Action-adventure Graven instructs you (dishonored priest, unjustly exiled) to root evil and corruption in his medieval Gothic world by destroying the eldritch terrors. The tools at your disposal? Just anger (aided by magic, of course), but also crossbows mounted on the wrist, leaves and an explosive peat launcher, with more weapons to come.
Andy Chalk played a first stretch of Graven last year, and I liked the strategic use of magic in the Hexen-inspired game, while otherwise eliminating enemies with a large sword and an automatic crossbow. Lead designer David Queener promised that later points in the game would allow players to use spells to solve puzzles (use lightning to magnetize igneous rocks) that could drive away enemy projectiles and suspend open doors. When Andy played it, he found that Graven was preparing him for a main job: "shooting, hitting, and hacking a bunch of creepy monsters."
From the trailer, it definitely looks ready to provide awesome, with blood-stained stones and fog-soaked statues. Watch it below:
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UBWaTDvtug (/ embed)
While in Early Access, players will explore the first of three areas, the ominously named Cruxfirth, a swamp full of pests. The various updates of the year should add additional content, including new areas and "hidden secrets". Splitscreen co-op and online multiplayer for up to four players are expected to continue further down, but until then you can wipe out some eldritch horrors as a solo mission.
Developer Slipgate Ironworks had previously worked on Wrath: Aeon of Ruin, according to his fondness for older first-person games. In his preview, Rick Lane described it as "The successor to the earthquake we never got", and now with Graven we get it "Hexen 3, kind of."