A new action-RPG inspired by Dark Messiah of Might and Magic looks almost too good to be true, and some people are worried it's The Day Before all over again

Alkahest - Official Announce Trailer - YouTube Alkahest - Official Announce Trailer - YouTube
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There are two kinds of gamers in the world: Those who think Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is a brilliant immersive sim that laid the foundation for the genius of Arkane's later work on Dishonored and Prey, and those who haven't played it yet. So when a game claims to draw inspiration from Dark Messiah, I—as someone who played and loved it—immediately want to know more. Alkahest is one such game, and it's attracting some real curiosity, but also a little bit of doubt.

"Alkahest is an action-adventure RPG set in a murky medieval world, where satisfying melee combat with highly interactive environments takes center stage," the newly-revealed Steam page says. "Explore realistic locations, learn alchemy and make a name for your family."

Nothing too remarkable there as far as videogames go, but it's the trailer that's attracting attention. The Dark Messiah vibes are definitely on point, but it's a little too good—too sharp, too smooth, too pre-rendered—and that's led some people to dismiss it as somehow "fake." It's even drawn a few comparisons to The Day Before, the zombie survival game that looked brilliant when we first saw it, but that ultimately delivered one of the most spectacular train wrecks in recent history.

Developer Push On said on the Alkahest Discord that the trailer "conveys the feeling of the game well," but also acknowledged that while in-game assets were used in the video, "some of the camera angles and animations have been crafted specifically for the trailer, for the sake of spectacle."

That doesn't sound unreasonable to me. Game trailers, especially announcement videos, are meant to grab attention, and this one certainly has. You probably won't be surprised to hear that I watch a lot of game trailers, and my only real complaint about this one is that it's not as explicit as it could be about what it is: An up-front "not actual gameplay" somewhere would at least help calm concerns that the developers are trying to put one over on people.

That said, there's definitely excitement for what Alkahest promises. Push On also cites Dishonored and Kingdom Come: Deliverance as inspirations, but at this stage it's the Dark Messiah fans coming out in force.

(Image credit: Reddit)

HansChrst1 has it right: It's all about the kicks, baby.

(Image credit: Reddit)
Dark Messiah Kickthrough - YouTube Dark Messiah Kickthrough - YouTube
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I also find it encouraging that the developers don't appear to be over-promising on what Alkahest will deliver: Rather than a "bloated map and dull filler quests," Push On is aiming for "a highly interactive and believable world with semi open-world locations, packed with secrets and adventure."

"The trailer is a pre-rendered sequence on the game engine, aimed to show key mechanics and interactions that players will experience in the game," Push On told PC Gamer. "All assets are in-game, but camera angles and some animations have been crafted specifically for the trailer. We plan to show raw gameplay footage later down the road."

Push On currently has 42 people working on Alkahest, which has been in development since 2023. There's no sign of a release target at this point, but a member of the dev team said closed playtests are coming "a few months from now."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.