style reminiscent of book illustrations. In Stygian, players create their characters from scratch with a robust selection of archetypal backgrounds with different origin stories, attributes, skills, traits and lastly; Belief systems which determine how characters replenish their lost sanity while also presenting unique dialog choices.
The narrative of the game is strongly connected to the works of H. P. Lovecraft. In your quest, you'll use the haunted violin of Erich Zann to lure a fiendish deity and convince the poor wretched protagonist of "The Outsider" to join your party among many others. The heavy burden of fighting a desperate battle with forces beyond recognition will haunt you to the end of the game.
Physical combat will be scarce and difficult, spellcasting will have deep and dangerous consequences, sanity loss will leave its marks on characters as mental illnesses and sometimes the best solution will be running away from the terrors that lurk in the night. Stygian embraces the original themes of gothic, pulp and weird fiction, incorporating them into the computer roleplaying genre, promising a fresh (or putrid from another perspective) breath of air for roleplaying fans. You can find some screenshots and info below.
Stygian is being crafted by designers who have grown up reading Lovecraft and playing Planescape: Torment, first Fallout titles, Heroes of Might and Magic and the likes.
'¢ A hand drawn 2D world which reflects the mood of Lovecraft and the pulp era of horror.
'¢ Quests and storylines which capture the iconic themes of Lovecraft. Take part in your favorite horror stories and shape their outcome according to your role-playing style.
'¢ Weirdest of companions will accompany you in your accursed journey. Lonely antediluvian of "The Outsider", a dead WW1 soldier reanimated in the hands of "Herbert West", a psychic narcissistic cat from Ulthar and many more will be among your eccentric cast of companions.
'¢ Sanity and the mental state of the character will have influence on the dialog options. Mental conditions create benefits as well as hindrances. Sometimes being mad in a mad world helps!
'¢ Belief Systems determine what the characters find comfort in and regenerate lost sanity alongside providing unique role-playing opportunities. A rational character gains sanity after completing a research on a mythos creature while a divine believer gains sanity after converting a lost soul to the path of God.
'¢ A unique spell system which sometimes takes more than what it gives. The black magic of Stygian is very potent but will cost you your mind, health and sometimes your very soul. Being a master of the true occult is not like flinging colorful missiles from your finger tips.
'¢ Turn based strategic combat in beautiful 2D with "Heroes of Might and Magic" like perspective.
'¢ 7 different backgrounds with completely unique prologue stories and specialities to breathe life into the Lovecraftian archetypes.
'¢ The struggle is not for saving the world, that battle is lost already. Track your personal goal for salvation or vendetta in a doomed world.