Witchfire, we discover a roguelite shooter with dark tones

Witchfire, we discover a roguelite shooter with dark tones


The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was a strange and fascinating game. On the one hand, it winked at the Walking Simulator, proposing itself as an important narrative experience, on the other hand it did not give up the adventure elements, proposing simple puzzles and an investigation system that has made school for some elements. What will remain of that experience in The Astronauts' next project, his development studio? Let's find out the news revealed in a long post recently published on the official page of this still mysterious game, of which we have collected the essential information in order to discover Witchfire: it is a first-person shooter with role-playing elements that could hide more of what it seems.

Some unpublished details

Some landscapes are disturbing Armed with strange weapons and pagan magic, the protagonist (or the protagonists ... who knows) must go hunting for a witch who holds the key to her safety. Officially the church does not allow anyone to experiment with witchfire, or devil's breath. The only ones who can use it are those prisoners who have committed unforgivable sins, who are given the choice of either dying or becoming a preyer, i.e. a witch hunter who must restock his witchfire to stay alive.

The developers present Witchfire as a dark roguelite shooter and refer to their previous works, developed under People Can Fly, to allow us to better frame it in terms of action dynamism: Painkiller and Bulletstorm. Now things start coming back.

As for the roguelite elements, we speak in general of progress that will be maintained in subsequent games in the event of death, but it is not specified what they will be and what they will be linked to. Considering that the early access version will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2022 (the final release date will be announced when it is 100% certain), there is still time to develop these points, which are apparently not yet final. Be that as it may, the development team's reference models are some of the most successful roguelites of recent years: Hades, Dead Cells and Risk of Rain 2. We'll see what they will be imitated in and if Witchfire also has some original elements to propose.


Another game landscape Speaking of crafting, the hype surrounding Witchfire, as well as the fame built up with The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, has allowed The Astronauts to collaborate with some talented Polish developers and artists, such as graphic designers Marcin Klicki, Paweł Jaruga and Marek Kaplita, who have dealt with creatures and weapons. The contributions, however, were also others. Too bad that the post is not described and will be postponed to future updates to find out more. It is actually the whole text that is very vague and full of chatter. Evidently the purpose of having published it was not so much to tell the game, but to update the community on the latest news that could be disclosed, while trying to rekindle the general hype.

Be that as it may, some statements make it clear that vagueness is well thought out, since we are talking about keeping secret many characteristics and many mysteries to be discovered during the game. It must also be said that we are talking about a development team of nine people, so some compromise in terms of communication is more than justifiable. Better that, as stated, the group focuses 100% on development right now, given the deadline not too far away.

Various details

Witchfire seems to be very nice graphically, despite the team reduced The update text closes with a long session of questions and answers, from which some interesting elements emerge. For example it is stated that in Witchfire there will be no NFTs and there will be no references to metaverses. Speaking of game mechanics, it seems that the team is experimenting with a soulslike checkpoint system, which however does not seem to work well given the increased speed of the action. So he might be opting for something else unspecified, but which should help create some tension. The absence of a cooperative mode is also confirmed, at least at the launch in early access, because it would make the game too easy and because the development team is very small and cannot deal with too many extra features.

So when Witchfire is released it will be a pure single player experience, easily playable offline. In terms of the game structure we talk about a refuge from which to venture into a world full of enemies and other dangers. The refuge is the only safe area. The inventory will be unlimited and limited at the same time, much to the delight of serial collectors of items. The spells and weapons will be improved through a dedicated, unspecified system. Also in the future there may be a bestiary, but for now this is a feature considered secondary to the crafting.

Witchfire's enemies looks creepy Speaking of gameplay, The Astronauts gave some fairly generic answers about the combat system. , speaking of the presence of an elemental system for magic and the absence of RNG for weapons, which as mentioned will be improved through a process that will require dedication and skill. In terms of the length of the experience there was no mention of duration, except in a very general way: "we are trying to make the game long and replayable enough to satisfy modern gamers."

Beyond to this, the mythology of the game will be very curated, to ensure that it is an experience as engaging as possible. The difficulty level will be unique, but there will be elements designed to make life difficult for hardcore players, complete with a wink to speedrunners. As mentioned in the game there will be secrets, but not easter eggs, because the developers do not love them very much and consider them something that breaks the immersion.

Close encounters with enemies On a technical level, Witchfire could take advantage of technologies such as Nvidia's RTX / DLSS and those of other hardware manufacturers. Currently everything is being tested, so for sure there is nothing. Confirmed support for 21: 9 format, moreover used by some of the developers. The graphics engine will remain Unreal Engine 4, as UE5 is not yet ripe for the production of finished games, as it is currently in beta. Graphically, The Astronauts has produced all original assets, exploiting in particular the photogrammetry techniques learned during the development of Ethan Carter.

From what we have been able to see and read, Witchfire appears to be an extremely fast shooter and ruthless, which in some ways seems to call a lot Painkiller. Between insane weapons and the use of magic, there seems to be enough to appeal to fans of the genre. However, despite the length of the last update, the information released is not very much and the questions surrounding the title are still almost all hanging. Regardless, there are sure to be updates in the future too, before launching in Early Access, so there's time to learn more.


The game looks technically sound well done, especially since there are nine developers Many promises DOUBT Many points still unclear Have you noticed any errors?

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