Gif: Haenir Studio / IGN / Kotaku
Medieval-themed video games exist in an anachronistic league of their own, atmospheric blends of usually British accents, dull silver armor sets, and organ-bursting weaponry that, yeah, sure, were probably invented within 200 years of the game’s designated time period, give or take.
They probably will never teach you anything about 11th-century plumbing, which is why my Google searches are so fucked up, but when they keep their aesthetics tight and their mythology pristine, like Baldur’s Gate and Elden Ring do, reality and time stop mattering so much. And Haenir Studio’s debut game, medieval horror Blight: Survival, is here with a gameplay trailer that seeks to disintegrate them further, those banal concepts.
The game’s Steam page describes it, kind of tongue twister-ly, as a “4-player co-op action-horror roguelite set in the unforgiving no man’s land between two desperate states at a ceaseless war.”
“Within this purgatory,” the game’s description continues, “a new strain of Blight has sprung from remains of the dead. Strengthened by the blood that has been spilled, it rapidly spreads—turning man into monster.”
We get the tiniest drop of co-op preview in the five-minute trailer—a friend seems to join our protagonist around the 4:30 minute mark and they run together to the top of a grassy hill.
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But Blight’s trailer certainly makes it seem like an intriguing, gruesome addition to the medieval games canon. I’m particularly a fan of the way our tunic-clad protagonist destroys zombies’ heads—squelching them in half with a shield, ramming a sword into their open mouths, splitting their skulls with so much force, a spray of brain matter splatters across the screen.
The protagonist, after picking up useful items and discovering sinister-sounding areas like the Barkrial Woods, is similarly hostile to human enemies, sinking a dagger into a man’s side and neck after stealthily crawling and crouching up to him.
Haenir Studio hasn’t announced a release date yet, but there’s no real time limit on fulfilling medieval fantasy.