Eurogamer.net

Project Wight is an open-world Viking RPG where you play as the monster

"It's about allowing people to express rage and sadness about the condition of the world right now."

Last week, former Battlefield developer David Goldfarb pulled back the curtain on Project Wight, the ambitious role-playing game in the works at his new indie studio.

We first heard about Project Wight back in early 2015, when Goldfarb announced his new development team, co-founded by fellow ex-DICE employee Ben Cousins.

Teased via a poster showing Norse-style warriors, Goldfarb told Eurogamer the game would be his "first real stab" at an RPG project - after having tried to sneak RPG mechanics into some of his DICE projects (always, he said at the time, "to much chagrin").

Chatting with Eurogamer this week, after the trailer's unveiling, Goldfarb was able to fill in a few more of the blanks.

Stockholm-based indie team The Outsiders is still small - just over a dozen people - and yet the scope of Project Wight feels huge. Its reveal teaser suggested at an open world structure to the game, something which Goldfarb confirms.

And, while the game is still a long way off - not due for release in 2017, at least - there's hope it will arrive for consoles as well as PC.

As for its main character - Goldfarb is a little more coy.

Project Wight's twist is that it tells its story through the viewpoint of a creature, rather than that of its Viking-esque warriors.

The monster (although Goldfarb tells me he doesn't like that term - "we're referring to it as 'the creature' right now") has watched humanity hunt down and kill the rest of its kind.

Despite its short duration, the teaser is effective at creating a sense of empathy towards the creature - especially when you see how humans are attacking its father.

Meanwhile, the game's setting and design clearly riff on the Viking saga of Beowulf - and it's an influence which Goldfarb readily acknowledges.

"Almost the genesis of this project was, 20 years ago, when I read John Gardner's Grendel," Goldfarb says, "which tells the Beowulf epic but written from the point of view of the monster.

"Most of my life has been spent feeling like I don't understand a lot of perspectives, except that I always side with the 'other'. When I read Grendel, it was affecting to me personally and I thought I'd love to do something with it one day.

"It just so happened that as time wore on and I got more and more frustrated with humans," he laughs, "it has become something I'm able to make."

There's a feeling of vengeance to the teaser, which sees the creature initially having to back away from humans which are slaughtering its kind, only to come back and attack after it has grown stronger.

But violence isn't all the game will be about.

The best of E3 2017 Our five Editor's Choice awards. The best of E3 2017

"We want to make it clear it's not just about slaughter," Goldfarb says. "There's more to it than that which we'll show."

That said, it sounds like that sense of vengeance will colour the game.

"It's like, if you were a tiger and you saw all the other tigers becoming extinct: what would you do? I don't want to talk about our levers or the setup of the world, but, certainly for me, it's about allowing people to express some of the rage and sadness about the condition of the world right now - that's part of what this game is.

"If you don't look at the word through the lens of humanity you'd see a lot of terrible things," Goldfarb concludes. "As a species we're bad at looking at the world any other way. There's value imaginatively and ethically of imagining the world [through some other lens] and thinking 'wow, isn't this f***ed up?' Even if it's just an imaginative exercise I think it's wonderful to inhabit."

Comments (15)

Comments for this article are now closed, but please feel free to continue chatting on the forum!