The Flame in the Flood [official site], out Feb 24th, is a wilderness survival game with a difference. Several differences, actually. First of all, it doesn't involve lots of first-person tree-punching and is more about isometric exploration than campfire crafting. And then there's the setting - you're in a drowned world, travelling by raft from one location to the next, searching for food, warmth and - just possibly - signs of life. Human life, that is. Because, as the trailer below shows, the wildlife is deadly.
These are terrible tips. The entire video is a stumbling from one disaster to the next and it ends with the player character reduced to a splatter of jam that would make Tom Savini frown.
The Flame in the Flood has been sailing through the wild river of Early Access for a while and it's close to the gentle banks of a full release. February 24th is the date for that 1.0 launch and the bears you see in the video above are one of the major recent additions. Snakes too, along with some UI tweaks and the addition of "quests and river caches" to provide added purpose to your perambulations.
Marsh and Alec have both taken a look, several months apart. The main takeaway from those articles is that Alec hates being stuck on a raft in the middle of a raging river, and Marsh enjoys the experience because he feels as if he is conquering the very waters. Both agreed that more direction was needed.
"A campaign mode is promised to come soon, and this may well provide the greater narrative purpose I feel the game is missing. Right now, the Early Access build is all about the endless mode – a roguelike score-attack in which you attempt to beat previous records of survival and distance travelled."
So said Marsh. I'm not sure how that campaign works just yet but we'll find out soon enough. One thing I do know - the brief time I've spent with The Flame in the Flood left me convinced it's one of the most attractive games I've played in a good while. The music, the water, the rooftop shelters. It's a gorgeous, broken world.