11 Bit Studios, the renowned publisher of award-winning titles such as This War of Mine and Frostpunk, has announced its collaboration with developer Fool’s Theory to bring a new isometric RPG to life. Titled The Thaumaturge, this “story-rich” game promises a deep and morally ambiguous narrative-driven experience that will challenge players’ perceptions of themselves and the world around them.
Fool’s Theory is a “collective of AAA veterans” whose past works include Seven: The Days Long Gone and the highly-anticipated remake of the original Witcher for CD Projekt. Last June, the studio offered a tantalizing glimpse of its upcoming project under the working title Project Vitriol. They described it as a game that would delve into the dark recesses of the human psyche and explore the complexities of the human condition, all while delivering a unique take on combat, character development, and investigation mechanics.
After months of anticipation, we finally have a proper unveiling of Project Vitriol, now known as The Thaumaturge. This story-driven RPG transports players to Warsaw, Poland, during the early 20th century, shortly after its annexation by Russia. This setting provides a unique backdrop for the game’s morally ambiguous choices and the spiritual world that players will explore, as they try to navigate a city that’s a study in contrasts. Poverty and hooliganism are as much a part of the city’s identity as high society wealth and political machinations.
As players delve deeper into The Thaumaturge’s narrative, they’ll come to realize that there’s much more to this world than meets the eye. The game introduces the concept of Salutors, esoteric beings that reside in the cracks between the real world and the shadows. Only a Thaumaturge, a rare individual with the ability to perceive Salutors, can use their unique abilities to gain insight into a person’s true intentions and desires, as well as their deepest secrets and flaws.
In addition to their investigative powers, Thaumaturges can also bend the will of others to their needs, altering the world around them in profound ways. This makes them formidable opponents in turn-based combat, particularly in the dark and dangerous alleys of districts like Praga.
While The Thaumaturge is currently only confirmed for PC release via Steam and GOG, gameplay footage is set to be revealed during March’s GDC, giving fans a tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come. With its engaging narrative, morally complex choices, and unique gameplay mechanics, The Thaumaturge promises to be a standout addition to the isometric RPG genre, and we can’t wait to experience it for ourselves.