We saw a lot of games during E3—seriously, a lot of them—but one that went largely overlooked is the "2D cinematic combat-adventure" from 2 Ton Studios and Digital Uppercut called Unto the End. It's "a journey of loss and vengeance," as it's described on Steam, "told through unforgiving encounters, skillful combat, and stark moments of beauty."
Unto the End, "on the surface," is a tale of revenge about a father who was unable to protect his family from an attack by a "savage beast," designer Stephen Danton explained. "But that's just the setup. What we really want to shine is the narrative that only the player's actions can craft." To accomplish that, players will be able to sneak, hide, run away, intimidate, or "humble" opponents they encounter, "and carve a unique path through the game."
Unto the End is inspired by games like Punch-Out!!, Inside, Bushido Blade, and For Honor, and promises a "pure and rewarding single-player experience" built around "sword-based tactical combat with unique battles and multifaceted opponents." There will be obstacles like traps to overcome, and the environment itself will be an "ever-present challenge" as well.
"When we're out in nature there's this really interesting experience where, especially in this age of technology, you can focus on what's around you. Things slow down and you become super-aware of the trees, wind, ground underfoot, your breathing. It's a meditation of sorts," Danton said. "That's what we're trying to create with Unto the End. It's rather reductive in its design. No HUD, leveling, gold, skill trees, etc. ... They get in the way of the kind of experience we want to create."
I was initially taken by Unto the End's striking visual style, which conjures a sort of Another World meets Vikings ambiance, but the approach to design sounds awfully intriguing too. The combat is obviously going to be central to the experience, but if it works out then I suspect I'll enjoy the game even more for other reasons.
Unto the End is currently scheduled for release sometime in 2018. Find out more at 2tonstudios.com, and dig into some screens below.