By Adam Smith on July 18th, 2014 at 10:00 am.
Darkwood is a shining light in the coming night. Leading ludotechnicians now agree that by the year 2018, every game will be either a roguelike Metroidvania, an Ubi-style open world murder simulator, or a survival-based endurance test in the style of Day Z. Acid Wizard’s first title straddles these genres, being described as “a top-down, open world surreal horror experience with a randomized world”, but it manages to look entirely different to anything else out there. A new trailer, with slight interactive elements, demonstrates the appeal of the unusual setting and its uncanny inhabitants.
I don’t even know what to say to you if you didn’t choose to run. Running is so in right now. I refuse to have a business-related breakfast with anyone who hasn’t done a casual 5k between lattes. There’s a time for fighting, sure, but running is where it’s at.
Darkwood is coming to Early Access on July 24th, a date so close that I can feel my fight or flight response kicking in already. There’s an Icepick Lodge level of oddity in some of Darkwood’s finer scenes, which knock down the props and window dressings of reality like a cowboy builder making short work of grandpa’s garden gnomes.
Just when I think I’m tired of crafting my way through the long dark nights of the soul, something like this reminds me that there are still new shapes to find in the dusty corners. Despite all of this uncharacteristic enthusiasm and optimism, I will say this – Darkwood looks like a very very dark game. To be expected, of course, but I hope that most playthroughs don’t become blind fumbles in the fury of the night.