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Spooky throwback Elder Scrolls 'em up Dread Delusion leaves early access in May

Come bathe in the glare of this pixellated neutron star

Fighting a weird monster in a Dread Delusion screenshot.
Image credit: DreadXP

Dread Delusion is a creepo-tastic open world RPG that positively reeks of King's Field and the Elder Scrolls of yore. Created by Lovely Hellplace and published by horror anthology specialists DreadXP, it's so far up my alley it's probably been mugged by some kind of hideous clockwork cutthroat - and yet somehow, I've never played the thing. I'll be rectifying that on 14th May, when Dread Delusion leaves early access.

They've popped up a new trailer to celebrate. Find it below, after this smattering of official blurb: "Carve your own path through the flying continents of a shattered land. Discover curious towns, unearth occult secrets, master powerful magic - and change the world through your choices in a world inspired by genre classics of the 90s and early 2000s."

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The game supports such tried-and-true RPG gambits as lockpicking, alchemy, forging weapons, and being nice to people instead of murdering them. "A keen mind or charming wit can prove just as useful as a sword," the Steam page points out, a sentence I find reassuring inasmuch as it's a reverse way of stating that yes, you can still stab people with a sword if you are neither keen of intellect nor charming.

I also love the visual direction. "Morrowind in hell", Alice0 (RPS in peace) called the game back in 2021, drawing attention to the setting's circling neutron star, Warhammer 40K-ish props and "just some great colours". I'm going to play the Zelda card and say it looks like Majora's Mask with a dollop of Silent Hill.

The 1.0 version introduces a new realm called the Underlands, teased last year, where "an eternal storm rages under the blood-red sky". You can expect new towns, dungeons, quests and the ability to complete a playthrough, together with cursed enemies and "countless pages of dialogue and lore". There will also be airships. Airships you can upgrade. Squeee?

It all sounds very juicy, though I don't get the impression this is one of your mega-RPGs - it feels similar to the original Beyond Good & Evil in being grand yet pleasingly compressed. According to the Steam page, "about 70% of the side content is implemented" in the early access build, and the 1.0 version will add around 10-15 hours of stuff.

Like DreadXP's style, but not a fan of open world RPGs? They've made or published a bunch of games across various genres of horror, as discussed in an interview with Rebecca Jones (RPS in peace) back in 2022.

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