Horrible things are going to happen to your villagers in Gord

They're calling Gord a "strategy adventure" game, and I can't disagree with that label: There are narrative prompts and quest expeditions, and you'll gather resources and manage a town. They're also calling Gord "grim," and I can't find fault in that, either. It reminds me a little of Frostpunk, but without the punk and with giant spiders, child sacrifices, and some other very bad stuff. One guy gets swarmed by bugs (locusts?), and another guy's arm appears to spontaneously snap. Pretty grim!

Revealed today, Gord is the first game from a new studio founded by former CD Projekt Red producer Stan Just. It's based in Slavic folklore, and cycles between town building and questing, with procedurally generated activities for your populace to take care of out in the wilderness. In the vein of Darkest Dungeon (and many games before it), your people can be afflicted with both temporary and permanent psychological wounds. If the going gets too tough, they won't make it.

Maybe they'll just get eaten by the giant bear in the trailer above. "Side quests and random encounters will send you off into the wilderness to hunt down legendary creatures, uncover secrets about the Ancients, or vanquish a nasty scourge," says the developer.

An aspect of Gord that's particularly attractive to me is that scenarios will be customizable: "Choose from a variety of primary objectives, select the level size, the intensity of raids, the environment you'll play in, the types of enemies you'll face, starting resources, and even the severity of the weather." 

I don't know that I've ever started a game of Civilization without customizing something about it, and I like how granular the thinking is here. Hopefully the "AI-driven quest system" is capable of surprising, and doesn't feel gimmicky.

There's a light combat system for the adventure bits, which the studio says should be "relatively easy to use" but still "gratifying." Along with spears, bows, and axes, there'll be spellcasting, but the details beyond that are thin.

Custom scenarios will take one-to-four hours to play through, while the main story campaign is a 10-to-20 hour deal, says the dev. And it's singleplayer only.

The studio is called Covenant, by the way, and has "another multiplatform title that has not yet been revealed." Looks like that project is codenamed Project Perun for now, but there's nothing else about it on the official website.

As for Gord, it's got 10 full-time employees working on it, and the plan is to release sometime next year. Covenant is "strongly considering" Early Access, but hasn't made a final decision on that yet. It's got a page on the Steam store if you're interested enough to wishlist it.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.