Eneme Entertainment developers Tobi Harper and David Wright are very into Vikings. Not just in the sense of actual vikings, but more specifically, the historical TV drama. If there's any doubt, look no further than their upcoming isometric role-playing game, Eitr.
The Norse mythology-heavy game is heading to PC and PlayStation 4 and follows a shield maiden as she fights to save the great tree of Yggdrasil. Players will travel through the nine worlds of Norse myth and fight some seriously tough bad guys. The story behind Eitr's creation isn't necessarily a long one, but it does begin with a TV show recommendation.
"Ever watch the TV show Vikings?" Harper asked. "We loved it. We were prototyping [the game], and David was like you need to watch this show. I watched all of it ... Literally, the Vikings TV show gave us the concept."
Eitr's shield maiden has a tough journey ahead of her. The game has been likened to franchises like Dark Souls and Diablo, and for good reason. Enemies are unrelenting in battle, and bosses are monumental challenges to tackle. Harper and Wright expect players to die "all the time," but that's part of the appeal.
"We like games that are hard," Harper said. "We want a game that challenges us and is a challenge that's worth playing. We get bored — we have short attention spans. If it bores me within the first five minutes, there's a good chance I'll turn it off. But if it challenges me, even if I didn't like, I'd still give it a go because I'd like to be persistent. We're hardcore gamers, and we don't like simple games."
When you die in Eitr, there's a consequence. The game has a roulette system that could help you with an extra buff, though it's more likely to break a weapon or cast a debuff. Perhaps the biggest thing you stand to lose, however, is "favor," on which the game's leveling system is built on.
Favor is earned by killing enemies, exploring and so forth and can either be used to upgrade your stats permanently. Or, you can gamble and simply hold it for an extra boost. If you die with favor on-hand and not spent, however, you lose it.
"we don't like simple games."
"Somebody who is the best combination you can have is somebody who's level one and they have 99 favor," Harper explained, "because they are actually stronger than somebody who is permanently level 99."
It's a risky system that aims to reward those bold enough to bank on their skill alone. Based on my own deaths in the game, players who choose to take this route have their work cut out for them.