With the likes of Ion Fury and Wrath: Aeon of Ruin, 3D Realms is doing a stellar job of keeping retro first-person shooter (FPS) gameplay alive in various ways. Next up, 3D Realms and co-publisher 1C Entertainment, along with developer Slipgate Ironworks, have announced Graven, a dark fantasy action adventure FPS that will be a “spiritual successor to Hexen 2.” It will launch for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC in 2021. Both a reveal trailer and an informative 10 minutes of gameplay have been released.
In Graven, you play as a disgraced priest of the Orthogonal Order who needs to “root out the heretics” in his brotherhood while also helping normal people trying to get by in a medieval world full of monsters. There will be more than 30 upgradeable weapons and spells, and spells will be used to solve environmental puzzles in addition to slaughtering beasts. The game world apparently comprises three “expansive, open-ended regions,” and the game supports both split-screen co-op and online four-player co-op.
Graven aims to combine lots of disparate gameplay elements into a cohesive whole, drawing from classic shooters, immersive sims, and action RPGs to create an enticing and unique world to explore. It sounds like there’s even a bit of Metroidvania-ness, since you can return to old areas with new abilities to discover new secrets and areas.
Frederik Schreiber, vice president of 3D Realms and Graven game director, believes that this game is the answer to, “What would a spiritual successor to a Dark Fantasy series such as Hexen have looked like if it was made in 1998 in the original Unreal engine?”
Indeed, 3D Realms, 1C Entertainment, and Slipgate Ironworks will not be pushing the technological limits of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with this release, and there’s little reason why this game can’t run as smoothly on Nintendo Switch as on those platforms. And that’s great — gameplay is king after all.
What do you think of Graven so far?