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Spiritfarer studio's next game is a 33-player roguelike based on MMO raids

Watch the announcement trailer for 33 Immortals

Hellish MMO action in a 33 Immortals screenshot.
Image credit: Thunder Lotus

MMO raids can be some of the most satisfying experiences in multiplayer gaming, so it's a shame that they're so often one of the last things you gain access to after a whole lot of time and grinding. That makes me very interested in 33 Immortals, the newly announced next game from Jotun and Spiritfarer studio Thunder Lotus. It's a 33-player cooperative action roguelikelike which they say offers "ultra-fast runs through a streamlined distillation of the MMO raid experience," with "pick-up and raid" matchmaking. Huh!

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33 Immortals will send 33 damned souls through hell to battle through hordes of baddies and mash giant bosses, fighting through randomised enemies and challenges to earn randomised rewards.

"Players optimize their builds to match their playstyle, mixing and matching weapons, perks, and persistent upgrades to steadily improve their rebellion's odds of withstanding the wrath of God," Thunder Lotus explain in a press release. "Above all, 33 Immortals actively encourages players to collaborate throughout the runs, to ensure that the largest and strongest group possible survives the enemy hordes, and prevails in the showstopping boss fights."

Hellish MMO action in a 33 Immortals screenshot.
While I've not read all the Divine Comedy myself, isn't Paradiso basically an extended lecture on character builds to enter Heaven? Sure, let's say so. | Image credit: Thunder Lotus

Thunder Lotus say Dante's Divine Comedy is an inspiration for this hell, and I see both three-headed Lucifer and Dante himself in screenshots. I have high hopes for a better time than EA's 2010 dive into the Divine Comedy with Dante's Inferno, where a sexy barechested demon Cleopatra orgasms as you plunge your sword deep into her guts. While Thunder Lotus are perhaps best known these days for cosy afterlife management sim Spiritfarer, they started out with Viking violence in Jotun then went Lovecraftian in the metroidvania Sundered.

Thunder Lotus plan to run a public beta this autumn (you can sign up on its site), then launch 33 Immortals into early access on the Epic Games Store and Game Pass in 2024. It'll also be on Xbox Xeris XS.

I do wonder how this "pick-up and raid" experience will work. Part of what I like about raiding is being part of an organised and practised team, a murdermachine that runs smoothly because you can trust everyone is doing their part, and with good communication so someone can leap into another spot to salvage the fight if disaster strikes. I probably would not expect that from a game putting a 33-player raid group together with matchmaking. Perhaps the experience will be closer to tackling big world events and world bosses with randos, which can have a huge range of awareness and ability but are still fun as you cut through hordes and mob bosses. Either way, I'm interested.

This streamlined take on MMO raiding reminds me of another NotE3 announcement, Stellaris Nexus. This Stellaris spin-off aims to distill the sprawling sci-fi strategy experience into a six-player game that wraps up inside an hour.

NotE3 and Summer Game Fest 2023 is over for another year. You can find out all the latest news by visiting our E3 2023 hub, or you can catch up with our round-up posts of everything that was announced at Summer Game Fest, the Xbox Games Showcase, the PC Gaming Show, Day Of The Devs, and our top highlights from the Wholesome Direct.

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