A game that has been in development for the best part of the last two decades, ‘Elysian Shadows’ is an homage to old school games of the Sega Dreamcast era. The game is supposedly inspired by older 2D game design philosophies, which is just as well since all the delays and production issues have only served to enhance the retro appeal of the long-awaited crowdfunding success story.
Will ‘Elysian Shadows’ release anytime soon, or is it doomed to be stuck in development purgatory for years to come? Read on to find out everything we know about the ambitious upcoming open-world RPG by indie developer Elysian Shadows Team.
Elysian Shadows Gameplay: What to Expect?
‘Elysian Shadows’ is an indie Role Playing Game (RPG) presented from a 2D/3D hybrid perspective that seeks to recreate the charm of the 16 bit RPGs of old. However, the game also seeks to iterate and improve the classic formula with a slew of modern features and quality of life improvements, truly bringing the 16-bit art form into the modern era.
The setting of ‘Elysian Shadows’ is a world trapped amidst the throngs of magic and technology. The people who profess to be loyal followers of The Creator are blessed with magical capabilities, while the nonreligious rely on cutting edge technology in order to keep up. Naturally, this leads to considerable tensions and a foreboding sense of impending conflict. Our protagonist Julien and his allies discover an enigmatic ancient artifact in a historical ruin. The artifact guards the age-old mystery of an ancient civilization that might be the key to preserving the world as it is now.
The world of ‘Elysian Shadows’ is a multifarious open world with numerous villages, towns, cities, ruins and deep dark dungeons. The ruins themselves are connected to the societies of ‘Elysian Shadows’ via explorable Overworld maps. They are inhabited by murky creatures, ancient technology, and magical artifacts. Due to the sheer size and variety in the world, you end up exploring various terrains, including forests, deserts, tundra, mountains, swamps, beaches, and islands. It looks like exploration and environmental interaction form a huge part of the game’s core gameplay experience.
A lot of your time in ‘Elysian Shadow’ is spent fighting monsters and other enemies by utilizing the game’s combat mechanics. ‘Elysian Shadow’ features a real-time combat system for speed and fluidity. Characters can be deeply customized via skill trees, talents and abilities and can even engage in alchemy to gain a competitive advantage during encounters.
One big focus in ‘Elysian Shadows’ is on the visuals and aesthetic style. While the graphics style is undoubtedly 16 bit, it is supplemented by modern technology such as full-fledged particle effects, advanced enemy and Non-Playable Character (NPC) AI, rigid body physics and even advanced fluid dynamics. The classic 2D presentation style is also updated with dynamic 2D and 3D perspectives during certain portions of the game. All these visual improvements are made possible by the ESGamma engine, a proprietary engine developed by the Elysian Shadows Team.
Naturally, sound plays a huge part in recreating any retro gaming experience, and ‘Elysian Shadow’ boasts fully 3D positional sounds for music and sound effects. The soundtrack itself is created from a combination of vintage electronic hardware with modern synthesizer software to provide a surreal aural experience.
One of the stretch goals stated during the ‘Elysian Shadows’ Kickstarter campaign was to turn the game into a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game with multiple players exploring dungeons and battling monsters together. However, given that the stretch goal wasn’t met it is unlikely that we will see such functionality implemented in the final game.
Elysian Shadows Developers: Who Are the People Behind It?
The development of ‘Elysian Shadows’ has been underway for a long while now, with the process being chronicled on the YouTube web series ‘Adventures in Game Development’ since October 2007. The reason behind the long-drawn-out production is likely down to the scale of the job at hand – the Elysian Shadows Team first started out by developing the technology and development tools needed to create the game, including the game engine.
Another focus was on native multi-platform support, which further extended the development period. The game supplemented its funding via a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in August 2014 and has managed to raise over $185,000 to date.
The main development team consists of a software engineer and team lead Falco Girgis, graphics designer Patryk Kowalik, video producer and community manager Brandon Likes and audio engineer Jeremy Likes. The game will be published by WaterMelon, which is best known for the 2014 homebrew RPG game ‘Pier Solar and the Great Architects’.
Elysian Shadows Release Date: When And Where Can I Play It?
‘Elysian Shadows’ has been in development for well over a decade now and has had its launch date moved up several times. There is no set release date for the game yet, but there is a possibility that the game may finally see the light of day when it releases in 2020.
‘Elysian Shadows’ is a multi-platform title that will be available to play on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, the now-discontinued Android-based Ouya console. The developers are also planning to release a version of the game on the Sega Dreamcast, which first came out in 1998 as part of their commitment to the 16-bit era.
Elysian Shadows Trailer:
You can watch the trailer for ‘Elysian Shadows’ right here.
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