Hands up if you like it when there's magic and also a gun. Right, then, y'all get on over and check out Dark Envoy, a game with an hour and a half demo out now in the Steam Next Fest that's an ismoetric, real-time with slowdown and pause RPG with the interesting twist of being available both for single-player and online cooperative play.
The demo lets you play out two missions as a "party of relic hunters in a tale of destiny set in a conflict-torn world." Across the two missions you explore a variety of environments as one of four classes: ranger, adept, engineer, and warrior, and control two other characters as well. You also get to explore two side locations, tweak your skill trees and perks, and futz around with crafting and enchanting.
In addition, Dark Envoy has a few features you might not expect right off the bat. It'll let you vary the speed of play, either pausing or slowing down play. It also has an emphasis on changing and using terrain. Cover lets your ranged characters defend themselves, and abilities let you do things like raise stone walls. Certain spots on the battlefield also regenerate your health or mana, so controlling them is key to victory.
“Throughout Steam Next Fest we will be listening very closely to our community” said Event Horizon CEO Krzysztof Monkiewicz in a press release. “We are so excited to share the Dark Envoy Demo with Steam players and look forward to shaping the game with their feedback during this exciting stage of development, aiding us in our mission to invigorate the genre with more dynamic gameplay.”
For me, the coolest bit in the demo is that some of the spells are hand-drawn. You can make a path of electric zaps, for example, that follow your cursor as you draw them onto the battlefield.
You might recognize Event Horizon's style from their previous game, Tower of Time (opens in new tab), which launched into Early Access in mid-2017 before an early 2018 release. That pioneered some of the things you see in Dark Envoy, like the larger-scale combats that are more akin to a miniature RTS.
You can find out more about Dark Envoy on Event Horizon's website (opens in new tab). You can also find Dark Envoy on both GOG (opens in new tab) and Steam (opens in new tab). You can find Event Horizon's previous game, Tower of Time, on GOG (opens in new tab) and Steam (opens in new tab).