I've heard some strange premises and settings before. Hell, games are full of them, loving to mix the future with the past, creating strange anachronisms that can surprisingly absorb you into the game. Spiders, developers of Greedfall, have now announced their next game, Steelrising. Needless to say, if you want to mix up the past with the future, this will be the place to go.
The premise, as described by Jehanne Rousseau (who I interviewed last year regarding Greedfall), is a simple one: "What would have happened if Louis XVI had been a tyrant and could indulge his passion for machines and automatons to crack down on the revolution in its early stages?" Honestly, I don't know, but from what has been said here, I'm really liking the sound of Steelrising even from what has been said at this very first reveal.
You take on the role of an automaton called Aegis who also happens to be the bodyguard of Queen Marie Antoinette. Marie Antoinette has tasked you with putting an end to the massacres being carried out by the robot army of Louis XVI in his aim to prevent the French Revolution as it's just beginning. So far, so...
Wait, what? Lés Miserables with robots? I'm in.
From what has been said by Jehanne Rousseau, Spiders are going even further in their use of environments than ever before. Greedfall was already a sizable improvement on their earlier outings, with Steelrising there is even more focus on verticality and explorations. She states
We wanted to add more verticality to exploration, so when you move around the Parisian streets, you don't just stay at ground level and to move from fight to fight, we really wanted to explore other types of movement: climb up upon a balcony, discover a secret passage to another location - that kind of thing.
In addition to this, it's explained that the studio has focused on taking you back to that time period not only with buildings that once existed, such as the Grand Châtelet, but the design of the robots as seen above also seem to be inspired by Baroque architecture. It should be very interesting to looks at the design of the city and the bringing back of historical structures, particularly as you're exploring to find items to upgrade Aegis as you explore the game.
It's said that as you progress through the game you'll find a number of weapon types, including alchemical rifles to bring ranged combat into the game, but you'll also find a number of side quests with different gear as a reward, as well as enhancing the depth of the game. It all makes for an interesting sounding title, one that I'm particularly interested in after the studio's success with Greedfall.
The other thing worth mentioning is that this doesn't sound like a traditional Spiders game. All of their titles so far have been very much action-RPGs, still RPG's, slower than a traditional action title. Jehanne Rousseau states that Steelrising has "a much more action-focused approach than gameplay found in our previous titles". This does seem to indicate that the title will be an action game with RPG mechanics. What form this will take, be it a The Surge or Darksiders, only time will tell.
You can watch, or re-watch, the Nacon Connect digital event that covers this game and more over on YouTube.