Urtuk: The Desolation Previews Dark, Tactical Combat in First Demo
World of Urtuk

The name is quite telling; the tactical turn-based world of Urtuk : The Desolation is indeed extremely grim, said to unfurl in a world of pain, suffering and darkness.

The low-fantasy tag doesn’t mean it speaks of elves or dragons either. Rather giants, now extinct, whose Life Essence a few intellectuals have thought wise to infuse into the human body. You also definitely don’t need to be a bio-chemist to presume none of that’s ended well.

And for Urtuk at least, it dd not. Mutated, worsening and on the verge of death, the man’s assisted escape from an experimental Sanatorium compels him on a hunt for a cure alongside friend Eldric, and a party of adventurers that happen upon his quest.

This adventure is said to be portioned into open world exploration and combat. While progress is obviously being made with regards to the latter, the game’s world map based is still undergoing brainstorms. Initially static, Urtuk: The Desolation’s hand crafted worldmap was slated to contain fixed graphics, quests, paths and pacing.

A few months later, a procedurally generated world with distinct AI activities transpiring in real-time was considered. Meaning factions would battle with factions, possess individual personalities and personal goals regardless of player interaction.

Ambitious as that may have sounded and worked even though it might have, Mad Sheep Studios have deemed the idea too large in scope and have settled instead on a middle ground for now; a procedurally generated FTL-like with simpler world rules.

Combat game-play meanwhile subsists on a hex-like playground. Here a unit’s speed determines turn order, enemies can be thrown off cliffs/flung into the environment, counter-struck, and provided all of that works out well, a full ‘Focus’ bar can even turn the tide of battle.

These can not only be explored in theory, but tested for free on itch.io as a pre-alpha combat demo.

Breaking away from the action in the full game meanwhile will be random encounters with NPC’s that may be added to your growing band of travelers, events that may be handled via diplomacy/combat and permadeath should all party members perish.

RPG-like statistics and inventories for weapons will also be prominent inclusions to Urtuk: The Desolation’s dynamic world, although I still do wish Mad Sheep reconsiders the more complex open world concept with independent AI.

You may follow progress either way here, while Twitter provides for some interesting character class concepts in development.


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Computer engineer turned whimsical games content writer circa Christmas, 2014. I'm at highereg.com and do a lot more.

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