Rebel Wolves, the studio founded by a few of the CD Projekt folk behind The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, have officially titled their forthcoming dark fantasy RPG. That title is… Dawnwalker. They’ve also shared a new teaser image, which I think could depict one of two things: a) a vampiric or otherwise supernaturally-inclined hero flying through the air care of a Dishonored-style Blink teleport, sword raised and clawed fingers stretched towards an unseen foe against a blood-red backdrop. Or b) a man with his trousers aflame swinging through the window of a second floor spa while attempting to use his umbrella as a parachute, having received only half a pedicure before the building caught fire.
There are no further details, but as PCGamer notes, the vampire premise seems more plausible, though I guess it’s possible that the man jumping through the spa window is also a vampire? The title recalls “Daywalker”, the nickname given to Marvel’s dhampir hero Blade by fearful undead. Here’s the reveal tweet.
As Alice wrote back in 2022, when Rebel Wolves announced their existence, there is a lot of big rhetoric on the developers’ website about how they plan to “revolutionise” the RPG genre. As regards Dawnwalker, that means narratives that will “make you second guess your instincts”, “meaty, dynamic gameplay systems” and “as much freedom as possible”, with “no right or wrong way to play the game”.
All of which could be the blurb for any RPG released this side of 1990, but I’m certainly not going to argue with Rebel Wolves’ credentials. The studio’s already very Witchy core team was recently bolsted by the addition of Witcher 3 lead quest designer and Cyberpunk 2077 design director Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz.
“Throughout all my years in game development, story-driven role-playing adventures have always been something I was most passionate about,” Tomaszkiewicz said in a press release. “For me, nothing beats fully immersing myself and discovering handcrafted stories and worlds.”
Dishonored developers Arkane are currently working on a Blade game set in near-future Paris, so assuming it is a vampire game, Dawnwalker has some direct competition already. There’s also Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, which is now in the hands of Dear Esther devs The Chinese Room.
Dawnwalker is in the “alpha stage of development”, with more details slated to arrive later this year. Trucking around social media, I notice that Rebel Wolves character artist Eduardo Porceli has recently Instagrammed some very pretty images of fantasy creatures. I wonder if those are from the game?
Potential comments thread topic: what kind of Walker are you? I’m kind of an “ugh it’s 5.30am, no point trying to sleep now”-walker. But I entertain high hopes of getting my diurnal rhythms under control this year, and becoming more of an Elevenses-walker, at weekends anyway.