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Lichdom is a first-person RPG from an Oblivion designer in which “you will feel everything”


I don’t much fancy the chances of a Lichdom. Liches never die – that’s their thing. Without death, there’s no need for crypts. And without crypts, where do the liches go to catch up on the books they missed during their lifetime?

There’s your next BioShock, Ken: a utopian undead world predestined for collapse.

Lichdom isn’t about that – not really. It’s a first-person, single player CryEngine RPG from an independent Atlantan studio who’ve got AMD’s attention. And driving that slightly unnerving promise in the headline is a stated focus on that most nebulous of concepts: immersion.

“Our mantra is ‘you will feel everything,’ which means that our approach to designing games is focused on immersing the player completely in the game,” writes Michael McMain, CEO of developers Xaviant. “When gamers play our games, we want them to forget about things like controllers and keyboards. With Lichdom, we’ve achieved just that.”

Heading up McMain’s team is design director Tim Lindsey, whose work you’ll remember in Oblivion’s titular Planes. Now, now – I know the pleasing symmetry to their design was spoiled for some by repetition. So perhaps it’d be better to note Lindsey’s contribution to CCP’s unseen World of Darkness MMO and a few Eve Online expansions as level design director.

His heart is clearly very much still with Bethesda, though. The perspective will already have you thinking Skyrim, and neither the combat nor the locales will do a thing to change that. Here’s the video that AMD chose to showcase their new tech with in Hawaii last night:

There’s no open world here, but Xaviant are confident you’ll see beyond that:

“The system driving combat and magic is designed from the ground up to deliver an emergent spell-casting experience in worlds tailored to allow for experimentation and re-playability,” they elaborate. “The player is trained in the use of these systems through quests tailored to feel seamless with the environment.

“Hundreds of encounters with the corruption of this world encourage a player to build and test their magic creations. Each new region challenges the player with visceral combat and rewards them with magics of increasingly varied effect. With skill and creativity these abilities can be combined to create organic synergies that unleash far more devastating destruction.”

Gosh. Lichdom is due next summer. Do you think you’ll be ready to encounter the corruption of its world by then?