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Diablo meets Valheim in new Vampire Survivors style roguelike RPG

Jotunnslayer Hordes of Hel is a new blend of Diablo style ARPG and Vampire Survivors survival with a Valheim twist, showcased at WASD 2024.

Diablo meets Valheim in new roguelike survival RPG Jötunnslayer Hordes of Hel - Lightning crashes down on a Norse warrior, damaging their foes in a large circle around them.

As we get further from the launch of the genre-defining Vampire Survivors, more games are looking to bring something new to the roguelike survival genre. Following the huge success of Deep Rock Galactic Survivor, newcomer Jötunnslayer: Hordes of Hel is aiming to bring a Diablo style ARPG twist to the format, along with a Norse mythology setting that would make Valheim proud. Showcased at WASD Live 2024, PCGamesN spoke to Peter Nagy of Grindstone about its upcoming release.

Jötunnslayer: Hordes of Hel is a gorgeous, never-ending battle against the hordes of Helheim. This new roguelike game blends together the horde survival mechanics made popular by the likes of Vampire Survivors with a little more action RPG flavor inspired by classic games like Diablo. Choose from a range of diverse characters, each condemned to suffer in Helheim, and look to earn your redemption as you blast through waves of enemies, leveling up and unlocking a range of active skills and passive bonuses each step of the way.

“We announced it two weeks ago and this is the first time it can be played,” Nagy tells us live on the WASD show floor. “We’ve got very good feedback from everybody who’s played it.” He calls it “a Diablo 4 take on Vampire Survivors in Viking settings,” noting that its initial demo pitch, which was planned to be a more traditional ARPG, wasn’t picked up despite favorable comparisons to the Blizzard giant because the market was too competitive around the launch of Diablo 4.

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“So we came up with the idea of making a much smaller game in terms of production value using what technology and assets we already had,” Nagy explains. As Diablo players, the team built the game with the ability to manually control and cast your spells, but if you’re a big Vampire Survivors enthusiast then there’s the option to switch to full automatic casting that will use each of your skills as they come off cooldown, along with a toggle for automatic targeting.

Each location has different modifiers and difficulty settings, making them each a unique challenge. You can expect an average run to last for “approximately 15 minutes,” although alternate modes will allow you to test your ability to survive against an endless progression. Along with tackling the massive hordes, you’ll also need to take on minibosses and then even more challenging big boss fights, along with completing various challenges.

Jötunnslayer is currently only single-player, but the team is in the process of considering the potential of opening up to multiplayer by the time the game reaches its full version 1.0 launch. You can also expect to find “small little things like easter eggs that we are preparing – sometimes they will be randomly placed across the map,” along with a base camp where you can see all your unlocked upgrades and other information before heading out on a new raid.

Jötunnslayer Hordes of Hel - A mage fires out a four-way lighting attack at enemies around them.

Nagy remarks that whereas Diablo 4 was built as a live service game that is designed to keep players engaged for a long time, Jötunnslayer offers a more “consistent and compact experience – there is a magic, like in Diablo 3.” He notes that the popularity of Vampire Survivors shows the potential for a short-form RPG that still offers plenty of depth and build variety. “We want to deliver a short, very dense experience with all those RPG elements in it.”

Jötunnslayer: Hordes of Hel is set to launch via Steam Early Access in September 2024, with a free demo planned to release in May. If you’re interested in trying it out when that arrives, or just want to keep up to date with its development, you can wishlist it right now on Steam.

Alternatively, here are more of the best games like Diablo if you’re in the mood for a more traditional ARPG adventure, along with the best Viking games on PC in 2024.

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Additional reporting by Nat Smith for PCGamesN at WASD.