Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Watchlist: Shadwen

Title: Shadwen
Developer: Frozenbyte
Platforms: PC
In development
Shadwen is a true stealth game where the only rule is to remain unseen
Frozenbyte is well known for its colorful charming Trine series, but their next game looks like quite a departure. Trading 2D platforming for 3D stealth, Shadwen combines sneaky backstabbing and physics-based maneuverability for an enjoyable new entry in the genre.

As the titular assassin, your quest to kill the king is interrupted by a chance encounter with young innocent Lily. Now you must protect her as you work your way through the city. In many ways, the gameplay is what you might expect: careful crouching behind cover, brutal backstabs, distractions, and evading guards. But where Shadwen stands apart is your agility and grappling hook.
Unravel your hemp tether and the world becomes your stealthy playground. Grapple to the rafters and drop down behind guards to attack from unseen angles. Deftly swing overhead to avoid patrols. Topple over boxes and other items to create distant distractions or crush enemies from afar. The addition of the grapple imbues the stealth gameplay with a fluid, aggressive pace.

In the current pre-alpha demo, you only have a dagger at your side, but later you'll gain access to more diverse tools like poison traps, spike devices, and smoke bombs. But the more powerful tool is your arsenal is that Shadwen is actually a tactical game in disguise, that feels reminscent of the "time moves when you move" FPS SuperHOT. Whenever you stop moving, time freezes, allowing you to assure the situations, decide if and where to fire your grapple hook. You can even rewind, reversing a fatal mistake or trying a new tactic. Combine the fast-paced nature of the movement and the strategic real-time-with-pause gameplay. and you have a stealth game with the freedom to try different tactics and adapt on the fly.
Shadwen is relatively early in development. You can find more information about the game here.

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