Draugen is a striking Nordic mystery with an unreliable narrator

Dreamfall Chapters developer Red Thread Games has revealed its latest project today. Draugen is a first-person ‘Fjord Noir’ mystery, set in a striking Norwegian coastal community during the 1920s. Slap your eyes on the accompanying teaser trailer. It’s enigmatic, but gosh is it pretty. 

It seems like the world can’t get enough of Nordic crime dramas, but this looks considerably more vibrant than the blue and morose stuff on the TV. Looks can be deceiving, however, and Red Thread promises that there’s darkness lurking beneath the surface. 

We’ll be playing a visitor to Norway, Edward, who is searching for his missing sister, accompanied by Lissie, his ward. Lissie is meant to be a “living, breathing, independent” companion, which is a big boast we’ve heard loads of times, though it always sounds good. We’ll be chatting to Lissie through a dynamic dialogue system, but that’s not on show yet.

One thing that leaps out is that Edward apparently becomes an increasingly unreliable narrator, which I’m always a sucker for; it’s a tragedy we don’t see it more in games. I just want every narrator to be Varric from Dragon Age 2. It’s not clear what makes him unreliable, though there’s mention of the setting transforming with Edward’s mental state. 

OK, speculation time! Draugr, which we can probably assume the title is in reference to, are basically Norse zombies, often, but not exclusively, related to the sea. They’re all over Skyrim. Red Thread Games founder Ragnar Tørnquist is no stranger to the undead monsters, either, as he was game director on The Secret World, which is filled to the brim with them. I doubt we’ll be hunting down Norwegian zombies, but an exploration of Norse mythology could be interesting. 

Draugen is due out in 2019.