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Daedalic's Blackguards is a 40-hour RPG for an adventure game audience

Daedalic Entertainment's role-playing game Blackguards is more than 40 hours long because the developer feels that's what its audience wants, according to PR director Claas Wolter.

Blackguards, set to launch this fall, will be Daedalic's first foray into role-playing games. The game incorporates the genre's more classic elements — having a gang of unique characters armed to the teeth with weapons and spells — with turn-based strategy elements. During combat, players move on a grid, clicking on the space they want to move to, then choose an attack to take down the enemy in front of them. Conversations occur in dialogue boxes that show the characters' face along with a chunk of text.

"There are still many old-school gamers, like us"

The title will launch with 190 battle maps — or combat scenarios — along with a lengthy main campaign and a slew of side missions, all totaling more than 40 hours of gameplay. Wolter said there is a still a market for old-school, long RPGs and Daedalic's community of fans, drawn to the company and its long-standing tradition of making adventure games, are used to the lengthy content.

"There are still many old-school gamers, like us, who are really into these games that have a lot of content," said Wolter. "Blackguards is very story-focused, and you never know what is really up — there's a lot to dig into."

"We wanted the best way to tell the story, and while adventure games are our passion, we're not limited to that"In Blackguards, players step into the shoes of a young man who witnesses a princess' death at the hands of a wolf, then is blamed and jailed for it. He escapes prison with the help of a snarky dwarf, and along his journey — the details of which Daedalic is not sharing just yet — he assembles a ragtag band of criminals to assist him along the way. Wolter said the game includes multiple plot twists, which trigger a handful of alternate endings depending on the route players take.

"You complete quests and new things open up," he said of the game's progression. "There's lots to unravel, lots of raw information to take in."

Wolter added that making an RPG is an extension of making an adventure game: both need a strong plot and characters in order to work. Blackguards is technically still a point-and-click game — like the company's Deponia action-adventure games — but it required a different application of the development team's skill set.

"A role-playing game is the logical evolution [from] an adventure game," Wolter said. "We wanted the best way to tell the story, and while adventure games are our passion, we're not limited to that. The team's experience applied well to making an RPG."

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