Full disclosure: I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for zombie games. I’ve played them all — the good and the bad. So yes, when I saw someone was making a medieval zombie survival horror, I said, “Stop! You had me at medieval zombies. Here. Please take my money.” After viewing the gameplay trailer, I’m even more convinced that I must play this game.
Just over a year ago, indy developer Haenir Studio quietly announced on Reddit that it was developing its first game called Blight: Survival. The two-person team has since worked on the project in their spare time. The developers have not revealed much about the title besides a few progress updates.
On Wednesday, the Blight: Survival game page went live on Steam. Haenir put together an unremarkable teaser and a much more remarkable five-minute gameplay trailer that looks impressive for only having been in development for a year (above).
The studio describes the game as a “4-player co-op action-horror roguelite.” I describe it as “Days Gone met Mount and Blade and had a love child.” Although Haenir built the game on Unreal Engine as a four-player co-op, it assures us that players are completely free to play it solo. Recluses rejoice. The game won’t lock you into having to deal with people.
The action is set in an unspecified medieval era with two armies that have been at war for years. A blight has swept the land turning corpses into zombies. So not only do players have to contend with the rival faction, they have the undead crawling up their culet.
The gameplay is pretty flexible. Obviously, it has plenty of standup swordplay, which so far looks fluid and complex. However, there are stealth elements in the mix for those players that like the quiet approach. As seen later in the clip, sneaking around in heavy clanking armor seems a bit ridiculous. However, we also notice that players can loot leather armor from corpses. So there will certainly be appropriate penalties and buffs for various armor types.
“Choose between a large selection of weapons, armor and customize them to best suit your playstyle,” the game description reads.
Another element of the gameplay that Haenir did not feature in the trailer is the hostage system. An April Reddit update showed how players could stealthily sneak up and grab enemies and either kill them or use them as a meat shield.
Haenir is developing Blight: Survival for PC but intends to port it to consoles eventually. The studio has not yet hinted at a release date, but it’s probably going to be a while. The two developers admit that they have “NOT” quit their day jobs and have only worked on the project in their spare time.
They are using the gameplay trailer as a proof-of-concept to see if they can entice a publisher to fund them. They would ultimately like to quit their jobs, hire more developers, and put a full-time focus on finishing the game. Barring that, they remain open to crowdfunding but don’t like the time investment involved with managing a campaign. Volunteers?