Drawing a fine line between cosmic science fiction and natural fantasy, Norse mythology can be considered one of the finer artistic settings for classic storytelling. The portrayed struggle between creatures and their environment parallels the rift between gods and their kindred creations. Ultimately, this all reflects back to humanity’s longing to understand their place in the universe as well as with one another. Revealed last week, ATONE is a dialog-driven puzzle/action game from Wildboy Studios with an original story based on Norse mythology.
From the title’s main site:
This 2D narrative adventure weaves a tale of fantasy and Norse mythology with stunning visuals and compelling story. Spread over four chapters, follow Estra’s story as she forges a path through this wild world on a journey to uncover the truth about her father’s death.
As they describe themselves, Wildboy Studios consists of “two New Zealanders and an Italian making a Norse mythology adventure game.” Co-founders Sid Bardiya (a daytime UI/UX designer), Patric Corletto (a daytime software engineer), and Ben Costeloe (illustrator/designer/animator) seem to have united quite well in creating this game’s wonderful aesthetic.
For their debut title, the small development team has collaborated with UK-based writer Rebecca Aston in order to create rich on-screen dialog that will guide the narrative. Additionally, the well-crafted Viking-infused electronica and analog-made sounds in the game come from Australian composer/sound designer Luminist.
To start, the artwork for ATONE is uniquely superb. The creative team’s take on Midgard’s design calls back perfectly to the natural fusion of a crude earth touched by an advanced cosmos. Following in suit, the game’s combat mechanics use modern influence in a classic setting. As seen below, classic RPG turn-based fighting is replaced with on-screen button prompts. The designers state that the flow of these encounters will go along rhythmically with each battle’s unique soundtrack.
Outside of combat, players guiding the main character Estra will have to utilize puzzle-solving to progress through the story. These challenges take a complete center stage and will require inner aptitude as the developers comment, “knowledge is a reward, not a gift.”
After presenting an inspired and well-fleshed trailer, the folks at Wildboy Studios aim to release ATONE in 2019 for PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.