Video game delays have become commonplace, and news of another isn’t likely to shock anyone. While the majority of these disappointing announcements stem from extra testing or lack of polish, the delay of Witchfire is for a reason many gamers will be pleased to hear.
Since its initial reveal back in December 2017, fans of shooters have been looking forward to this peculiar addition to the genre. Initially planned for release at the end of 2022, players will have to wait until early 2023 to get their hands on this fast-paced dark fantasy title.
As it turns out, the game’s developers have decided to change the game’s combat a fair amount. Rather than arena-style encounters, players can look forward to open-world combat.
Witchfire comes from The Astronauts, the studio behind the haunting adventure game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. In a new blog post by The Astronauts creative director and co-founder Adrian Chmielarz, the developer shares his thoughts about the sudden changes and what those interested in the title can look forward to next year.
“Usually, games miss their target date simply because developers underestimate the time needed to make a good game,” the post begins. “However, in our case, the reason is different. And that reason is: we have redesigned the core experience of the game. To be clear, Witchfire is still a rogue-lite dark fantasy first-person shooter. That did not and will not change. But the way the player experiences the world has changed significantly. We’ve upgraded combat and exploration from arena style to semi-open world style, and that took time.”
Shown during Summer Game Fest 2022, Witchfire‘s gameplay trailer blew up on social media following the June event. Packed full of guns, parkour, a heart-pounding soundtrack, and explosive magic, the game promises a little bit of something for everyone. Check it out below.
As the blog post continues, Chmielarz goes into more detail about the supposed redesign. In the original build, Witchfire offered players vast regions to experience in a rogue-lite way–players would fight monsters, snag their reward, and choose either a left or right path. This is similar to the now legendary title Hades. In the upcoming title, invisible barriers would keep the player on track.
“A couple of months ago, though, I realized I hated the barriers,” he admits, defending the new open-world style gameplay. “The feature is now 95% implemented. It makes the game better. It is kind of hard for me to imagine the player did not have that freedom before.”
The Early Access version of Witchfire is now expected to be released in early 2023 on PC via the Epic Games Store. According to the blog post, fans can expect some sort of surprise during the month of October.