Over a year ago, back when Chaos Reborn was another Schrödinger's cat in the limbo world of Kickstarter, Julian Gollop told us about a distant single player mode. It would envelop the game’s exquisitely tactical turn-based matches in an overworld like that of Heroes of Might and Magic - setting the player loose in a procedurally-generated realm governed by an increasingly powerful Wizard King.
After months sensibly spent nailing the fundaments of Chaos in Early Access, Snapshot Games are almost ready to release an early version of that metagame.
“We have been hard at work implementing the single player realm exploration mode,” wrote the developers in a Kickstarter update this week. “An initial version of this will be released in June, and will also feature a co-op mode allowing you to recruit an ally for any battle.”
Here’s a screenshot from the main realm exploration screen, as it looks atm:
Players will be tasked with simply defeating the Wizard King - but to do so will need to dart about the realm, pushing back the fog of war, picking up equipment, interacting with NPCs and defeating weaker Wizard Lords. Much of the realm and its residents will be procedurally-generated.
“The main difficulty there is having sufficiently good algorithms there to generate this stuff,” Gollop told PCGamesN last year. “It’s not just random generation - the algorithms have to follow certain patterns and rules which will make the environment both plausible and interesting.”
It’ll still be a game about tactical battles with the Gollop signature element of chance. But players will need to keep track of goings-on in the meta-realm. Excitingly, the Wizard King will reinforce his position with stronger spells and minions the longer you leave him - ultimately casting a hex that will force you off the map.
“You can’t just spend your time wandering around willy-nilly,” said Gollop. “You actually have to find an efficient way to explore the realm. So there’s the development of strategic gameplay in there as well, above and beyond just the tactical battles themselves.”
Chaos Reborn’s most recent update introduced ‘classic’ multiplayer, in which both wizards wield the same standard staff and a random selection of spells. Also two pretty new map types we can expect to see in single player: shattered Ruins and lord-housing Citadels.
Law spells have been nerfed too, which sounds about right - when I last played for my Chaos Reborn review, I had probably too much success riding around on unicorns with a big sword. Are any of you lot into Chaos already?