Multiple groups of developers have departed CD Projekt Red in recent years to form their own studios, and Dark Passenger is the latest spin-off. The company just announced plans to create a Samurai-inspired adventure game based in feudal Japan featuring cooperative and competitive elements.
Details are limited at this time. We don’t even know what the game will be called. The developers were only willing to divulge the premise of what they are working towards, as well as some principles the studio considers important to its success.
“We have gained experience in the production of titles such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077. Over the last 5 years, as a RealTime Warriors studio, we have created hundreds of animations, film sequences, characters and worlds for the needs of Indie and AAA games.”
An unspeakable evil has been unleashed
The studio’s landing page goes on to explain that “We are building an addictive, dark world full of secrets, unusual characters and conflicts consuming the Land of the Rising Sun.”
The several paragraphs we have to work with detail hints that the game will likely incorporate some fantasy elements and perhaps unnatural beings. The description mentions “the shadow world” and “artifacts hiding extraordinary power.” What exactly that means is up to interpretation.
Further comments such as characters “running after arrows fired by other players, dynamically climbing flat walls using shuko claws or using a yari spear as a pole to jump over obstacles.” Further hint at combat full of flourishes that mere mortals are incapable of.
The big bad also has something interesting going on related to mysticism or augmented power that has allowed him to conquer all of the land. The antagonist, who is currently unnamed, has the ability to manipulate the wills of others. Those who attempted to “oppose him not only failed, but also, against their will, joined his ranks.”
So that all sounds well and good for a setting, but will the gameplay draw us in? The answer seems possibly yes. Aside from the bits we noted about player abilities already, Dark Passenger promotes customizable characters of which you can modify the weapons, equipment and skills of.
You’ll take on a playstyle of something between a samurai and a ninja. As you travel through the “dark lands,” you’ll be able to jump on city rooftops, hide about the environment, and attack when the time is right. You might be getting some Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice or quite even Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla vibes, and so are we. Still, it’s too early to assume anything concrete about the gameplay.
Bring your minions, er, friends
Dark Passenger did share this though. There will be cooperative elements where you can presumably dual with friends in your own dojo. A few examples of weapons include katanas, tanto and wakizashi short swords, kusarigama chains, shurikens, and kunai throwing knives. The developers place emphasis on the combat requiring both dexterity, tactics and close cooperation with your comrades.
There’s also mention of “procedural solutions” for the level design, which refers to variations in different playthroughs. For example, you may see different enemy types, different spawn locations, and areas may appear with layout variations or be entirely different. Some examples of procedurally generated games include Remnant: From the Ashes, No Man’s Sky, Minecraft, Deep Rock Galactic, and just the roguelike genre in general.
It will likely be years before any release for this unnamed samurai game that takes place in feudal Japan. Dark Passenger will likely keep teasing us along the way though, and we’ll provide updates as available.