Once a Skyrim mod, The Forgotten City's evolution into an entirely standalone game with its own setting has been an intriguing one. Now given a boost by an ex-FromSoftware artist, Modern Storyteller's Groundhog Day-esque adventure is looking fine. Set in a mythical, forgotten Roman city, a cadre of explorers are all dead because someone broke a law and unleashed an ancient curse. Fortunately, they've got you to help out, unglued in time and repeating the fateful day over and over again until you can crack the mystery and (hopefully) save everyone. Check out the new trailer below.
Very little exists of the original mod version in this new iteration. Gone is its kitbashed world of Dwemer architecture and machinery, replaced with a far more convincing, bespoke aesthetic. While some of the central themes and plot points will be repeated, Modern Storyteller are keen to reiterate that this is a whole new game, more inspired by the original mod than designed exactly in its image. From what little we see of the combat, using a revolver against golden-masked constructs is about as far from The Elder Scrolls as you can get. Shorn of its sandbox roots, it feels more like an immersive sim than an RPG now.
While I've never played the original, I plan on taking a look at the original prototype after playing the new version, just for curiosity's sake. I'm intrigued to see how well the new version handles a Majora's Mask-esque interwoven web of causes and effects and just how many endings it can lead to - branching narratives aren't easy. As an aside, it's been an interesting couple years for modders going pro, with 3D Realms assembling retro dream teams for the Quake-based Wrath and the Duke-inspired Ion Maiden. I'm always happy to see a talented crew of hobbyists go pro, and I'm excited to see how well the reimagining treats the mod.
While they're not yet ready to commit to a specific date, Modern Storyteller estimate that the game will be ready "late" this year. You can keep an eye on it via its Steam page here, or its official page here. Those lucky enough to be at PAX East week after next will be able to take the game for a spin on the show-floor.