New Blood Interactive's dank Thieflike Gloomwood (opens in new tab)has received its final update of the year, slipping several new features into the game's pocket like a cutpurse who's taken one too many blackjacks to the head.
The headline addition is a new level, the tavern, as no immersive sim is complete without a good drinking hole. By the looks of it, Gloomwood's establishment certainly has the "hole" part covered, what with all the bloody corpses scattered around. They aren't there as a misguided attempt at decoration either, as according to New Blood the tavern contains "the deadliest foe you've yet to encounter". The blighter's also got the key to the place, meaning you'll need to take this opponent down, or find subtler ways to get the key off it.
Other new additions include an easier difficulty mode named "Crescent Moon", intended for those "who want a more relaxed/exploratory experience." This mode increases the number of resources, while reducing both the number and effectiveness of enemies on the map.
Yet perhaps the most significant new feature the update adds is a quicksave function. One of the biggest complaints about Gloomwood's Early Access launch was the haphazard nature of its checkpoint-save system. In some areas, like the fishery, the combination of set save points (which take the form of gramophones) and an open-ended level with tons of unlockable shortcuts worked great. It was less effective in the larger, more linear countryside area where death could cost you a fat chunk of progress.
New Blood's response to these complaints isn't quite as simple as just chucking in quicksave. Officially, Gloomwood's quicksave can only be used in the Crescent Moon difficulty. But the devs admit that you can activate quicksave for harder difficulties "in the user.ini by setting AllowQuicksave 1" before adding "You filth". Obviously a joke, but it nonetheless seems like a slightly grudging addition on New Blood's part.
The final feature added by the update is a brace of new animations for the game's Huntsmen, the base enemy you fight and/or evade as you explore. According to New Blood, these have been "reworked to better capture their sickly, menacing nature". And, well, you can see the results for yourselves below:
That fearsome charge attack is new to the game too, by the way.
You can read the full patch notes at the bottom of the page, which includes a bunch of tweaks and bugfixes alongside the bigger additions. New Blood sign off with a tantalising hint of what's to come next year. "We'll see you all in the Market District in 2023". Sounds like we'll sneaking our way past Gloomwood's city walls in the not-too-distant future.