The PS4 release of unique survival horror game Darkwood has been scheduled for the 14th May 2019, developer Acid Wizard Studio has confirmed.
With Nintendo Switch and Xbox One ports due shortly thereafter on the 16th and 17th respectively.
Darkwood PS4 – Story and Atmosphere Over Jump Scares
Set in a “bizarre vision” of 80s Poland, Darkwood tells the story of a man who, upon waking in a dense, procedurally-generated forest overrun by malevolent forces, finds himself embroiled in a fight for survival as he attempts to escape his woodland surroundings.
Which, at first glance, might not seem particularly original. However, what sets it apart from its counterparts, according to Acid Wizard Studio co-founder Gustaw Stachaszewski, is its emphasis on atmosphere and narrative.
“Darkwood is an open world survival horror that does not rely on jump scares”, he explains. “Instead, it aims to provide a unique and terrifying experience utilizing the fear of the unknown”.
The brand-new PS4 trailer, released alongside yesterday’s announcement post, would certainly support Stachaszewski’s claims. We’ve embedded it below; in case you fancy taking a gander.
A Patchwork of Different Mechanics
Interestingly, Darkwood wasn’t envisioned as a horror title; rather, it was supposed to be a standard tower defence game that would only take a month or two to complete.
Darkwood did not start off as a horror game. As a matter of fact, we were always too afraid to play most horror titles or watch horror movies and very much disliked the horror genre trends from several years ago, which revolved around cheap jump scares à la Slender Man.
But, as the game grew, we saw the potential to create something more ambitious with our top-down perspective. By putting a heavy emphasis on sound and music design, tricking the player with our light and field of view mechanics, and making him get lost in a mysterious world; we achieved a dense, creepy atmosphere enjoyed even by wimps like us.
Although Stachaszewski admitted that, if the team could have anticipated the difficulties inherent in creating a game with such a diverse range of mechanics as Darkwood, many of them may have been left on the cutting room floor.
From the game design perspective, Darkwood is a bit like Frankenstein’s monster – a patchwork of ideas and parts of games the three of us loved and cherished: it’s a top down survival horror, with a procedurally generated open world, nonlinear storyline with choices and consequences, detailed NPC interactions, roguelike elements, skill trees, crafting, a dynamic day and night cycle and a dynamic weather system. We cannot imagine a more complicated mix of features.
If several years ago we would know what we know now, and how much headaches during development they will give us, we would have decided that they are totally at odds with each other and would have cut most of them.
Darkwood is available for pre-order right now on the PlayStation Store.
Source: PlayStation Blog