The Baba Yaga is a monster from Slavic legend, frequently depicted as a twisted crone and often (but not always) characterised as extremely wicked: According to one storey, quoted on Wikipedia, Baba Yaga assisted a man in finding his missing spouse, although she has a larger and more well-established reputation for things like snatching and devouring children, or—in a little more modern take—killing three men with a pencil.
In Blacktail, a future game in production at new company The Parasight, players will be able to become Baba Yaga—not the cool John Wick variety, but the malformed Eastern European version—in yet another take on the storey. This one is an origin narrative that recounts the experiences of Yaga, a shy young woman expelled from her community for practising witchcraft. She takes up a bow and uses mysterious abilities, guided by a sinister voice, to build the tale of the fearsome Baba Yaga.
However, the essence of that tale is in the hands of Yaga. Rather of snatching infants and boiling them in her cauldron, she’ll hunt out “living memories” in the woods, reborn as malevolent spirits that may assist her in unravelling the riddles of your past and destiny. But not without a cost: she’ll be compelled to make difficult decisions that will either lead to her becoming a beneficent guardian of the woods or the more notorious creature of nightmares.
There will be more to accomplish than just remembering Yaga’s previous existence. She’ll make arrows and potions, hunt game for sustenance, gather herbs, and discover secret riches and tidbits of Slavic folklore. Side missions will allow Yaga to further define herself and the world around her, as her affiliations, views, and capabilities will shift depending on the route she travels and the acts she makes.
It’s an ambitious yet intriguing premise, and though Blacktail is Parasight’s debut game, it’s not the first time the members of the studio have worked together, with several of them having previously worked on Layers of Fear and The Medium creator Bloober Team. It’ll be available on Steam this winter, and you can learn more about it at blacktail.game.