A cross between RimWorld and Mount & Blade, Bellwright is a true renegade game at its core

Why isn’t there a proper rebel game? This isn’t a false suggestion of taking back control, as destroying a certain radio tower in Watch Dogs Legion will suddenly “liberate” Oxford Street from oppressive forces. I’m talking about that real incendiary energy. Form a small group of like-minded individuals and take the fight to the enemy base to push back the defenses. Well, if this sounds like what you’ve been looking for, a contender might be just around the corner.

“I wondered the same thing, and to be honest, I never found a clear answer,” project lead Florian “chadz” Hofreither said in a Bellwright preview hotel suite. With a background in Mount & Blade modding, he and original members of developer Donkey Crew are returning to their roots to create a medieval management game in which you must build your own settlement and build a rebel army , and fought back against the monarchy that ruled the land.

The world itself is not a horrific bloody mess of burning buildings and ruined castles. Instead, the world you inhabit (at least at the start of the game) is beautiful, with vast plains and woodlands. In fact, this particular push to rule the kingdom might not be as black and white as you think. Especially as you grow in power and wage greater conflict, the merits of what you’re doing aren’t always clear.

“We intentionally didn’t make the game too gritty. We didn’t want this desolate dark world where people are hanging on gallows. In fact, the tone changes as you get further into the kingdom – it becomes more brutal. But I wanted a more idyllic world. Our world-building team was like, how on earth are we going to show this?”

He continued, “So we came up with various idyllic ideas of oppression.” There’s a lot to explore in the village. Propaganda from the monarchy, while exaggerated, is not outright evil. When you talk to the villagers, you will also notice that there is an element of oppression there. ”

Bellite man with sword

This may look good, but trust me, this guy is deeply uncomfortable with politics right now. | Image Source: donkey team

But in terms of gameplay, what can you expect? Obviously, in the context of Mount & Blade, you’re going to see a lot of directional sword swings and stuff like that – Bell Wright isn’t ashamed of the tradition here. On a larger scale, you can act as a commander and direct your allies to attack or move, and I briefly saw this being used to attack a nearby bandit camp (even if those fronts quickly decomposed into a full-blown brawl ). In addition to the action, you also have an in-depth settlement builder where individual buildings are built and placed instead of giant houses that appear out of nowhere. Building a life for yourself and your fellow freedom fighters isn’t measured in minutes, but in-game weeks.

Bellright’s difficulty is also fluid, allowing you to approach the hostile world as you see fit. If you want to build slowly, then invasions of your own settlements will proceed at an equally slow pace. However, carve out a bloody line of defense in the Loyalist camp and you’ll see vengeance come in the form of hungry soldiers hunting you down.Enemy aggression matches the strength of your own troops and buildings, so it should ideally The whole process felt challenging.

Hofreither expanded on the team’s approach to pace and momentum in Bellwright: “The metric we use is ‘Are we bored?’ Speed ​​itself doesn’t mean anything. This is a video game. At the end of the day, none of it means anything.” What matters is. But if we find ourselves tired of doing the same thing over and over again, then we know we’re too slow. But if we find that we never really appreciate what we’re doing in the game, we’re moving too quickly. Two extremes, we try to fall in the middle and it works really well for us.

bellweget camp

Eventually, you’ll have a camp with all the tools and resources you need. | Image Source: donkey team

It looks to be a rebellious sandbox, with the threads of a ringworld woven around the core of Mount & Blade. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and there’s an elephant in the room called “The Lost Oasis” that must be overcome. The game was a multiplayer PvP survival game that was essentially abandoned by the team due to various development obstacles. While Bellwright appears to be something Hofreither and co. are keen to develop in the coming years, they absolutely have to earn back a level of trust when it comes to long-time fans of their project.

But if they can get it right, keep updating it, and continue to expand upon what I saw at GDC last week, Bellwright might just be the rebel game I’ve always wanted.

Bellwright is coming to Steam Early Access soon, so keep an eye on the store page and add it to your wishlist if you like it!

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