Like Game of Thrones but in hell. This Strategy Game Looks Great: All About Solium Infernum – Solium Infernum

Hell is not only that place of eternal suffering that is staged abrahamic religionsnor is it that abstract, badass and profoundly anarchist concept in which innumerable groups of black and death metal have based their personality, but it is something that goes beyond, something that enters, paradoxically, into the realm of the human. There are innumerable different versions of what hell is because in essence it does not stop being something subjective; a pit of infinite desolation, of perdition, of chaos, sometimes even of freedom, of liberation, which has manifested itself in a thousand ways throughout the history of art. For this reason, every time a video game set in hell comes out, I am already with the satellite dish, the binoculars and the aluminum foil hat to understand more or less where the shots will go this time, in a mixture of hope and terror I couldn’t explain precisely.

Everything must be said, with solium infernuma classic computer strategy that came to light way back in 2009, things were not as clear as they seemed: the game was terribly chaotic, it was full of tactical variables that were not very well explained, and also had an interface that was dangerously close to my concept of digital terrorism. And yet it was a indie wonder, a title ahead of its time that holds its own even today, despite the fact that it is more unknown than the inexplicable identity of M. Rajoy. When League of Geekscreators of Armelloa great game that combines tabletop role and turn based strategyand who breaks an incredible 1.5 million friendships every month, announced that they were working on a title reimaginingThose of us who followed the original in its day were very happy. Luckily, we have been able to interview those responsible for the study, and we have collected all the information available about Solium Infernum so that you understand why it is one of the best looking strategy titles of 2023.

Like Game of Thrones, but in hell

The header that you have just above seems to me one of the best ways to summarize the proposal from Solium Infernum. Allow me to clarify, before going into the matter, a few things about the project: League of Geeks is working on a reimagining of the original, with all that that implies. They have clarified what they plan to do very few changes in the playable formula, except for some adjustments to gaining prestige (one of the victory conditions) and a complete facelift to pass it to three dimensions and to current standards. And although normally remakes and remasters in the field of strategy produce me certain chills (How is everything, Knights of Honor II: Sovereign!, Warcraft III: Reforged?), in this case it makes all the sense in the world: Solium Infernum of 2009 is a very complex game, very enjoyable, and it reached very few people. Bringing it to the present is almost an archeology paper and that excites me.

solium infernum

Broadly speaking, you can expect a title from turn based strategyin the style of civilizationbut with a procedurally generated map and with a heavy emphasis on diplomacy and in the plots between factions, which also brings him closer to the great crusader kings. To give you an idea, it is possible to win the game without hitting anyone. There are a lot of elements that look like they were taken from a version satanic of the grand strategy Paradoxin the sense that you will have at your disposal tools such as espionage, diplomatic plots, with certain doses of war preparation, their respective combat system (even with the domination win), and all that, but we also find ideas that go further, that explore the dark theme so special of the title in a very intelligent way: brutal pagan crusades through the gloomy wastelands of the underworld, very dodgy magic rituals of various effects, from direct damage to claim enemy territories… And the possibility of insult enemy demons, in order to provoke wars or increase your prestige. The good vibes are over.

Wait, what’s going on? Interact with demons, at Person, Shin Megami Tensei either Undertale but with lousy milk? Yes, what’s more, she is one of the main mechanics of Solium Infernum. To put a little context, lucifer has disappeared; No one knows where he has gone, it is simply known that his throne has been left empty, a circumstance that has created chaos of biblical proportions in hell. I’m talking about constant power struggles, with the great archdemons as protagonists of this diplomatic massacre, whose immediate objective is to seize the throne of hell. Ambitious, of course, it could not be otherwise. In the original, you had to create a demon from scratch and stab yourself in the back to rise to power, but the League of Geeks proposal happens because choose from eight archfiends with predefined characteristics (there are plans to add more in the future) and that you play according to their strengths and weaknesses. You have a liliththe mother of demons, central to both the lore of evangelion as in the Bible, but also Andromalius, an androgynous being reminiscent of an angel, Astaroth, a beast with colossal armor, and a few more.

solium infernum

A very distinctive hellish setting… and unusual multiplayer

All this takes place in a very strange representation of hell, very distinctive, one that is far from what we could see in the remarkable Dante’s Inferno, same. As they tell us from the study, the premise has to do with the myth of the fall of Lucifer, and the aesthetic is inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost, an extensive poem from the 17th century that deals with issues such as the temptation of Adam and Eve, the personality of Lucifer or the problem of suffering and the existence of God. It is a gray, empty hell, which also reminds Gustave Dore’s classic illustrations and, if you allow me to throw myself a triple, to the thrones of the pygmy lords, in the expansion The Ringed City of Dark Souls 3.

The aesthetics of Solium Infernum, in addition, plays with a more casual touch on the starting map, and then surprises with the incredible design of your illustrations, from his letters and from the scenes, which is precisely when everything becomes murkier, more mature, and when it works best. As my colleague pointed out Alberto Lloria in his articleis also sometimes reminiscent of the work of Sam Kieth, famous for his collaborations with Neil Gaiman on The Sandman, among others. The artistic design is just brutalWell, it manages to plunge you into a hell that is both beautiful and horrible.

Although it is undeniable that it looks pretty, I still keep a bit of caution in my heart

In any case, Solium Infernum is not only rare on the art level, but also on a playable level. It’s not just that I raised one very conversational strategyin which most of your time is spent interacting with rival archfiends in one way or another, but instead even its multiplayer mode is atypical. It basically consists of a game by mail, or play-by-mail game, a type of asynchronous multiplayer When you enter the game, you spend about ten or fifteen minutes defining the actions of your turn, and then you wait for the rest to do the same. This is an interesting system that has not been properly explored in the modern video game industry and, of course, we will have to wait to see how it works exactly. It seems that there will also be the possibility of playing it as a simultaneous multiplayerto use, and also in single player mode, with the rest of the demonic factions controlled by artificial intelligence. Of course, its turn-based mechanics also comes with a trick: they are all resolved simultaneously, which leads you to design increasingly proactive strategies. Two extra helpings of chaos, please.

solium infernum

with everything, and although it is undeniable that he has pintura and that League of Geeks did a great job with Armello, I still have a grain of caution in my heart. Solium Infernum is a super complex game, and as much as the core of the game is basically the same as the original, I think it’s better to try it before jumping to conclusions. A priori it is impossible to know when that will be; from the study point to a release in 2023, probably with some kind of early access, but they also note that it will be out when it’s ready. A decision that I fully support, because if it goes well we are talking about one of the great strategy indies of his yearwhatever it is.