If you’re anything like me, you probably completely forgot that just over a year ago The Astronauts revealed Witchfire at The Game Awards 2017. From the minds of many of the original Painkiller developers, Witchfire certainly looked the part, although things have gone suspiciously quiet since then.
Until now, sort of. The Astronauts have provided a bit of an update on what’s happening with Witchfire right now, although it’s not ready to show any more gameplay just yet. More specifically, they’re talking combat, comparing it to the excellent Dead Cells in that it’ll be very challenging but near-perfect runs will be possible for those who’ve absolutely mastered the game. It’ll be nearly impossible for most players, but it all comes down to the predictability of Witchfire’s combat system.
“The “unscathed” mantra is simply just another way of saying that the way the combat goes, the player always needs to feel that when they were hit, it was because of the error they made, and not because the game is unfair” explains Adrian Chmielarz. At the moment The Astronauts are working on enemy designs, how their attacks are telegraphed, and where they’re going to be coming from. They believe it boils down to predictability and the inherent knowledge of enemy patterns. Rather than trying to kill the player with a stealth attack from behind, it’s all about action and reaction.
This should all be a familiar refrain for Painkiller fans, of course. It harks back to an old style of run and gun gameplay that boils down to a purer sense of skill. After working on The Vanishing of Ethan Carter it seems The Astronauts really is going back to its roots with Wildfire.
If you’re on the hunt for more gameplay, it is coming. Chmielarz has said it’s hoping to share new footage from Witchfire next month.