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Griftlands is Klei’s new cartoonish sci-fi swashbuckler

30 pieces of space silver

Judging by the survivalist Don’t Starve and subterranean piss manager Oxygen Not Included, Klei are very good at drawing cartoony things and then secretly planting loads of quite-good cogs and switches behind it all. It looks like they’re trying for another good ‘un. Griftlands [official site] has been announced at E3. It’s a sci-fi RPG “where everything is negotiable: money, loyalty—even morality”, says the developer. But you can see what it looks like down here.

Cover image for YouTube video

While that looks gorgeous, it’s still hard to tell what exactly is “game” and what is just pretty moving pictures. I’m guessing the running along roads and between houses as tiny figures is gamebit, and it looks like there’ll be plenty of dialogue choices and weird alien people to take money from as you betray your mates and hand in trophies for cash.

But apart from that, I’m not sure. Is it a turn-based fighter (the screen above certainly makes it feel that way)? Is it a Banner Saga in space? Are the characters and story pre-designed and largely unchangeable? Or are these people customisable player creations who get into bespoke scrapes according to some rando-generation? Like many announcements, we still know sweet foxtrot alpha about The Actual Thing. But we are told it’s expected “Late 2017 / Early 2018.” So, there’s that.

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Brendan Caldwell avatar

Brendan Caldwell

Former Features Editor

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.