Remember the crappy little starting town in Diablo 2? It’s a stop (opens in new tab), technically: some tents and wagons along the wall to keep the skeletons out. Now imagine that instead of a hero walking down the aisle fighting the devil, you are the mayor of that terrible place. More or less this is the scenario in Gord.
Managing a Slavic folklore-inspired dark fantasy city doesn’t seem simple or easy, mind you. From the look of the new Gord gameplay video embedded above, it’s a thankless job as running an ice age city in Frostpunk, and there’s a lot more to it: resource gathering, urban design, civilian management, and some RPG adventure and combat.
We mostly see the adventures in the new 16-minute gameplay video, in which Stan Just, a former Witcher 3 creator who is now CEO of Gord developer Covenant, walks us through a basic quest. The subjects of his town are obsessed with the poisoned eggs in the swamp, which prompts him to have a party in the mud to kill the “foulspawn”.
The common-sense quest is a bit lethargic, but perhaps the interesting part of Gord isn’t the monsters but the people. Your subjects have varying strengths (“fighting temperament,” “fierce”) and weaknesses (“discovery of incompetence,” “boiling blood”), as well as experiences in tasks such as mining, fighting, and food preparation. They can be gathered in parties, arranged in tactical formations, and clicked into out-of-town jungles to find treasure and fight monsters. In addition to physical damage and death, your subjects may experience psychological damage as a result of all the dark fantasy violence they deal with, particularly as they relate to someone who is involved in any goofy animal encounters. happens, causing injury. It can be difficult to keep the people of your city alive and at least somewhat rational.
Pauseable real-time combat, on the other hand, is “pretty straightforward,” as Just calls it. Characters attack automatically, and always use the best of their two attacks for the situation. Your main job, it seems, is to determine the best way to position your subjects, although you have direct control over the spellcasting.
Gord has 18 spells, and they come in utility, support, and offensive flavors. Support spells include “Focus,” “Haste,” “Rejuvenation,” while offensive spells include “Sap,” “Antangle,” “Infest,” and other insect and disease-themed spells—that familiar-looking one. Fantasy is RPG stuff.
Gord will include a campaign with “handmade” maps that tell a story, as well as a custom scenario mode, where world size and resource richness are customizable. The new video doesn’t spend much time on the town building aspect of Gord, and I’m interested in something more than just the thrill – perhaps that will be the subject of the next commentary video.
Covenant plans to release Gord next year. Back when Gord was announced, the studio also said it had another project, but we haven’t heard much about it. (It’s called “Project Perun,” according to the studio’s website.)