Renowned Explorers was one of my favorite experiences at PAX East. Abbey Games is based in the Netherlands, like a few other teams that I got to meet there, and their game was causing quite a buzz. The booth was colorful, exciting, and the developers pulled me right in before I even mentioned I was media.
The game is heavily based around exploring and storytelling, which is great because a lot of the other games I played were nonstop action. This game; however, was more about the characters and the story.
That game takes place in the 19th century, a huge time of discovery and exploration for the whole world. You’ll travel all over the world to different countries and continents, meeting and befriending (and possibly killing) people from all over the world. The characters that you befriend will sometimes join you, and soon you could have a team of scholars, adventurers, and fighters from all over the globe. My team in the demo consisted of a wrestler, a scientist skilled with potions, and a sage, each with special skills. On top of their skills, each skill comes with a mood that it inflicts, and can be powered up if your character is in a certain mood. The moods I saw were normal, happy, aggressive, and terrified, and can affect your characters in all different ways, which is a cool new mechanic I’ve never seen before!
There are all different kinds of situations that you can get your team into when you’re exploring the world map, from simply finding some supplies, stumbling upon ancient ruins or a cave, or coming across a group of enemies.
The thing that makes all of these situations really cool is that you always have a character that’s good for each situation, – even more so depending on how you develop their skills. When you come across villagers, you’ll want to use your smart, educated character to talk to them and possibly get supplies from them, while they may just get mad and start a fight if you use your brute force character, because they are too stupid to reason. There are also characters that are better suited for exploring – they’re lithe, agile, and good at maneuvering through caves and whatnot.
This is a game that looks totally fresh and new compared to everything else I’ve seen lately, and it looks like an experience that will take up tons of time, but it a really good way. I’m looking forward to sinking days into Renowned Explorers when it finally comes out fully. You should definitely check it out!
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