Two things that you probably immediately think of when you hear the words “neanderthal” and “caveman” are brutal, primitive warfare and the banding together of people to create a survivalist group. Wildman, which is being developed by the talented Gas Powered Games, seeks to bring these two images together in the form of a hybrid action-RPG and real-time strategy game that’s all about evolution.
Having made both Supreme Commander and the Dungeon Siege Series, the folks at Gas Powered Games are undoubtedly experienced with both genres. The basic premise of Wildman is that you’re a primitive warrior chief who sets out to decimate opposing tribes, and you’re able to shape-shift into various animal forms and perform other impressive abilities as you evolve and become more powerful. At its core, the game is about progression and evolution; it’s survival of the fittest out there, and ideally you and your faction will strive to become the fittest of them all.
The core hack-and-slash action is fast, brutal and very reminiscent of the dungeon crawling from the Dungeon Siege titles. You’ll be able to explore a vast world that houses many dungeons and caverns, which in turn house loot such as weapons, armor and other trinkets to aid you in your quest. There’s an upgrade system that nets you experience to upgrade your abilities, which promise to be varied and ties into the whole theme of evolution. As you become more advanced and powerful, it’ll aid your allies in large-scale clan skirmishes.
When it comes to said skirmishes, the game takes a more real-time staregy approach. You’ll need to seize control points and destroy enemy citadels by commanding a wide variety of units, all of which can be gradually upgraded through skill and tech trees. All the other hallmarks of the RTS genre are also present, such as creating buildings and what have you. Much like your own character, your tribe also gradually evolves throughout the game by increasing their technological prowess and intellect. Each time they succeed in a battle, they’ll be able to steal and learn from the opposing tribes’ tech to further advance their own, thus making them even more superior. It’s like Darwinism: The Game.
The world itself promises to be ripe with detail. Trees burn, areas will be destroyed, and you’ll get a general sense that the environment reacts to your exploits. The aforementioned dungeons will require exploration to find, though the resulting loot and treasure will surely make it worth the trouble. You’ll need every edge you can get when supporting your tribe, after all.
Jeremy Soule, who has composed the scores for the Elder Scrolls series and Neverwinter Nignts, has signed on to the soundtrack for Wildman. If the background music of the dev team’s video below is any indication, you can expect a lot of tribal beats that are nevertheless refined and grand in scope.
Wildman is currently seeking aid on Kickstarter and is doing quite well there. Pledging $20 promises you a digital copy of the game when it’s released as well as access to the game’s forums, and there’s a smorgasbord of other benefits you can get from pledging more. You can see the full Kickstarter page here.
There’s no planned release date at the moment, though we at least know it’ll come on PC, with Linux and Mac versions a distinct possibility. Stay tuned for more news on updates on this barbarically interesting project.