Bedlam: A Fallouty Roguelike Using Banner Saga’s Engine

There are now two games called Bedlam. My guess is that, fairly soon, there will be only one game called Bedlam, given one (an FPS) is currently for sale on Early Access and another has only just begun its Kickstarter dance. I post about the latter now, not because of ‘haha silly them for not using Google’, but because it’s using the engine from the visually magnificent Banner Saga to render its deserts, desert bandits and and desert buses.

Of course, the engine is only part of what made The Banner Saga look so good. Evocative, careful and characterful art was perhaps the major element. Bedlam’s taking more of a mid-90s comic approach, which perhaps isn’t quite as striking, but there is some lovely stuff in the short clips they’ve shared so far.

It’s turn-based, squad-based combat, borrowing DNA from the likes of Fallout and X-COM, but the twist is that Bruce Willis was dead all along it’s set on wheels, in an Oregon Trail sort of way. You and your crew are travelling the wasteland in a Dozer, which looks like a bit like that thing the Jawas keep their kidnapped droids in, and you’ll need to keep them and it in good health during your trek through all sorts of hazards. Permadeath is in, you have finite passengers in your desert deathbus, and the Dozer itself is only able to suffer so much damage, so choose/fight/drive wisely.

The Dozer can be upgraded, with randomly-found and -bought weapons and add-on facilities, in what sounds a little like FTL. It can then help out your guys during the combat. Basically, Bedlam sounds like a cauldron of good ideas from other games, paired with an appealingly cartoonish take on post-apocalyptic style. This is pushing a bunch of my buttons, though as with any crowdfundy, clearly I’m not endorsing it until I’ve been able to play it.

Pitch video, as per tradition:

Skyshine Games, The folk behind it aren’t speculative newbs – we’ve got the former art director from Vigil (the Darksiders dev), a lead programmer who’s worked on a raft of arcade games and the composer from Gears of War. With a Kickstarter target of $130,000, they are going to have to do a whole lot of dancing to pull this off, however. They’re $21k into it at the time of writing, which isn’t bad for a first day’s work.

I do predict a hurried name-change soon, however. It’s just not good business to have two identically-titled games out there. Hopefully any change will be by mutual agreement, rather than anyone pulling a Langdell.

36 Comments

  1. JB says:

    2 Bedlams! That’d explain it. I was watching the KS video for this, waiting for Rab’s dulcet tones!

    This does look pretty lovely though.

  2. Jalan says:

    Center character looks like Peter Quill after he stole Cobra Commander’s outfit, give or take some alterations.

    • Philopoemen says:

      I thought I was looking at an old Marvel GI Joe comic, and i have no issue with that

      • somnolentsurfer says:

        I didn’t read comics before Kieron Gillen, but I get a strong Beneath a Steal Sky vibe from it. Not as outright beautiful as The Banner Saga, but certainly an art style there’s not been enough of lately.

    • Chaz says:

      I was thinking it had a Bad Company vibe from the classic 2000AD strip. That grunt with the mini gun is a dead ringer for Kano.

  3. Raymond Saint says:

    Would play MMO like this (instead of Wakfu).

  4. Optimaximal says:

    There are actually THREE PC games called Bedlam.

  5. Skeletor68 says:

    I backed this about two hours ago after a heads up from Stoic. It sounds like fantastic fun so fingers crossed.

  6. somnolentsurfer says:

    He’s in the business of extending life, and his name is Rasputin Lazarus? My word, that is fortuitous.

  7. melnificent says:

    Looks great. But kickstarter/early access burns aren’t healing so I’ll pick it up day one of full release… unless it’s a space base v1.0

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I’m more tempted by this than any Kickstarter for quite a while. But I’ll probably still wait for the end to see if they need my money.

    • Hex says:

      Wasteland 2 (which I’m currently hip deep in) is making me feel pretty warm and fuzzy towards Kickstarter games, at the moment.

      Still. “Rasputin Lazarus” is pretty 6th-grade level material. I get it that it’s over-the-top 90s-comic action, but…I’m not sure if I can handle anything that heavy handed….

      • somnolentsurfer says:

        Yeah, and some of the English ‘utilized’ in their marketing material doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. But FTL meets The Banner Saga in a Wasteland (the comic) world sounds to good to pass up.

  8. pund says:

    Looks awesome.

  9. scut says:

    Okay, THIS is the sort of thing I was hoping for when I backed Wasteland 2. A strong narrative AND a strong visual identity. The only thing that would have made this more attractive would have been if they’d built the adventure portion in the style of King of Dragon Pass.

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      clweeks says:

      Yes!

    • eggy toast says:

      They are very dissimilar games and all I can really think is how did you think the idea they wanted to do was going to be this.

      • Enkinan says:

        I’m completely baffled as well. I think non-Wasteland 1 players may have not quite realized what to expect. WL2 has done a great job in bringing the feel of WL1, just prettier.

        • Hanban says:

          As a sequel to Wasteland, Wasteland 2 is pretty much the sequelest. I got exactly what I wanted, so I’m happy.

          • Hex says:

            No experience with Wasteland, so even though I didn’t know exactly what I should expect or hope for Wasteland 2 is close to being perfect. Can’t get enough of it.

  10. YogSo says:

    Hey! >:-( What’s up with the gratuitous unrelated movie spoiler? I hadn’t watched Die Hard 5 yet!

  11. roguewombat says:

    I almost backed it, but he said irregardless.

    • Hex says:

      Seriously.

      Get someone proficient in the use of the English language involved, and we’ll talk.

  12. Hensler says:

    I dunno… hopefully the final game has better battlefield maps than in that GIF up there. The “standing in open, trading shots” type of thing never makes a lot of sense, especially when there are no muskets around – it sort of worked with swords and bows in Banner Saga, but looks strange here. Let’s get some cover and obstacles on the map! Or maybe it’s just me, since I’ve been playing a ton of Company of Heroes games lately.

    • goatee21 says:

      Same here. I never can get into that kind of battle, why? Cause it’s ridiculous. Obstacles and such will certainly help but larger turned based fields like say wasteland or fallout would be awesome.

  13. raiders5000 says:

    You know, I always wanted to play Heavy Metal. 1 & 2000.

  14. manio22 says:

    Looks nice although it may hold me back the “adventure” part (not really my thing) .

    Guys what about Graywalkers : Purgatory ? Dreamlords Digital making a second attempt for this project and it looks quite interesting .

    Here is the link
    link to kickstarter.com

  15. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    The style is strangely reminiscent of GI Joe… they even have a huge, impratical vehicle.

    But looks great. I didn’t care much for The Banner Saga because I don’t care much about swordy dudes, but I like shooty dudes. I just, er, hope in the final game confrontations don’t happen while two opposing groups are shooting each other from the sides of a kill corridor completely devoid of cover.