I think fighting skeletons might be one of the most fundamental joys of video games. The more implausible its ambulation seems, the better, but I’m happy as long it clatters to the floor as a collection of distinct physics objects once I’m done.
Dungeonborne seems likely to satisfy. It’s a “PvPvE extraction dungeon crawler” about delving deep below a dark fantasy world with friends, hitting skeletons and monsters with swords, and then leaving with their loot – or venturing further and risking it all.
The extraction system apparently involves a battle royale-style safe zone which shrinks over time, putting pressure on adventurers to cut their losses and escape while they still can. Loot taken from the dungeon can then be sold at an in-game auction house above ground, or broken down into crafting resources, with the resulting goodies then helping to equip you for your next run at th dungeon.
As the trailer above shows, there’s seemingly also the chance to betray your fellow players and make off with all of the loot yourself. Those players will be operating as classes that can be either traditional (“rogues, priests and fighters,” says a press release) or more specialised, including a Cryomancer with ice magic, a Swordmaster that can “rain psionic blades”, and the undead Death Knight.
I like extraction games, particularly those that involve something other than modern assault rifles. It’s a neat format for creating extra drama and tension around a traditional RPG loot and upgrade system. I’m interested to see more of Dungeonborne, which will run an open alpha during next week’s Steam Next Fest, from February 2nd until February 12th.