In the recent Realms Deep online event, the studio promised a much deeper experience. They noted that that “Graven is Hexen 3—kind of.” They say that the game is what Hexen 3 will be if they had today’s technology in 1998.
Hexen is among the games back in the day that received a ton of love from the community. It was a DOOM clone, using much of DOOM’s gameplay at the time. Even then, it was much different from the classic title in a lot of areas.
Hexen was fantasy-based, allowing players to roleplay different roles. The game allowed for a variety of builds and was a fun FPS title. While it’s not as famous as DOOM, it paved the path for a variety of titles.
Before The Elder Scrolls and eventually, Skyrim came out, Hexen was the prototype. It was the premier FPS title for fantasy geeks out there. 3D Realms’ Graven is its newest iteration.
According to 3D Realms head honcho Frederik Schreiber, their new game is an “action-adventure puzzler, with a few RPG elements here and there.” The game has quests, spells, and classic upgrades.
Players take on the role of a fallen priest, convicted of a crime they have no knowledge of. The heretical death sentence gets a quick interruption from a divine being. The player character then wakes up to a city where they can start their adventure.
Graven feels like a melange of a few classic fantasy games. It has the setting of Skyrim, melded with the environments of Thief 2, and the plot of Dishonored. The blocky, overly dramatic visual design has a lot of World of Warcraft feel to it.
The trailer for the game shows that stories and quests are only a second priority. The priority is always to kill, burn, and barrel towards a legion of enemies. The creepy monsters are there to be fodder to the player’s magic missiles.
“[Spells] do deal some type of damage, but if you only want to deal damage, using weapons is better,” Schreiber said in an interview. “For instance, you can use the Enflame spell to melt stuff, you can use the Discharge spell to electrify or stun things and so on—and then switch over to a sword and kill them while they’re stunned.”
Spells also have emergent value in the world. They allow for easier interaction around the overworld, activating portals and gates too.
Graven is coming out next year. The title will be another fun throwback into a genre from way back.
Featured image courtesy of 3D Realms/YouTube Screenshot
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