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Stirring Abyss is an upcoming Lovecraftian tactical RPG set at the bottom of the ocean

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Stirring Abyss is an upcoming Lovecraftian tactical RPG set at the bottom of the ocean

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 28 May 2020, 18:53:20

Tags: Sleepy Sentry; Slitherine; Stirring Abyss

Stirring Abyss is an upcoming Lovecraft-inspired tactical RPG by Finnish indie studio Sleepy Sentry, where you take charge of the crew of a submarine who have found themselves stranded at the bottom of the ocean among the ruins of a forgotten civilization. The game was first announced way back in 2016, but we only spotted it at the end of 2018 shortly after the failure of its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Despite this setback the developers decided to press on, and yesterday it was revealed that they'd won the support of venerable strategy game publisher Slitherine, who will be publishing Stirring Abyss as part of their new K-Project indie label. Here's their press release along with a couple of trailers. Note that the gameplay trailer is from 2018, so it might out be out of date.

Epsom, 26th May 2020. Slitherine and Sleepy Sentry, an indie game development studio based in Turku, Finland, are proud to announce Stirring Abyss.

Stirring Abyss is the second indie title to be published under the newly launched K-Project label. A tactical squad-based game with strong RPG elements and a Lovecraftian narrative, Stirring Abyss plunges players into the deep end as they take charge of the surviving crew of the USS Salem, a submarine struck by disaster whilst on a top-secret research mission in the early years of the Cold War. They find themselves surrounded by the ruins of a forgotten civilization, their badly damaged vessel lying stranded at the bottom of the ocean.

Stirring Abyss proves how different and innovative a strategy game can be,” says Marco Minoli, Marketing Director at Slitherine. “K-Project was created for this purpose: we look at different angles for the genre and different approaches to a sometimes tired niche. Good ideas often come from small, bold studios that are willing to experiment and we are here to fully support this.

Stirring Abyss is a weird and scary beast. It stays true to the Lovecraftian tradition of merging strange creatures and situations with a fearful yet immersive atmosphere; while investigating the uncharted seabed, horror comes from the depths of the human mind as much as from the depths of the ocean.

The developers are creating an experience that, unlike other horror games, doesn’t rely on jump scares or unexpected loud sounds to give you chills. Instead, Stirring Abyss takes inspiration from classic board games and traditional RPGs, translating madness and exhaustion into game mechanics, as well as the inevitable fascination for the horrifying, forgotten creatures of the abyss, allowing the weird, disturbing atmosphere to seep into every aspect of play.

Taking inspiration from the short story The Temple by H.P. Lovecraft, in which a German submarine gets lost underwater during the First World War, in Stirring Abyss you follow the horrifying destiny of the members of the USS Salem’s crew, as they suffer from disturbing nightmares and hallucinations after the discovery of an ancient, cursed relic. In Story Mode, you slowly unravel the mysteries of the depths in a desperate quest to rescue your missing crewmembers and fix the crippled Salem. The choices you make determine the fate of your crew – and that of the entire world.

Every expedition lives or dies by the strength of its crew. You have a diverse array of character traits and skills at your disposal, each opening exciting new options for both combat and story events. As you delve ever deeper, you may also subject your crew to powerful but grisly mutations; the price of survival is high, and no one escapes the abyss unchanged.

The horrors of the void hiding in the deep waters can become too much to bear, and your crew may experience episodes of exhaustion and insanity. Will their psyche get stronger, or will it be forever damaged? Only a game of dice with Fate itself will determine the outcome.

Salvaged resources can be turned into weapons, armor, or other useful supplies – or used to repair and upgrade the Salem, giving your crew a crucial edge in the fight for survival. The more you explore the abyss during the missions, the more chance you have of finding lost treasures of the deep.

The hauntingly beautiful environment holds many secrets and mysteries to explore, but danger lurks just outside the feeble circles of light you can bring with you. Be wise, and use your skills to scout the black waters and light up the path: unseen terrors may be hiding just out of sight.

Endless Mode pits your crew in a roguelike battle against a never-ending army of enemies that will grow stronger and stronger as you progress. It is the ultimate test of strategic ability as you not only decide how to improve your own squad, but also pick your poison and choose which powers your foes will gain.
Slitherine have decided to call Stirring Abyss a "tactical squad-based game with strong RPG elements" rather than a straight RPG, but that didn't stop PC Gamer from describing the game as a strategy-RPG in their short preview, not to mention the developers on their Twitter account. Since we missed it the first time, I don't mind giving it a shoutout. According to its Steam page, Stirring Abyss is "coming soon", presumably this year.

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