"Lovecraftian" is the main word I've heard used to describe Eldritch, but I've never read an HP Lovecraft book in my life. That imagery doesn't help me to visualize the game so I wanted to help others who may be in my situation. I was able to get my hands on Eldritch, the yet to be released-soon to be beta, about 2 weeks ago and I've had a bit of time with the game to explore it's dark world and experience the myriad of emotions that punctuate its gameplay experience.
"The world's light is very low key and mysterious. The visuals and sound meld together and create an atmosphere that begs to be slowly explored and crawled around until the unknown is a little less abundant. Starting into a dungeon feels like diving off of the deep end into the ocean with so much space below and so little of it explored."
Eldritch is a first person rogue-like game, those familiar with Spelunky, The Binding of Isaac, and other games will be familiar with its single life system. In Eldritch you can venture into books in an attempt to escape the mysterious library you've been imprisoned in. Once inside these books you will face various creatures that want to kill you. Once you die you are sent outside the book and everything on your person will be lost forever but you can store money in a chest that you can access at any point which is the limit of what you can keep upon death. You'll find yourself making risk based calculations on how much money to keep in your chest.
Each of the dungeons is randomly generated the first time you enter, after which you can exit and re-enter the same dungeon and explore it to your hearts content unless of course you die in which case the dungeons change. Mobs can be killed and looted but the kicker is that looted mobs respawn so you have to make a call every time you kill one. Stealth is a big portion of the game, your boots make sound when you walk unless you have stealth boots, you can crouch and sneak up behind mobs for a one hit knife strike from behind or sprint firing bullets at their head. Sounds can call attention to yourself and have the whole dungeon heading your way so be careful. Bullets are scarce at first and you may find yourself using the knife and throwing rocks and bottles to get by alive.
Dungeons increase in difficulty after each successive book. Discovering the different terrifying creatures in each and what they do is part of the fun so I will leave that for you to discover. I've heard Eldritch describes as Dishonored meets Spelunky and that is a wonderfully accurate description. It's micecraft-esque graphics disguise how spooky the game can get. I have yet to fully explore everything in the game's dungeons I've unlocked.
It's going to be the next big indie game to be released and the beta is available starting September 26 for preorders and being released on October 21. It's made by former Bioshock 2 AI programmer David Pittman and his twin brother. Check out the game below and expect a more in depth examination after the beta has been released.
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