Out of the blue, Event Horizon Games has announced Dark Envoy, a “non-linear RPG” with tactical combat and a gothic steampunk feel. The cryptic trailer nonetheless gives us a glimpse of the character designs and cosmic environment, informed by a narrative co-written with Michael Chatfield, renowned for his works in the literary RPG genre. Citing influence from the Divinity series, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect, Dark Envoy will unfold as isometric, cooperative RPG with an open world that cannot be fully explored within a single playthrough. It additionally comes equipped with 15 character classes, whose skill trees can be mixed to further diversify your character. Though we have not seen the game in action yet, gameplay stills forecast an atmospheric, detailed world design paired with intricate turn-based combat that will yield plenty of replay value.
Orbiting around the battle between Dark Technology and Magic, Dark Envoy will place a lot of power in the player’s hand, to change the narrative and carve out their own identity. Character designs mix elements of the old west, high fantasy, and retro-skewed science fiction that appears to transcend its influences. We have been especially lacking in quality steampunk games recently, excepting city-builder Frostpunk and zombie RTS They Are Billions. Dark Envoy should satisfy urges for a more action-oriented steampunk game, given the recent absence of the Bioshock franchise and the false start that was The Order: 1886. Event Horizon Games also met success just last year with the kindred spirit Tower of Time, an expansive dungeon crawler that put the studio’s approach to tactical RPGs on the map.
Dark Envoy is on track for release in the latter half of 2020, for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 with the possibility of additional ports down the line. With the pedigree Event Horizon Games has already carved out for themselves, along with promised contributions from Michael Chatfield, and an obvious attention paid to environmental detail, Dark Envoy looks enticing to say the least.
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