Action-adventure Graven tasks you—disgraced priest, unjustly exiled—with rooting out evil and corruption in its gothic medieval world by destroying eldritch terrors. The tools at your disposal? Righteous anger (aided by magic, naturally), but also wrist-mounted crossbows, flails, and an explosive peat launcher, with more weapons to come.
Andy Chalk played an early stretch of Graven last year, and liked the strategic use of magic in the Hexen-inspired game, while otherwise taking apart enemies with a big sword and an auto-firing crossbow. Lead designer David Queener promised that later points in the game will allow players to use spells to solve puzzles—using lightning spells to magnetize igneous rocks—that could then pull away enemy projectiles and suspend open gates. At the time Andy played it, he found Graven set him up for one main job: “to shoot, whack and hack a whole lot of creepy monsters.”
From the trailer, it definitely looks set up to deliver creepiness, with blood-spattered stones and fog-drenched statues. Check it out below:
While in Early Access, players will explore the first of three areas, the ominously named Cruxfirth, a plague-addled swamptown. Multiple updates through the year should add additional content, including new areas and “hidden secrets.” Splitscreen co-op and online multiplayer for up to four players is planned for further down the line, but until then, you can ravage some eldritch horrors as a solo quest.
Developer Slipgate Ironworks previously worked on Wrath: Aeon of Ruin, in keeping with their evident fondness for older first-person games. In his preview, Rick Lane described it as “the Quake successor we never truly got”, and now with Graven we get “Hexen 3—kind of.”