Longing for a ‘Castlevania: Symphony of the Night like’ experience on current gaming machines? The gaming gods might have an answer for your prayers in the form of Elderand.
Elderand is being billed as a “story driven action-RPG with skill-based combat” that is sure to please “Soulsborne” fans everywhere. The Never Ending Realm caught up with Elderand’s Creative Director, Will Fernandes in order to learn more about the upcoming title.
A Love for Symphony of the Night and Lovecraft
Fernandes made clear to us how important a project Elderand is for himself as a passionate fan of Castlevania Symphony of the Night in our exclusive interview.
“My involvement with Elderand goes beyond (being the game’s creative director). I have worked as a graphic designer for most of my professional life, but games are my real passion.” This passion for gaming led Fernandes to start tinkering with game engines and development tools in hopes of crafting his own game.
“Elderand was born from my love of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Lovecraft.” Fernandes stated while reminiscing at some of the hardships that he faced in getting his project off the ground. “I was always the ‘art guy’, and twelve years ago it was difficult to find a (game) developer who would like to work with games in Brazil. So, I started to study some game engines in hopes of making games by myself. At the time, there wasn’t a lot of Metroidvanias, so I asked myself: Why don’t I make my own (Metroidvania game)?”
Fernandes would manage to secure investment (funding) for the project from Ancine (a Brazilian National agency) in 2018. The funding aided Fernandes (and his team) in the improvement, and refinement of what already was shaping up to be a well designed and ambitious project.
An Action-RPG with Deep and Strategic Combat
Thus, Elderand was conceived as an action-RPG adventure inspired by Symphony of the Night, but with an emphasis on “deep combat, and a more dynamic (in relation to SotN) item system.” Fernandez also loves the Soulsborne games, and he wants to challenge players of all skill levels with Elderand’s own brand of combat.
“The player cannot be reckless during Elderand’s battles, there is a balance between the flow of exploration and the game’s strategic combat.” According to Fernandes, in similar fashion to Souls games, Elderand encourages the player to get “better” at combat as he/she progresses through the adventure.
However, there are important Role-Playing Game elements in Elderand that will enable less skilled (but patient) players to earn levels and customize a stronger character.
“Elderand’s role-playing game systems are heavily influenced by the Diablo series, the game has a lot of weapons and equipment (available), and you can create a unique character.” Fernandes said before further explaining how the EXP system works, “The player will earn EXP by defeating enemies. With each new level (attained) said player will earn an attribute point that can be assigned to whatever attribute the player wishes to improve.”
When designing Elderand’s brand of combat, Fernandes’ goal was to challenge and reward skilled players with difficult enemies and bosses, but at the same time to equally satisfy the less skilled, but patient player that likes to grind, and take his/her time to build a strong avatar. “Each player (regardless of skill level) can find his/her own way.” Fernandes assured us.
A Node to Lovecraft’s Works
While much of Elderand’s storyline remains shrouded in mystery. We know that the game will place a heavy emphasis on telling a gripping narrative, and Fernandes did not leave us empty handed when asked about plot details.
“Elderand’s (setting and storyline) is heavily inspired by Cthulhu mythos and Dark Fantasy. The player (takes on the role) of a mercenary who is lost in a mystic land and is surrounded by an evil cult. His past can be the key to discover what lies behind that mysterious land”
2022 (and Elderand) Can’t Arrive Soon Enough?
Fernandes approved my description of Elderand, as a “game aiming to combine the best of Symphony of the Night’s design, with the best of FromSoftware’s challenging combat, while adhering to the action role-playing aspects of Diablo.”
Certainly, Elderand looks to please those looking for a well-designed dark fantasy world that encourages exploration and has loads of fast strategic combat.
All that is left for us to know is the game’s release date. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a bit longer to know the specific date, but Fernandes hinted at “A first half of 2022 (release) on Steam, and the Nintendo Switch for now.”
We will certainly keep an eye out for any new information regarding Elderand, and are hopeful to be able to experience the game firsthand upon its 2022 release.
For more on Elderand, visit the game’s official site here.
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