Metroidvaniä! Iä! Cthulhu Fhtagn! Jotun Dev’s Sundered

After having players duff up frost giants and slide down the roots of Yggdrasil in their first game, Jotun, developers Thunder Lotus Games seem to be going possibly even bigger in their second. Today they announced Sundered [official site], set in a vast ruined world filled with “eldritch horrors” – things with too many wings, teeth, and tentacles. Some of them are flipping ginormous and all. See that wee speck about to be crushed underfoot in that picture ↑ up there? That’s you that is.

Thunder Lotus call Sundered a Metroidvania, meaning it’s set in a big ol’ world where gaining new powers will help you access new parts. It’s also got a touch of procedural generation in the world, meaning it’ll be generated fresh each time, and Thunder Lotus mention having “dynamic encounters against hordes of enemies”.

Something more unpredictable than your traditional Metroidvania could be a lark, and would fit with that whole “ruined world overrun by unspeakable horrors” idea.

Creative director William Dubé said in a post for those PlayChaps:

“Sundered is a game that builds on the strengths of Jotun: hand-drawn art, epic boss battles, and great immersion. However, we know Jotun was far from perfect. With Sundered, we’ve added more complex mechanics, tons of replayability, and meaningful choices. We’ve gone into a darker universe heavily inspired by Lovecraft’s writings.”

I hope that means more it’s inspired by the vast dead worlds of stories like The Rats in the Walls rather than meaning e.g. you get to biff Cthulhu in the chops.

Thunder Lotus plan to release Sundered on Windows, Mac, and Linux some time in 2017. Here’s the announcement trailer:

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  1. Author X says:

    Oh, dear. I’m not a huge fan of procedural level design (I skipped on the Jotun kickstarter specifically because of that, and they later nixed it anyway) but Metroidvania is one of my favorite genres and it so rarely gets the detailed hand-drawn animated look. The lovecraftian theme I could take or leave, but the designs in the trailer and screenshots look great.

    I’m convinced, now to sit on my hands until it’s released.

    • sabrage says:

      Is Jotun really procedurally generated? Seems like it’d be an exceptionally hard thing to achieve with the hand-drawn art.

      • thunderlotuswill says:

        We originally thought it would be when we were on Kickstarter in 2014, but quickly cut the feature. The art-style shouldn’t really stop you from making something procedural, since you still create individual assets.

  2. Baines says:

    rather than meaning e.g. you get to biff Cthulhu in the chops.

    Tentacle creatures at 0:24 in the video, including some of what looks like biffing.

  3. CurseYouAll says:

    Jotun for me is terribly overrated. I started the game, ran like headless chicken for 15 minutes among some forest, swung my ax twice, nothing happened, got bored to death and uninstalled the game.
    I can write a much more elaborate review of why I didn’t like the game but am too lazy to do so.

    • CurseYouAll says:

      Forgot to say that based on Jotun alone, I don’t have high expectations for this one. I fear it will be again all style and no substance.

      • thunderlotuswill says:

        Jotun was not a perfect game, but for Sundered, we’re taking everything that worked (art style, big bosses, immersion) and adding tons of gameplay depth, player choice and replayability. We’re definitely making a better game (trying to at least :P)

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      Jekadu says:

      Jotun doesn’t make a great first impression, but I fell in love with the game the moment I realized I could run between the legs of the first boss — or just inside the arc of its swing — to dodge.

      Haven’t had time to play beyond that, sadly.

  4. UncleSmoothie says:

    My slowest but most genuinely admiring clap for that headline.

  5. DantronLesotho says:

    I really liked Jotun even though I couldn’t beat the last boss and I love their style and also metroidvanias. I am definitely going to be looking forward to this.

  6. nailertn says:

    I’m used to not being able to make sense of RPS titles by now but this one takes the cake.

  7. Insidious Mental Pollution says:

    The title is a Lovecraftian reference, so it makes sense if you’ve read “The Call of Cthulhu”.

  8. unistrut says:

    I just finished Jotun so I’m happy to hear they’ve got another game in the works!

    At first I was a bit annoyed by the lack of popcorn enemies in the levels, but once I got used to the idea that the game was puzzle levels and then boss fights I was fine. The Fire Jotun is probably one of my favorite boss intros.

    I’ve heard some complaints that Jotun was too hard, but I managed it and I’m forty. I may also have been drinking.

  9. dethtoll says:

    Metroidvania AND Lovecraftian fantasy horror? Scooching my pants down halfway.

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