Ever since the excellent demo for New Blood's Thief-inspired stealth action game hit Steam two years ago, I've been waiting very patiently for it to become a full game that I can play. Thanks to a new Gloomwood trailer that just premiered at the PC Gaming Show 2022, I now know that wish will be (partially) granted in just a few months.
Gloomwood is coming out in early access on August 16. That is presumably the first chunk of Gloomwood levels, not the whole game. The reasonable part of me would like to wait to play it until the whole game is out, but considering it was my favorite E3 game of last year and continues to live rent-free in my noggin, I doubt I'll be able to resist.
Why are I and a bunch of other stealth fans psyched for this particular indie retro throwback? Because Gloomwood is the sort of first-person immersive sim that we just don't get enough of these days. Gloomwood comes from the Thief/Dishonored school of game design, so think rope arrows, snuffing out lights, stabbing baddies with a sharp blade, and resorting to a gun when things have to get loud.
If you're the type of person whose ears perk up when you hear the word "diegetic," then wait until you see Gloomwood's inventory. It's a literal briefcase that the player pulls out and sets on the ground or on tables in real-time complete with grid-based item sorting straight out of Resident Evil. Objects in your FOV can also be dragged and dropped in and out of the briefcase and become a physical item in the world. Rogers used the example of unloading a bullet from your revolver and tossing it as a sound distraction for enemies.
New since last year's five-minute gameplay video is the Undertaker pistol, a single-fire silenced gun that's used more as a tool than a weapon. In an update video from earlier this year, developer Dillon Rogers shows how it can be used to destroy light sources from a distance or quickly set off explosive barrels with fire ammo. There are also bear traps that remind me a lot of the ones from Hunt: Showdown, which is definitely a good sign.
Gloomwood isn't the only game New Blood shared an update for during the PC Gaming Show. Throwback FPS Dusk is getting an HD update with high-res models that, according to New Blood founder Dave Oshry, "nobody asked for." Fallen Aces, Ultrakill Act 2, Faith, and Amid Evil expansion The Black Labyrinth will all be out sometime this year.
As for the five new games that Oshry teased during last year's PC Gaming Show, including a car combat game and an old school Fallout-style RPG, they're still in the works, but Oshry is "still not ready to talk about" them. Fingers crossed for next year, then.