Hack-and-Slash games have always had a particular allure with their isometric vantage combined with unshackled combat. Yet a repetitive game loop combined with an inability to actually lose generally leaves me bored playing them. Accepting the genre isn’t exactly to my tastes; I generally take note of new releases, but it takes a special level of “that’s epic” to draw me into the genre and Wolcen’s launch trailer did just that.
Ultimately I cannot say this game will remedy every issue I’ve had with the genre. What is assuring is seeing combat that is more than spamming the few boring spells or abilities you’ve unlocked over and over again while living in a cycle of cast, cast, fall back slash run around, rinse and repeat. Here the moves are visceral, they’re gore-filled, and they possess an active element that is more than sitting back akin to the South Park WoW-guy with your maxed out strategy path to win the game.
Boasting of a mature story is great and the trailer sounds more mature than most games, but I can’t help shake the impression that I’ve done this before. Not exactly the same story, but it comes with the familiar mature RPG/JRPG arc of start as a young recruit, gain power, falsely accused of some crime, redemption arc, concluding with must save the world or stop the BBEG. Perhaps Wolcen isn’t wholeheartedly original yet at the very least it doesn’t sound boring or childishly simplistic.
Now if you’re reading through the new features I’m sure the “playable female character” has caught your attention. Unlike other woke endeavors aim to curry favor with a media that has zero rapport with actual consumers this was a stretch goal for their 2015 Kickstarter Campaign. Where the feature was advertised as a fully fleshed-out female character that a lot of campaigns during the time offered.
There is no wokeness behind this move, nor does the trailer show your sister as anything approaching a feminist intolerable insert. Rather she sounds competent with a sisterly bond with the male character, leading them to have concern and confidence in one another. A solid option for once that because the female character actually has emotional and positive connections to male characters will send the feminists into a fury over the game.
Tomorrow we’ll see how well the nearly 5 years in development game will turn out, but from the positive early access rating and the trailer, it almost looks like a surefire thing for hack and slash fans.
Upcoming Features: From Steam
The Wolcen Team is now working on the release of the game, planned for February 13, 2020. For the release, the game will contain the following features:
-3 Acts of an epic, immersive and fully voiced campaign
-Level Max 90
-40 skill each with 12 to 16 modifiers
-The ability to have several skills of the same type with different modifiers in endgame (Multiskill feature)
-75+ enemy meshes, in addition to skin modifications
-21 Subclasses in the Passive Skill Tree
-11 Armor Tiers, each tier including Mage, Rogue, Warrior, and Tank styles, each with unique implicits and Defense bonuses
-11 Weapons Tiers, each tier including 12 different weapons (1H & 2H Sword, Pistol, Shield, 1H & 2H Axe, Bow, Staff, 1H & 2H Hammer, Off-Hand Catalyst, Dagger)
-Playable female character
-A whole new endgame mode, unlocking new game features
-4 Apocalyptic forms with their dedicated skills, ultimates, and attacks
-New boss mechanics and boss modifiers
-Unique secondary areas to explore
-Customizable game rules thanks to more Area Alterations
-Game enabling Unique Items
-New item affixes
-Many weapon stances will have new and improved animations
-Armor skin transfer
-Refined Armor Tinting system
-Optional content and side quests
-New environments and several variants for each of them