Oh dear. All it takes is a screenshot of a rag-tag band of roguish heroes fighting Nazis out in some 1930s archaeological dig and I’m humming the sodding theme tune again. Pathway is the followup to XCOM-lite tactics game Halfway. Marsh Davies rather liked it in spite of its flaws back in 2014, so here’s hoping that developers Robotality (now being published under Chucklefish’s rapidly expanding indie umbrella) have taken a few notes over the past four years.
Rather than continue building on Halfway’s sci-fi setting, Robotality are going back to a simpler time, when adventurers were rugged, maps doubled as travel montage scenes and Nazis were frequently shot, stabbed, clobbered and/or exploded even before they went and kicked over Poland.
At first glance it looks pretty similar to Halfway so far, only with a potentially more interesting strategic layer. Glimpses of choices to be made out on the overworld map remind me a little bit of FTL. The overworld itself is apparently procedurally generated, although story events (and hopefully some combat encounters) are hand-crafted. As fun as infinite replay value may seem on paper, there’s a lot to be said for a carefully designed scenario.
As accessible as the combat looks in the footage so far, I do find myself wishing that someone would attempt to recreate the incredibly flexible combat engine from Jagged Alliance 2 (especially the post-fan-mod version) for a game like this. With a little bit of a modern UI cleanup, it could be the next big thing.
While there’s no release date pinned down for Pathway quite yet, they are shooting for a mid-2018 launch. You can check out the official site or wishlist the game on Steam here if you want to be kept posted, or just keep an eye on RPS, because it’s basically Indiana Jones as a strategy/tactics RPG, and that’s more than enough to hold our attention.