Wildboy Studios’s Norse inspired game ATONE, winner of one of the 2017 New Zealand Best Awards for Design, has received a debut trailer showing off the rhythm combat, world, and music.
ATONE features Estra, the daughter of the world’s last great leader, as she travels to save Midgard from the darkness and rot that is consuming it after the gods abandoned the land. Estra, the realm’s last hope, travels to save the the Elder Tree that is no longer being protected due to the absence of Odin’s Guardians.
The story promises many twist and turns as Estra fights to save Midgard and find out the truth about both her family’s past and the darkness that is swallowing the realm. Along the journey, the player will face with many decisions that will have direct consequences upon the world and story.
The story has been written by the Wildboy Studios team, alongside the UK-based author, Rebecca Haigh, who also contributed to Du Lac & Fey: Dance of Death.
The game will have “puzzles that reveal insightful secrets, fantastical abilities, and hidden passageways.” Another aspect of the puzzles is that “failure is most certainly an option. The answers you seek may be lost if you make the wrong decision.”
ATONE takes a different approach to combat than many games, utilising a rhythm-based system inspired by Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution. During combat, the player will press the button prompts in sync with music composed for each slow-motion hack-and-slash battle. Combat is not central to the game—and often avoidable—the player will be put into situation where violence is the only option due to decisions that have been made.
Wildboy Studios has a unique approach to game development, as “everything in ATONE is individually crafted.” Every aspect of the game has been created to be shown only once to make a more realized Midgard. he visual elements of the game are inspired by Samurai Jack and the layout by Monument Valley.
The soundtrack for the game is created by Luminist (James Shuar), an Australia-based composer. The score “blends a synth-heavy score with the digitally corrupted sounds of period-specific instruments.” Music has been composed to each individual combat scenario, with the stated goal being to show the world being tainted.