Little Devil Inside looked gorgeous in its debut trailer (opens in new tab), and made the enticing promise of a survival game where you'll periodically retreat to a safe, cosy city full of people. That was in 2015, and developer Neostream Interactive has kept a low profile since. Until this week, that is, when it released a video showing off what it's been working on this year, as well as details about how the game will actually work.
In an interview with Inven Global (opens in new tab), the team said that the game's main story will last about 20 hours, and the side content will take up a whopping 80 hours, all told. The main plot revolves around your quest to explore the world and study monsters for a university, which is based in a safe zone that you'll return to often in order to report your findings. You'll explore forest, sea, desert, and mountain landscapes, hunting for those monsters and solving side quests.
The game world is roughly the same size as Borderlands', and the various zones that make it up will be freely explorable. "You may venture freely, but they are not linked to each other," the team said in the interview.
It sounds like a real mashup of genres: if your characters die they're gone forever, but you can return to the spot they died with your next character and recover your gear. It will be "like The Sims" in that your characters will have basic needs you'll have to attend to, the developer said, which they'll flag up through their animations and with speech bubbles above their head. There's co-op play, RPG elements and a crew of heroes to recruit as well.
As to when it will be out, QA testing should begin in late 2018, with release not long after that. To facilitate that timeline it sounds like the scale of the project has been scaled back slightly: the team initially intended the game to contain 100 or so monsters for the player to study, but the final figure will be more like 10. "We want to make a game that has value to someone who remembers these monsters, even if there are only 10 rather than 100."
So, onto that video, which is at the top of this article. It shows our hero harvesting water from a cactus, chopping wood to build a fire in the middle of the dessert, diving for treasure, and battling bandits from the back of a donkey. The presentation is excellent and the animations are detailed, especially when your character is scrambling sideways down a sand dune.
It also shows off the combat. Up close you'll be rolling between enemies and slashing with your knife, while gun combat is auto-aim, but the game displays a percentage chance to hit your target based on the distance away from them and your respective speeds.
Overall, I've still got high hopes, and I'm eager to find out more. Quite how the developers will pull all these different ideas together, I'm not sure, but let's see how we go in 2018.