Iron Danger puts a time-bending spin on RPG tactics

Cool dudettes don't look at explosions.

After a whole new generation of Infinity Engine-inspired RPGs (ala Pillars of Eternity), we’re familiar enough with the concept of real-time-with-pause combat, but upcoming tactical RPG Iron Danger looks to go one step further… or back, depending on how you look at it. How does the option to roll back time and undo all your mistakes sound? Welcome to Savescumming: The Game.

Set in a world based on Finnish mythology (specifically the 19th century epic, Kalevala), Iron Danger primarily puts you in the shoes of Kipuna, a regular young woman. Somehow, she’s gone and stumbled upon an ancient power which gives her control over time and death itself, as you do, and understandably there are forces out there who’d quite like to have that. Cue a magical cat-and-mouse journey across the land, with you almost always outnumbered, but never short on time. Here’s some early (and clearly unoptimised) pre-alpha gameplay footage:

Kipuna isn’t entirely alone on her journey – the trailer shows her partnering up with an enormous axeman, and there’s a third playable character in the works – but the focus of the game being time manipulation means that developers Action Squad Studios are going to have their work cut out for them coming up with combat encounters that leverage your ability to rewind time without being horribly frustrating. It’s a great concept on paper, but it’s going to require a lot of clever design to make it sing.

Oddly, it seems that Iron Danger might be a repurposed film property, heavily reworked. While the game we see above seems fairly swords-and-sorcery in nature, a proof-of-concept trailer for the film of the same name from 2015 features WW2 weaponry and giant mecha-bears. However, the link to the Iron Danger site in the trailer description now leads solely to the games’s page, although there is a tie-in comic series planned.

There’s no release date for the game itself, but the Iron Danger comic series is due to release its first chapter some time this year. In the meantime, you can follow development of it via the game’s site (which includes a newsletter to sign up for), as well as the developer’s Twitter feed.

16 Comments

Top comments

  1. Dominic Tarason says:

    Apparently the mecha-bears are still in the game.
    https://twitter.com/IronDangerWorld/status/994342775083724808

    I'm guessing you'll need more than a sword to fight those.
  1. Megarlin says:

    That big crystal on her chest has to be a pain when she is trying to sleep or do anything really

  2. pookie191 says:

    I highly recommend the proof of concept trailer.. It has mecha bears, heroes with chins that can cut diamonds and I have absolutely no idea what is going on

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      Apparently the mecha-bears are still in the game.
      link to twitter.com

      I’m guessing you’ll need more than a sword to fight those.

      • Lawlcopt0r says:

        Yes. Obviously you’ll need a magic phoenix shovel.

        I can’t believe the game and the trailer are connected, was this always supposed to be a live action trailer for the game or did they actually turn a movie project into a game project?

        • Dominic Tarason says:

          It was apparently meant to be a full film, and apparently made quite a bit of news in Finland.

          Given that three years later, the only evidence of its existence is the name, its logo and its mecha-bears existing in a game suggests that the film deal fell through.

  3. Someoldguy says:

    Looks cool, I hope they make a success of it. Being able to rewind and settle for the outcome you liked best really worked in Life is Strange, no reason why it couldn’t work here. More elegant than savescumming too.

  4. Chillicothe says:

    Let us cling together.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Yup, this. Tactics Ogre remake did it perfectly well. I’m sure the concept needs a fair amount of work to implement but 1) it’s been done 2) it’s clearly not some near-insurmountable wall.

  5. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Well finnish fantasy setting sounds great in my ear. Lots of unexplored terratory.
    “It’s a great concept on paper, but it’s going to require a lot of clever design to make it sing.”
    You’re quiet right here. I can imagine this might become a chore as noone really likes savescumming to proceed. Let’s hope.

    • klops says:

      Also, at least according to the trailer, the game’s setting is based as much to Finnish mythology as Clash of Clans is. The big fellow shouted “Perkele!” from time to time, though.

      Back to Unreal World.

  6. kud13 says:

    I really need to re-read Kalevala one of these days. I had to read a portion for my Grade 6 foreign lit class, and then I went out and read the whole thing. That was 20 years ago though.

    Game sounds interesting, yet another one to keep an eye on.

  7. Premium User Badge

    FhnuZoag says:

    My concern is that as happened in Shadwen, the result of this rewind mechanic is that gameplay gets focused on finessing tiny, random feeling changes in character movement and so on to find a slim possibility of survival. The result often failed to feel very satisfying then, and it might not there.

  8. bacon seeker says:

    Some of the Prince of Persia series had a similar mechanic which worked pretty well. You rarely saw a “game over” screen despite the fatal traps and falls, although you could run out of the rewinding resource.

  9. MikoSquiz says:

    What an odd translation-pun title. “Iron Danger” translates back into Finnish as “rautavaara”, which is a common surname meaning “iron hill”. (Specifically, a steep rocky hill – iron tor, maybe?)

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