Tucked away in one side of the Business Hall at gamescom this year, Devolver set up shop with a tasty selection box of new games that they’re helping devs bring out into the wild. You may recognise the name alongside games such as Hotline Miami and The Talos Principle. Next to what can only be described as a high-school aviary orgy (Hi there Mediatonic and Hatoful Boyfriend) sat the two devs that make up Eneme Entertainment- a London-based studio that is currently working on a lovely wee game called Eitr.
First off, here’s the trailer:
Eitr is a dungeon crawler set amongst the tales of Norse mythology, drawn together in a beautiful-yet-dark pixelated style with a bad-ass lassie front and centre. Or as the devs put it:
The Shield Maiden, as with all mortal Norsemen, was to have her fate determined by the three fate-weaving Norns and their sacred loom before she even entered the world. However, her destiny was shattered when the mischievous god Loki interfered, dripping spots of the wretched substance Eitr into the unwoven loom, forever altering the Shield Maiden’s path and engulfing the great tree Yggdrasil in darkness. Now the Shield Maiden must venture into the nine Norse worlds connected by Yggdrasil and unravel the mystery of her fate.
After watching the trailer, you’d be forgiven if you saw some similarities with the death-a-thon that is Demon’s Souls and the like. The game played very much like that, but in a map view that’s more akin to fellow dungeon-crawlers like Diablo. In Eitr, the combat is as difficult as its inspiration holds dear. Timing is key for dodging and parrying attacks, whilst the bosses are as challenging as they can get.
Take for example the boss that I faced during the gamescom demo. It was a deathly figure similar to the Grim Reaper, whose Area-of-Effect attacks were forewarned by black marks in a dark room. Care was then necessary to identify when and where the attacks take place. The devs kindly informed me before I reached the boss that nobody managed to defeat it during the show.
I also failed in defeating it, but I got it down to 20% of its health. Not bad.
It’s strange, because I suck really badly at the Souls games. Like, a lot.
The fact that I was able to pick up the controls in Eitr fairly quickly and almost down a tough boss says something about the game’s combat design. It also made it insanely fun to play. I found myself carefully and strategically executing moves in my attempts to wipe that boss. Sadly, it was all for naught.
Eitr looks set to be released sometime in 2016 for PS4 and PC. Keep an eye out for this one folks. It looks set to melt your eyeballs with Norse fire.