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June 2024


Platform(s): PC
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: The Astronauts
Developer: The Astronauts
Release Date: 2023

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'Witchfire' Early Access Update Adds New Player Classes, Foes, Events, Weapons, QoL Updates, Fixes, Redesigns And More - Trailer

by Rainier on April 9, 2024 @ 1:22 p.m. PDT

Witchfire is a dark fantasy roguelite first person shooter where you, armed with strange weapons and forbidden pagan magic, hunt a powerful witch holding the key to your salvation.

Armed with forbidden pagan magic and infernal firearms as one of the Vatican’s elite preyers,  players will experience a world that adapts to their progress. The longer a preyer brazenly clings to life, amassing more power and a greater arsenal, the Witch will sense this growing threat and send forth deadly cataclysms and more powerful minions. Greater success means greater challenges to conquer. 

Preyers have the freedom to choose their methods of witch-hunting: a sharpshooter’s agile fingers, a tactician’s analytical mind, or the warlock’s eldritch might and magical relics. Select or combine these tactics to determine the most suitable path to victory. Furthermore, the preyer is not bound by time restrictions— you can rush into a huge mob of enemies, eliminate them one by one from afar, steer clear of a fight, or provoke more battles for bigger rewards. Only you decide which path to embark upon.

In Witchfire, a deadly war rages between powerful witches and the Church. In this alternate reality, witches are very real and very dangerous— but so is the witch hunter. Armed by Vatican sorcerers, players wield an ungodly array of guns and forbidden magic as they combat dark terrors on behalf of their shadowy benefactors.

Built in the Unreal Engine 4, Witchfire boasts AAA graphics made by an indie team of only nine people. Players explore gorgeous, semi open-world levels, featuring advanced photogrammetry and post-processing that create an immersive and realistic dark fantasy world.

The Astronauts launched the first major feature update for Witchfire.

The Ghost Galleon Update includes a host of new content, including player classes, fearsome foes, new events, weapons and spells for the preyer’s arsenal, as well as a shop vendor offering novel items. The update’s name refers to a newly minted Calamity event: a spectral ship infested with demonic minions of the Witch. 

Alongside the new features available in today’s patch, The Astronauts team has implemented careful redesigns of Witchfire’s level progression and Calamity systems, based on Early Access feedback. Players will begin the game with souls-style classes, granting boosts to certain stats and unique gear. Classes include SlayerBerserkerHunterShadow, Saint and Penitent— this final class is for Witchfire veterans seeking an extra challenge. A new feature, called Gnosis, will allow players to “over-level” (slightly) without a corresponding uptick in enemy difficulty. Gnosis is the preyer’s understanding of dark magic. As this occult knowledge expands, players gain power and uncover hidden paths and events in the game. The update also adds a Calamity Meter on the HUD, which calls attention to player actions (and missteps) that make Calamities more likely.

“I like when gameplay matches lore,” said Adrian Chmielarz, Creative Director and Co-Founder of The Astronauts. “The Witch launches Calamities at preyers as they venture further and further into her realm. The threat of a Calamity is immense, but so is the reward. The witch tends to launch these assaults when players are wounded, at their weakest— which hasn’t always been well-received by players— but this design still feels exciting to me. So we’ve kept the soul of it, but redesigned it to feel more fair. It’s a feature that both teaches you how to play by pointing out mistakes, and motivates you to do better. Yet it’s also an element great players can abuse: trick the Witch into thinking you’re losing, then strike back and reap the rewards. This supports two main pillars of our design philosophy: Competence and Autonomy.”

Witchfire is now available through Early Access (Epic Games Store).

The redesigns in the Ghost Galleon Update aim to ensure players have agency and understanding of gameplay mechanisms, while still maintaining the intense challenge at Witchfire’s core. 

Content available in today’s mammoth Witchfire patch includes: 

  • 3 New Calamities (including the Ghost Galleon)
  • New Activity: Vault Raiding
  • 6 New Classes
  • 5 New Weapons
  • 4 New Spells (plus 4 redesigned spells)
  • New Shop Vendor
  • 7 New Magical Items (fetishes, rings, relics)
  • 10 New or Variant Enemies
  • 5 New Events
  • 6 New Traps
  • Calamity Redesign
  • Gnostic Knowledge & Level Progression
  • Quality of Life Updates & Bug Fixes
  • And more…

Witchfire uses the photogrammetry tech The Astronauts previously used in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. This tech allows the devs to 3D scan real-life objects – even entire buildings! – and use them as digital assets in our games for unparalleled visual quality, and natural, organic look and feel. The Astronauts believe we can push the tech even further, with new tools, hardware, and all the experience we gathered during the development of their first game and can’t wait to bring you along on the ride.

Witchfire is coming to PC (Epic Games Store) in 2024.

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