Posted by Evolve on May 22, 2018 | In: General News
Stoneshard is an open-world roguelike that blends grim medieval fantasy with modern ideas and it has just reached its Kickstarter campaign goal with more than 24 days to go. Taking inspiration from Diablo, ADOM, Darkest Dungeon, and The Banner Saga, Stoneshard is packed with immense tactical freedom, survival elements, and the inevitability of death.
You are thrust into a world of grim chaos, where it is up to you to shape the future of the Kingdom of Aldor. The politics of the world are ambiguous but revolve around a constant battle between good and evil. Upon surviving the reign of a tyrannical king, Aldor stands with temporary prominence and begins to recover from devastation brought upon by a power hungry leader. Players adopt the role of an ordinary mercenary who has witnessed the internal control brought upon by a full-scale war that has torn apart The Great Magistrate.
After a mysterious stranger approaches you with an offer that you find extremely difficult to refuse, your initial journey begins. In the hopes of restoring order to the world, you must assemble a caravan of followers and lead an epic adventure that spans across all of Aldor. You'll come across forces that clash with your mission and an overbearing about of fallacious accusations. In the end, you'll harbor the autonomy to either bring peace to the kingdom or plunge it into chaos, as you see fit throughout your findings.
In regards to combat, like most procedurally generated roguelikes, it's all about high-risk and high-reward tactical combat. Cautionary action must be paired with taking a swift approach to battle. Combat is best suited to one-on-one altercations, meaning large fights against hordes are not advised, and using multiple skills to adapt your tactics on the battlefield to match your surroundings will significantly increase your chances of emerging from battle victoriously. There are multiple damage types and varying outcomes to simple strikes that add a layer of depth and unpredictability to combat, meaning you must always be prepared for aloofness.
A stealth system is implemented to promote the ability to move through locations while remaining undetected by enemies, resulting in finishing them off with a single blow if you're careful enough. Taking advantage of your environment by putting out torches and other light sources will only increase this tactical advantage. In the wake of an ambush, be sure to annihilate your enemies swiftly and silently by monitoring the sound you produce as you tiptoe towards your target. Though, if melee and stealth combat isn't much your thing, rest assured as various schools of magic are present to aid in your arcane abilities. Between changing the flow of time or releasing area of effect spells, enemies can be dominated through physical turmoil of mindful corruption of all sorts.
Stoneshard's permadeath mechanic ensures that your beloved hero won't be able to come back to life after being slain. This doesn't insinuate that your game is over, though, as your caravan will find another worthy mercenary who will inherit your previous character's legacy. The journey may be resumed upon creating and building upon this new hero, with certain aspects of accumulated experience and plot progression remaining intact.
Your caravan is entirely customizable and resides in a transportable hub that takes the shape of a carriage that quickly moves alongside you as you traverse the global map. Use your resources wisely as they may improve the carriage and allocate the living spaces of your caravan to ensure your mercenaries are more comfortable. With enough care and attention, their meager carriage may be upgraded to a moving altar worthy of praise.
Each enemy you come across varies in abilities and traits, with vampires, ghosts, and skeletons being of the most prominent hazards. You'll often find them looming around the dungeons, caverns, or castles, all of which come with their own share of traps. Often filled with valuable loot, it's not likely you'll ever come across an item of worth without needing to tend to a gas leak or rock slide first. Most constructed traps can be disabled or altered to use against your enemies as ambushes. Various doors will need to be broken down in your escapes, so keeping a lockpick on hands may save you some trouble.
While no release date has been specified, Stoneshard is expected to be available on Steam sometime this year, with support on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The Kickstarter is still open for donations and rewards. If this seems interesting, be sure to check out the trailer below.