We played incoming French cyber-RPG Robothorium with its developer Bastien Locoge at Gamescom today.
The game is a story-driven, turn-based squad adventure, and will be coming to Switch early next year – but without the PvP elements from the PC version.
It's a role-playing style familiar from Japanese RPGs and dungeon crawlers. Although the setting is all lasers and force fields, with its overload mechanic (a bit like "stress", it seems), comparisons to Darkest Dungeon are inevitable. "Darkest Dungeon was one of the most influential games that inspired us," says Locoge. "In terms of science fiction influences, I would say Asimov and Orwell."
It has rogue-like elements too. There's a degree of randomness to the dungeons, and three difficulty settings – on the hardest, you will lose a robot forever if it's destroyed in the game. On easier settings the robots can be repaired between missions. "It's maybe not as hardcore as Darkest Dungeon," reveals Locoge, "but hardcore players will find a lot to enjoy."
"You're in the near future of humanity," he explains. "Resources are vanishing and thorium has replaced fuel, Robots are used a lot for every human task – which is like slavery. The father of robotics has created special AI which is capable of consciousness and self-awareness who's able to rise up and free the robots from slavery. The game is about leading the revolution, whether you want to do it through violence of diplomacy. Every choice that you make impacts on the random procedural generation and the progression of the storyline."
Robothorium will be out on Nintendo Switch in early 2019. "The only thing that won't be in the Switch game is the PvP aspect of it," admits Locoge. "Because cross-platform stuff like that is very hard to do. But the content of the single player game will be there." On other platforms, your squad will be able to challenge (asynchronously) other players' squads online.
You can expect up to 20 hours of gameplay, and more if you're the kind of player who really optimises your squad's loadout and settings. Like us.