Horror

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Developer The Astronauts have announced a new Early Access update for their dark fantasy shooter Witchfire in the Ghost Galleon Update. In addition to quality-of-life features, the update introduces “soul-style classes”, vault raids, weapons, and new Calamities.

Alongside the new features in the update, The Astronauts team has implemented careful redesigns of Witchfire‘s level progression and Calamity systems, based on Early Access feedback. Players will begin the game with souls-style classes, granting boosts to certain stats and unique gear. Those classes include Slayer, Berserker, Hunter, Shadow, Saint and Penitent, with Penitent giving Witchfire veterans an extra challenge.

A new feature, called Gnosis, will allow players to “over-level” (slightly) without a corresponding uptick in enemy difficulty. Gnosis is the understanding of dark magic. As this occult knowledge expands, players gain power and uncover hidden paths and events in the game. The update also adds a Calamity Meter on the HUD, which calls attention to player actions (and missteps) that make Calamities more likely.

And speaking of Calamities, there’s the eponymous Ghost Galleon, a new spectral ship in Witchfire that’s infested with demonic minions of the Witch.

“I like when gameplay matches lore,” said Adrian Chmielarz, Creative Director and Co-Founder of The Astronauts. “The Witch launches Calamities at preyers as they venture further and further into her realm. The threat of a Calamity is immense, but so is the reward. The witch tends to launch these assaults when players are wounded, at their weakest— which hasn’t always been well-received by players— but this design still feels exciting to me. So we’ve kept the soul of it, but redesigned it to feel more fair. It’s a feature that both teaches you how to play by pointing out mistakes, and motivates you to do better. Yet it’s also an element great players can abuse: trick the Witch into thinking you’re losing, then strike back and reap the rewards. This supports two main pillars of our design philosophy: Competence and Autonomy.”

Witchfire is available now on the Epic Games Store.

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