IGN is proud to exclusively reveal Darkborn, the debut game from developer The Outsiders. Previously codenamed Project Wight, Darkborn is a story-focused action game where you literally play a monster in a classic revenge story.
Though still in development in a pre-alpha state, Darkborn is a first-person mixture of stealth and action as you inhabit one of the titular creatures in a bid to visit vengeance on the Viking-like humans who inhabit the world.
“But it’s not traditional in that humans are murderous, cruel enemies bent on your extinction. You yourself are an innocent caught up in a much larger conflict between Powers, the specifics of which become clearer in the course of the game. It’s a classic revenge story, but also a mystery: what happened to the world and your people? Can they be saved?”
Darkborn’s inspirations are similarly varied. The idea was pulled together from twists on classic epic literature like John Gardner’s Grendel being the biggest influence on Goldfarb, pop-culture staples like King Kong and Bambi, and video games like Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of the Colossus.
“What if the Orcs [in Shadow of Mordor] were the good guys?” Goldfarb said. “What kind of lives did those great beasts [in Shadow of the Colossus] have before you came to murder them?”
At a scant 25 members, The Stockholm-based development studio has been working on Darkborn for nearly three years, albeit with a much smaller development team for half that time – the exception being some outsourced art, and the audio team Two Feathers which is responsible for the incredible, yet heart-wrenching crunches, cries, and whimpers of Darkborn’s opening minutes.
“Originally [The Outsiders] was founded to try to make the types of games we wanted to play that we felt no one else was making,” Goldfarb said. “Darkborn was the first of those games.”
Though there’s currently no release window, The Outsiders’ vision seems to be coming together nicely as Darkborn makes its way to an eventual PC release with the possibility of a home on consoles over the horizon.
“We hope people experience a new perspective,” Goldfarb said of his hopes Darkborn players. “We want them to want to help this lone creature succeed against seemingly impossible odds on their journey of knowledge and vengeance.”
So while there is a huge component of traditional power fantasy in the player’s own growth across the game, there’s also the ‘man this poor thing had it hard and it’s terrible what the humans did and I’m going to help’ element that propels the narrative and, we hope, player engagement.”
You can follow the development of Darkborn on the studio’s Twitter and Facebook page, or even contact them via email – the studio is eager to know what people think of its little monster!
Brandin Tyrrel is IGN’s Xbox Editor. You can find him on Unlocked, or chat over on Twitter at @BrandinTyrrel.
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