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Draugen departs to unravel nordic mysteries next month

Be different: Fjord for the pines

Scenic Norwegian mystery Draugen might have missed its original 2015 release date a tad, but judging by today's story trailer, it hasn't suffered for its extra development time. Now due out next month, Red Thread Games and writer Ragnar Tørnquist (The Longest Journey, The Secret World) are ready to show a little more of their 1920s investigative adventure. Amusingly described by the developers as "Fjord Noir", players control Edward Harden, a bookish, nervous sort searching for his missing sister with the help of his young ward, Lissie. See how the two get along in the new video below.

Murder, mystery, suicide and some lovely landscapes await. So far, nothing of the game has been shown aside from abandoned, unnerving structures, the only human life being yourself and Lissie. There's big talk of dynamic dialogue and a context-sensitive interface guiding the player's interactions with her, and given that it looks lonely out there in the fjords, I'm hoping that she's easy to get along with. Or at least not getting stuck on edges. Or disturbingly teleporting behind the player wherever they go. There's a lot that can go wrong with a free-roaming buddy character.

Cover image for YouTube video

The game's logo does imply that something supernatural may be afoot. The year would definitely be right for a Lovecraft-inspired adventure, though I'm hoping that if things get weird, it's more intriguing than yet another clan of fish-people. Red Thread also mention that players will have to deal with Edward's own "worsening mental state", saying that he has lived a life of "self-imposed isolation". Exactly the kind of fragile protagonist that can easily crack under stress. Having enjoyed Tornquist's writing in the past, I'm eager to see just how he breaks, and where the parts land.

Draugen is set to launch in May, though Red Thread Games are still vague on the exact date. You can find it here on Steam and its official page here.

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Dominic Tarason