Dragon Age writer and game director, Mike Laidlaw, left BioWare in 2017 in order to seek out better pastures. Fast forward a few years, and it appears as if he is now working with Spanish independent studio, Gato Salvaje Studio, on a new title called Waylanders: a fantasy Role-playing game about time-travelling. UPDATE – 24/08/18: Laidlaw has confirmed that the title is not directly “from him”, but rather that he is “consulting” with the studio on the game.
Gato Salvaje just released a bit of pre-alpha footage from the game, as narrated by Mike Laidlaw. In the video, you can see that Waylanders features real-time combat with a tactical pause button, similar to games like Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age: Inquisition. It also shows how the game is played from a top-down view and features twelve changeable party formations that will let you experiment with combat tactics.
Waylanders will offer players an “engaging narrative” with “impactful character development, unique companion romance options, and a deeply technical combat system”. Laidlaw explains the game takes its inspiration from the Celtic mythological cycle, and will have a rich tapestry of history that deals with Ireland and the North Celtic region of Brigantia – otherwise known as Spain today.
The game is very much a fantasy game set in the medieval period. Laidlaw mentions it takes place when Christianity has “supplanted much of the Celtic history”, and how the “nearby city of Santiago has become a hub of commerce and religion”.
The video also showcases how the player character will be a custom-made character, from “a variety of races, backgrounds and classes”. It shows how the player character becomes “detached from the cycle of life and death” and how the character does not get reborn after they die. I am not entirely sure whether this hints toward a permadeath system or just a narrative convenience. Regardless of that fact, Laidlaw mentions that this will allow the player character to use “powerful magic” that will let them step between timelines.
Waylanders borrows heavily from BioWare titles like Dragon Age: Origins and Jade Empire. It features branching narratives, dialogue paths, and moral choices that will affect how others perceive you. Party members and companions will also be varied and will be composed from a various races and genders.
Waylanders honestly looks pretty cool. It seems to feature the same aesthetic that Blizzard games have adopted over the past decade or so, mixed with a little bit of surrealism and creative freedom.
The game is set to release on Microsoft Windows sometime in 2020.
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