Medieval ships fight with swords and axes in this action RPG

What if medieval knights skipped the industrial revolution and the modern age and jumped straight into the space age? Your spaceships can look like the knights themselves: heavily armored and wielding swords, axes and maces, slashing and slashing at each other in crispy melee combat. But in space.

That’s the concept behind the roguelike action RPG Fabulous: Once Upon a Time in Space-Time, coming to Steam Early Access later this year. In the announcement trailer above, you can see traditional spaceship weapons like lasers and turrets, but mostly we’re talking about physics-based, medieval-style combat in a 2D space arena. Ships can wield longswords, hatchets, spears and curved daggers, slashing and crushing each other as they spin and spin in zero gravity until someone explodes in a hail of smoke and pixels. It kind of reminds me of real life battle robotsbut a thousand times nicer.

One of the many fun-looking weapons is a chained bastille dart, which can be fired at an enemy ship. That ship can then be dragged towards yours and slammed with melee attacks, or you can pull one ship towards another so they both detonate in twin dazzling fireballs.

What event led to all this frenetic medieval starship combat? Well, there was theft of galactic proportions:

“The Lords of the Void stole the sun,” reads the game’s Steam store page, creating one of the best quotes I’ve ever read. “His brothers have disappeared into deep space. The king ages and grows frail, looking for a better future in the endless streams of prophecy. As the last remnant of royalty, the kingdom’s fate rests on his shoulders – and on his blade.”

(Image credit: Spiritus Games)

As you navigate the FTL-like procedural star map and engage in battle, you gain upgrades for your ship, increasing its power, armor, mass, speed, and other attributes. Some upgrades are permanent, so when you die and start the roguelike, you’ll start with extra charge slots or special items right from the start. Defeating enemies lets you open loot chests full of new weapons and resources, including potions, because we’re talking old science fiction here. Even the ship names have a cool medieval theme like Manticora and Paladin.

The art, physics and effects look fantastic, and there’s more than just space battles to engage in – Fabular also features “hundreds of randomly generated text-based events with colorful characters” and locations inspired by classic folktales. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a wait before you can get your gauntlets into the RPG: Fabulous is planned for an early access release in Q3 2022.

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