Although we had an interview up, we haven’t covered much of Unbended since then. Chalk it up to hectic E3 preparation or me, the resident European CRPG nerd, being obsessed with beating all three Gothic games again…but this post intends to correct this oversight.
Unbended is the bright light of hope that Sacred fans have been waiting for; A game made by the original development team that contains all of the features that made the original 2004 PC action RPG such a memorable experience.
So what have the team at Unbended been up to during all this time?
Music is an important part of any RPG, and doubly so for European CRPGs that tend to focus on atmopshere and mood more than anything else. Like Kai Rosenkrantz did with Gothic and Kirill Pokrovski did with Divinity 2, it seems Unbended won’t buck this trend.
Composed by the man behind Sacred Underworld’s soundtrack, Unbended’s aural vibe will come to us by way of Matthias Steinwachs and is already sounding impressive:
Another trickle of information that came out since our last visit to the game’s site was their character classes. Though only three of the six have been revealed so far, the few we have seen sound rather interesting. One aspect of the game we learned from our interview was that Unbended would have unconventional character classes that are as fun to play as they are original, and this certainly looks to be the case.
1. The Gambler
The Gambler’s home is in the north western territories of the world. The area is a sheer endless plain, mostly free from the influence of the five big dominions. The people in this area make a living out of hunting trihorns, whose nutty meat is a valuable good that is sold throughout the entire world. To the south, the territories comprise what is refered to as the “civilized world”.
One huge mountain range, crossed by countless trading routes, separates the territories from the north western dominion of high Cambria. High Cambria’s wealth is a direct result of all the trading with their nearby territories, but it is also controls an abundance of ore and other natural resources as well as a high level of technology. After his stepfather’s death, the gambler decides to leave the territories, eventually reaching the dominion of High Cambria, where he spends the rest of his youth.
By looking at the picture you can tell the gambler is a flamboyant sort of hero, somewhat steampunk-ish and gives one the impression he may be the rogue of the group.
In the southeast lies the Realm of Kay-An-Khar. In the old tongue, this means the “Land of the first man”. Kay-An-Khar is a principality with feudal structures, ruled by a Grand Prince, who is also considered the highest God in the realm. This is the home of the Blademaster. Blademasters are not only a legendary feudal caste, but also acts as the Grand Prince’s personal guard. A Blademaster is not allowed to marry, nor to live outside the Kay-Rhon, the prince’s palace, which is about as large as an average city.
The Blademaster is a Bhay-Yan, an “Initiate of Steel”, receiving the highest ranks of martial arts. He handles all kinds of blade weapons with deadly precision and devastating destruction. Furthermore, he gained insight to the fine art of forging steel and can modify and reinforce his weapons and armor all by himself. If you want to experience the world from a melee fighter’s point of view, the Blademaster is the perfect choice.
Reading the text, it would seem the Blademaster is almost Paladin-like. A noble knight of some sort who is self-sufficient and proud.
3. Crystal Mage
In the west of the continent lies the Dominion of Sedhannia. In general, the western Dominion belongs to the poorer regions of the realm. Sedhannia is characterized by agriculture and mining. For centuries, Sedhannia was controlled and exploited by landgraves. Finally, a rebellion arose, initiated by the Order of the Crystal Mages, which was still rather small back then. Ever since, Sedhannia has been under control of the Order.
The principal of inheritable serfdom is in effect. All people are tributaries of the Order’s First Prior. Those who can not afford to pay their debts are sent to the mines. The mines contain the crucial material that’s neccessary to increase the powers of Crystal Magic. Those crystals contain the so called “Power of Inception”. Crystal Mages have the ability to recognize these powers and take advantage of them. Combining and using the ancient powers represents the essence of their knowledge.
The Crystal Mage is a young adept, still in the middle of her studies. She is blessed with talent, but not sure if she is able to support the Order’s political ideologies. Eventually, when it’s either world domination of her sisters and brothers or preventing the rise of darkness, she will have to make a tough decision. The Crystal Mage hast mastered the noble craftsmanship of gem cutting. She reshapes gems and crystals, thus changing and enhancing the inherent powers and effects of the stone.
A mage by any other name, right? Nothing too exceptional, though I do like the idea of crystals being used as a focus of their powers. It spices up what is normally a tired, old formula.
A lot of info is simply not out there yet, and what *is* out there is in German. Fortunately, we do know a few things:
#1: Large seamless world with no loading zones, similar to what we saw in Sacred 1 and 2.
#2: Fast Travel option to help traverse this huge open world
#3: Co-op modes as well as PvP options and hardcore mode as well.
#4: Isometric viewpoint
#5: Big focus on boss runs (raids?) and finding rare loot. Very loot hevy with a lot of randomization.
#6: No opposite genders. A class is either male or female, you cannot play an opposing gender than what is intended.
#7: Separate skills for your mounts/while mounted.
It’s still quite early in development, and to speed this up they are accepting donations on their homepage.
As more info comes in, we’ll be sure to post it.