While many videogame animal protagonists tend to be anthropomorphic, lately a number of new releases have featured actual animals in their habitats, albeit often with unique powers. This will be the case once again next year if indie developer Rob Potter is able to secure crowdfunding for This Dead Winter through Kickstarter.
Set in an "ancient woodland gripped by an enduring winter," the story is appropriately minimalist, as players are thrust into the role of a "bright red fox" whose young cub has been "mysteriously taken." Now you must "embark on a journey through the ruins of a lost civilisation and into the heart of an otherworldly forest to get her back." Along the way, you'll encounter more of the "few remaining animals left" in this world, whether "kind, malevolent [or] indifferent" to your cause. Some of them may even bestow special new abilities upon you to help you in your search.
Described as a "dark fantasy adventure," This Dead Winter is a third-
personanimal 3D game that promises "something to discover around every corner" of its "seemingly ever-changing world." Gameplay is inspired by the metroidvania genre but not in the sense of fast-twitch action, but rather in being "based on gaining new and unexpected abilities that allow you to access different areas, overcome obstacles and solve puzzles." For example, once learned the "fiery dash" will allow you to "possess creatures and places of fire." Players are encouraged to "continuously branch out and visit new places at your own pace in the valley," as there is "no rush or timer placed on your discovery of this land."
Originally begun as a student project, This Dead Winter has since grown into a full-blown adventure but now needs help to reach the finish line. To that end, Potter has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £31,000 by October 25th. If successful, we could see the game on PC in the final quarter of 2020, while console ports are also possible if the highest stretch goals are achieved.