Developer 10 Chambers has been plenty busy since its founding several years ago. This Swedish group of industry veterans set out back in 2015 with a mission to create games out of passion and create the games that they themselves wanted. With that in mind, their first title, GTFO, launched in 2019 and since then has gone on to win several awards for its 4-player co-op action.
This is only, the beginning, however, because 10 Chambers is primed to go back to something special, something that resonates closely to their own roots. Looping back around to the whole industry veterans thing, these guys had their hands in games like Payday and Payday 2, and those games are looking to serve as a foundation for what’s next.
Enter Den of Wolves, a game that’s being touted by 10 Chambers as a return to their heist days. Which, if you’re familiar with the Payday series, all of what they’re getting into now is going to make a lot of sense.
I had a chance to sit down with the developers and get the full rundown on what Den of Wolves is really about, and what it aims to set it apart from both those previous titles as well as its contemporaries.
Now this is a game that’s been in their minds for well over a decade, back before the studio was even formed really. In their words, it is a game that the team has to make, far away from the depressive atmosphere of something dark like GTFO. That said, Den of Wolves has been well in its way of two years of pre-production, which means that the developers have been laying the ground for future development and creating its tools and systems.
Den of Wolves takes 10 Chambers back to their bread and butter with a heist-themed game, and it’s one there’s plenty of potential to be had. It’ll be a game with roles within a team, framed by the science fiction versus reality elements of corporations competing with each other. This is something they feel is more interesting than just defaulting to military concepts – it allows them to punch above their weight and work smart rather than hard.
This ambition has allowed the team at 10 Chambers to craft a unique location known as Midway – it’s a grounded sci-fi world that begs a real-world question: How could deep learning AI attack the global economy?
From there we learn that Midway, which is a nature reserve in the North Pacific Ocean, is now an unregulated innovation zone where corporations can do whatever they want without consequence. There’s a high number of them located there and their competitive nature makes it a place ripe for conflict.
To facilitate this environment, Den of Wolves is set far into the future year of 2097. The city itself is inspired by works such as Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner, and because of that it’s a flawed city crafted with science fiction elements that serve a purpose. That purpose is a world in which 10 Chambers can put anything fun into play without having to default to concessions.
Den of Wolves won’t be an open world but will involve deep world-building, taking further inspiration from movies such as Inception and Strange Days. There will be things like emails, and a lot of work going into the finer details like in-universe branding.
The decision to not go open world means they can lean into their own strengths, that is being able to funnel the players where they’re supposed to be.
The city of Midway will be dotted with megastructures, and a focus on not distracting the player with things they aren’t able to do, such as driving cars. The goal here is to create a believable world but also massive indoor rooms and maps that open up creativity for designers.
Den of Wolves wouldn’t be complete without a story and a story it will have in the form of stand-alone narratives. Telling a story in a co-op game isn’t exactly easy because of the issue of multiple instances of storylines. The goal is then to make a solid handling of these stories while also just letting people have fun together.
What that means is the player will have their own agency as a criminal entrepreneur, engaging in randomized elements in the maps and the way they’re tied together.
The idea is Den of Wolves will bring in a thought-provoking narrative by taking real-world examples of late-stage capitalism and what those corporations have been getting away with. The team is taking reference from real-world corporate secrets and actual court cases to facilitate their efforts.
By using these real-world elements, the team hopes that their story can be considered more profound for its qualities. But make no mistake, your character won’t be a good guy. You’re simply part of the system and working to further other corporations.
There won’t be any predefined characters either – think Destiny with a character creator. This way you’ll be able to project your own motivations in a world that isn’t a dystopia, but misbehavior runs rampant.
Den of Wolves hopes to elevate what a heist can be, and that’s quickly evident in its base concepts of a four-player co-op heist game. The team stresses that there’s a lot of untapped potential in the genre and so they’re injecting sci-fi for a fresh spin on it. Players can expect full-on action, stealth, and everything in between.
This allows for a dramatic curve of gameplay, which is designed to bring players together, and more importantly, being able to play with anyone from randoms and others in different languages.
As for when Den of Wolves will come out? Well right now there’s no release window, but the game will enter Steam Early Access and is being developed out the gate for console viability. The world will be expanded through paid downloadable content, along with the possibility of microtransactions. That said, 10 Chambers is at least promising it won’t be for gambling or any math shenanigans, so everyone can rest easy on that front.
That aside, the science fiction vibes and focus on narrative inspired by real-world concepts in a multiplayer environment make Den of Wolves one to watch heading into the future.
TechRaptor was invited to an event to preview the announcement of Den of Wolves by the publisher.