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Witchfire, let’s analyze the Summer Game Fest trailer of The Astronauts shooter

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Witchfire, let’s analyze the Summer Game Fest trailer of The Astronauts shooter
Written by aquitodovale

Reappearing during the Summer Game Fest, Witchfire confirmed its arrival in early access and showed some additional gameplay. Here is our analysis.

Presented with a trailer of rare cunning now some time ago, Witchfire has captured the attention of all fans of shooters for a reason as simple as it is significant: at the reins of the project are the exiles of the People Can Fly to which we owe Bulletstorm and Painkiller, so it is a practical certainty that we will find another shooter able to send adrenaline to a thousand.

Despite the veterans at work on the game, however, the new team (called The Astronauts) does not swim in money and the development of his child has progressed slowly over the years, fortunately told by an official blog in which programmers have put pen to paper much of the creation process.

After the new Witchfire Summer Game Fest trailer, we therefore did a good review of the information available on that site and analyzed the gameplay just revealed, to come up with a short but intense special. From what we have seen, the game could be a must have for lovers of run & gun … and roguelikes.

Give it to the witch, why is not important

Witchfire: Enemy attacks are quite phoned, but don’t underestimate them

Although it is quite common in video games of this type, it is appropriate to specify how Witchfire is not focused on storytelling. Indeed, more precisely, the game does not seem to have a classic narrative with cutscenes and a crystalline progression of the plot: the developers have specified that they want to focus on the gameplay, approaching the story in a way closer to what Miyazaki did in the Souls, or with information scattered throughout the game to be reconnected in order to better understand the narrative background of the whole. That doesn’t mean there’s no cure for that element anyway, and considering that the game is for all intents and purposes a roguelikea similar path seems more suited to the inevitable gameplay loop.

Yes, because Witchfire is, in fact, a game belonging to the sub-genre of rogue “lite”, therefore games where you start from the beginning once eliminated, but you maintain a basic progression that allows you to advance more easily at each death (unlike the “pure” genre that resets everything and is based only on the player’s skill). The focus of the developers was therefore to create a gameplay loop hilarious and sufficiently varied to allow you to face the fights in multiple ways.

Curiously, it seems that they even exaggerated with the freedom offered, so much so that during fairly recent playtests some of their friends (developers themselves) reached the advanced sections bypassing most of the tools that The Astronauts instead used almost constantly during their games. . The advantage of such a test was to get out of the tunnel vision that sometimes plagues the developers, and to understand that perhaps the rules governing the game in its current form were too relaxed to offer the desired progression, so things have been reworked. so as to be less ignorable.

Obviously they have not gone into details, but we suspect that what has been told is closely linked to the game system, which seems to offer not only a high mobility – complete with sudden shots, double jumps and slides – but even a magical elemental system, which from what we have seen is nothing short of necessary to exploit in order not to succumb to the hordes of opponents present in the title.

If you can’t defeat the witch, join her

Witchfire: the environments are very dark, but also rich in vegetation and details
Witchfire: the environments are very dark, but also rich in vegetation and details

It appears pretty clear almost immediately from the latest trailer as in the le game magic they are as important as firearms for the survival of the protagonist and the variety shown seems genuinely respectable. Electric explosions on enemy deaths can be seen damaging surrounding monsters, multiple homing fireballs, a summonable energy bell that stuns area enemies twice when hit by a bullet, a freeze wave particularly effective against large groups, and a whole host of other goodies that completely change the style of play once obtained.

On closer inspection, we believe that these spells correspond to the “build“classic of each roguelite: series of skills obtainable by eliminating whoever is in front of you or by passing the various paintings. Considering that at a certain point a rather evident floating crystal appears during the gameplay, we suspect that the obtaining of powers is random, with percentages specifics of drops during the action (and perhaps the safety of a drop during boss battles) Nothing revolutionary under the sun in short, yet it is nice to see such a range of possibilities available to the player.

Witchfire: A lot of work has been done on lighting the game
Witchfire: A lot of work has been done on lighting the game

Even the firearms present seem to be respectable, although at the moment they seem more classic than magic. It is plausible that The Astronauts have tried to counterbalance the might of the spells with simpler guns, although there are very effective options.

Finally, much of the work has been done on lighting and on clarity of the interface. There are arrows that indicate very well where the enemies are coming from, very useful for anticipating certain moves such as the charges of the swordsmen or the enhancement spells of some undead wizards. In addition, a lot of work has been done on lighting, to give everything a darker and more disturbing aspect, but also offer more evident visual clues and keep the action clear. The game obviously uses the Unreal Engine, and it looks very solid from a technical point of view, but being veterans we’re not particularly surprised by that.

Witchfire: the magical powers you will accompany rather classic firearms, but very powerful
Witchfire: the magical powers you will accompany rather classic firearms, but very powerful

Now all that remains is to wait for theearly access, still scheduled for the last quarter of 2022, and chosen because of the important improvements that can be obtained by listening to the feedback of its community. It seems that Hades was an inspiration in choosing this approach, and frankly for such a game it seems a very sensible solution. We can’t wait to try it out.



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