We don’t get enough immersive sims these days, so you can guarantee I’m going to shout it from the rafters when a new one appears and looks this wonderful. Gloomwood, a first-person stealth game developed by Dillon Rogers and David Szymanski, has been on my radar since its fantastic demo was released last year. Now that the game has returned to the PC Gaming Show, publisher More Blood Interactive has released five new minutes of gameplay, which you can (and should) watch above.
According to what I can gather, the film must be from the very beginning of the game, when the player is learning the fundamentals of stealth, combat, and inventories. And, boy, are those systems a sight to behold. The dirty polygonal adversaries and simple movements, as shown in the demo, truly stand out against the gloomy corridors and ominous noises. Gloomwood has a strong Bloodborne feeling about it.
As a huge fan of Dishonored and Prey 2017, I’m particularly fond of the diegetic stuff that resides within the character’s briefcase. You can drag and rotate objects around to create a room, but you can also drag them outside the case to set them in the environment. In the video, you can see the player doing this with the bottle he throws to distract a jail officer. The dragging technique appears to be a good compromise between a quick hotkey bar and the arduous job of actually digging things out of a suitcase. It’s rapid, but not hasty. You can keep a few items with you, such as your cane sword or pistol, but anything unnecessary takes some precaution to obtain.
Speaking about the revolver, the reload motion is slow and accurate, which I appreciate. According to the movie and last year’s playable demo, if a slight scratch evolves into a long brawl, you won’t get very far. The cane sword appears to be designed for stealth stabbing rather than slicing or fighting off a wave of blades in the Dishonored style. There’s also a double-barreled shotgun that appears to be a lot of fun to reload.
Gloomwood strikes me like the kind of game where a message may inform me which man to stab to gain the key I need, or where a lever may open a sewer grate that eliminates that danger entirely. That’s all I really need to be excited about a game—I really love the genre—but what’s pushing me over the edge are all the cool features shown in today’s trailer.
Gloomwood has yet to be released, although the demo is available at any time.