Kickstarter has become one of the best places for developers to both fund and show off their games. A perfect example of this would be Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim, a game that I came across a few days ago. Cornerstone is an open world action adventure, with an emphasis on exploration and combat mixed with physics and player choice (emphasis on choice), and gets its inspiration from The Legend of Zelda games and Dark souls. Overall, the game looks incredibly good, given the fact that it is currently only being developed by two people! This game, being developed for PC, Linux, and Mac, is full of intriguing gamplay and new ideas, and is one that should not be missed!
Much like Wind Waker, the game world is a series of islands; each with its own tasks, challenges, and goals. You travel from island to island, playing as a young viking named Tyrim. Before the events of the game, the viking men had left on an expedition, and have been lost for several years. The village has been left with women and children, and they are unable to protect themselves against the coming threat of the Emperor Ju-Long. You start your adventure in the small village, eager to set off on your quest.
One of the most important parts of Cornerstone’s gameplay is its focus on exploration. As they didn’t find experience or skills points to be as rewarding, Ascension decided they would reward players who went out of their way to explore the game world and solve challenges in different ways. You can explore the world almost any way you want, it’s completely up to you. There are only a few instances where you will be outmatched without the proper equipment, which is created by scavenging (Ascension promises it won’t be a grind fest!) Much like Wind Waker, you will have access to your own boat, but with some added features such as a harpoon, bank, and garden!
The combat style comes down to your particular playing preference as well, giving you the option to take an enemy head-on or to even avoid them completely as you use your surrounding to your advantage! One on one combat is already challenging, but if you get into a fight with multiple enemies, it’s best to scope out your surrounding and use your traps, tools, and the environment to succeed. If you watch the video below, you’ll see the many ways that you can go about moving around the islands.
As we mentioned before, you will be able to craft various tools and traps to use in your adventures, unlocking more as you move from island to island on your epic quest. Ascension decided that instead of having an inventory system that would be full of things you never use, they would instead implement a simple crafting system that would allow you to play the way you wanted with your resources. In game, there are four resources, wood, iron, wool, and flammables. To make certain items, you will have to combine resources to create objects. If you use more than what is needed for a crafting recipe, there will be more benefits, such as a larger explosive barrel! Overall, the crafting system idea is a very innovative way to force players to think out their actions.
Ascension also takes a cool approach in the aspect of questing. Instead of the common, linear mode of questing, they decided that because their game was non-linear and allows you to go where you want when you want, that they would also make the questing system non-linear. As you hop from island to island in search of the lost vikings, you will complete small quests with different objectives (combat, puzzles, crafting, and more) until you you enough knowledge to move on in the story. The beauty of the system is that instead of being limited in what you can do and becoming bored, it opens up a large host of options to move on!
As mentioned before, Cornerstone will have some puzzles as well! The majority of puzzles come from the gameplay itself, in the form of combat, crafting, exploring, and more, but there are also tricky puzzles within dungeons themselves as well! Bosses themselves will also be a type of puzzle, allowing you to defeat them in a number of ways. The philosophy of Cornerstone is that you think!
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We highly recommend that you check out Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim, not only because we like it, but because the developers have really stepped outside the box to make an incredibly interesting and engaging game. Taking elements from different games, Cornerstone is sure to be an adventure of epic proportions. If you want to see some gameplay in action, check out the video below, I know that I’ll be backing this project on it’s kickstarter page!
Disclosure: After writing this post, I went and backed the game at the $15.00 tier.