I’m a big fan of Analgesic (opens in new tab)So when Astronauts – a studio founded by veterans of Painkiller developer People Can Fly – announced a return to form in 2017 with Witchfire (opens in new tab), I was very interested. We got a new look at the game today at Summer Game Fest, and it’s fair to say my attention remains firmly fixed.
The trailer isn’t very deep, but it has a similar flavor to Painkiller: a nice mix of big magic weapons, dilapidated dark fantasy landscapes, and bizarre monsters that spread out in interesting ways when the hammer drops. There’s also a glimpse of some supportive powers and environmental interactivity that can also be fun.
Painkiller has been something of a cursed shooter series: the original, released in 2004, was brilliant, but the sequels failed to recapture its magic. The Battle Out of Hell expansion was good, but everything that has come since has been, well, bad. I’ve been idly looking for a decent follow-up to Painkiller for nearly 20 years now, and while I’m not holding my breath – it’s been too many years and too many disappointments – I’m cautiously hopeful that Witchfire could finally be that.
Witchfire still doesn’t have a release date, despite being announced half a decade ago, but the trailer says an early access release on epic game store (opens in new tab) It is coming soon.