Can a top-down game be terrifying? If you're an RTS player, you already know the answer. Breaching a fog-of-war with a small, exploratory force, only to run head-long into a 20-unit Mammoth Tank assault? Pant ruining, let me tell you.
Darkwood is hoping that the top-down view can also provide more atmospheric scares. The horror roguelike showed off its twisted, creeping dread through a couple of pre-alpha trailers released last year . Now, a new video is preparing players for an upcoming Early Access release.
The Darkwood Steam page is already live, and sporting a "Coming Soon!" designation. As usual, the Early Access description explains the scope of this impending initial release. "The current version of the game is very playable," write developers Acid Wizard Studios, "with most of the core features implemented, but a lot of stuff still to come. The game is divided into chapters, and currently you can play through the first one. We're still in development though, so there WILL be bugs, missing features, and a general lack of balance and polish." The developers go on to say that people shouldn't enter the Early Access version if they hate spoilers, bugs, or just want a finalised experience.
Those that do want to jump straight in will find a free-roaming survival horror that blends elements from RPGs, roguelikes and adventure games. Darkwood follows a day/night cycle, with players scavenging and trading by day, and barricading against unknown terrors by night.