Groundbreaking and highly-polished downloadable titles are nothing new to the PC crowd, but the past few years have seen the genre explode on home consoles. Vancouver-based development studio Klei Entertainment gained attention in the market with the release of the hand-animated Shank, but garnered critical acclaim with last year’s Mark of the Ninja.
Eager to prove that their best work lies ahead, Klei has revealed their next project: a turned-based, isometric espionage game dubbed Incognita. The game is only entering Alpha at this point, but the developers are granting pre-orders access to early builds of the game as soon as they’re available.
It’s a safe bet that gamers who tried their hand at Mark of the Ninja would be ready to play Klei’s next offering regardless of its emphasis on stealth, but the announcement trailer possess the kind of artistic design, music, and brief glimpses of gameplay to attract plenty of newcomers. Incognita certainly isn’t going to be the only source of hand-drawn, isometric gameplay in the indie space, but what’s being shown so far is more than promising.
Besides giving a tease of gameplay, the trailer gives Klei’s fans a look at their new cast: Felicity Fahey, a Canadian ‘Cyborg Psychic’ specializing in electronics, Ahrun Boot, a British sniper (and student of TV’s MacGyver), and Heff Ree, an Italian specialist in stealth. The dates given in each operative’s file imply the game could be set in the 1970s or 1980s; we can only imagine how that might color the design.
The official release is still a long way off, with a message on the team’s official forum explaining that fans are being let in on the project early – before the game has even been completely designed, in fact:
We’re excited to announce that Incognita has entered Alpha! Alpha means that we have most of the core tactical espionage mechanics in the game, but we are still in the early stages of development and many major features are still being implemented and aren’t in the Alpha build yet.
The current Alpha build has most of our core tactical and strategic systems, as well as our engine, UI, procedural generation and so on, but is missing some major progression systems and missing most of our content, which will be developed as we get further along in the process. We do have a timeline for some of these features, so we’ll share that with you when we can.
Artistic panache aside, it’s nice to see that small development studios are realizing that when done right, a turn-based, isometric action game can more than contend with AAA titles. Firaxis Games more than proved it with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and Bastion developer Supergiant Games has designed their follow-up Transistor around turn-based gameplay as well. Those are only two examples from literally dozens, but with Klei’s proven skills in bringing detailed art to elegant stealth mechanics, we’re already looking forward to how they’ll flesh out Incognita.
What caught your attention from this first look? The look at gameplay, or the overall design? Will you be pre-ordering the game this far out from release, or be waiting until more details are provided?
Prospective buyers can purchase access to the Incognita Alpha through Klei directly, bringing with it future builds and Beta access as well. For full information, head over to the game’s official site here.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: Klei Entertainment