New lands! New adventures! There’s always been a certain thrill to seeing a game of exploration play out, as you establish a colony and develop it into a thriving hub of economy. But here’s an idea: What if you were sent into a land full of nightmarish abominations that wants to turn your flesh into an appetizer, and tasked with somehow developing your own society in a world that very much wants you dead?

That’s the idea behind Gord from developer Covenant.Dev. A single-player adventure and strategy game, players will have complete quests and manage a populace whose personal stories and well-being impact the fate of the settlement. Throw in the nastiest pieces of Slavic folklore, and you’ve got a city-building game where danger constantly lurks outside of the walls.

Like gnarly danger, tree-stumps with teeth eating children and wolves on steroids kinds of threats. Here’s a look at the game in action:

And here’s a bunch of key features!

Adventure strategy in a dark fantasy setting 

Lead the people of the Tribe of the Dawn as they venture deep into forbidden lands and ensure the survival of your populace in a grim fantasy world inspired by Slavic folklore.

A unique city-builder with survival elements 

Grow your gord from a humble settlement to a formidable fortress while your population is constantly at risk from enemy tribes, gruesome monsters, and mysterious powers that lurk in the surrounding woods.

AI-driven quest system to ensure lots of variety 

Side quests and random encounters will send you off into the wilderness to hunt down legendary creatures, uncover secrets about the Ancients, or vanquish a nasty scourge.

Custom scenarios with procedural level generation 

Choose from a variety of primary objectives, select the level size, the intensity of raids, the environment you’ll play in, the types of enemies you’ll face, starting resources, and even the severity of weather.

Impactful Sanity and Burden systems 

Every aspect of your settlers’ lives – from illness and hunger to the death of their kin – can impact your villagers’ psychological state.

Unleash powerful Incantations 

Spells vary in nature – some are offensive while others are defensive – but they all help to tip the battlefield in your favor.

Uncover the world’s mysteries in The Chronicle 

Pages torn from The Chronicle will be scattered throughout the game’s landscapes, giving dedicated players an additional challenge of discovering lore that explains the Gord universe.

Covenant.Dev says that one of the more unique features of Gord is that it emphasizes the importance of your unit’s mental state while managing a small populace. In Gord, your choices will be driven not only by economic efficiency and moral choices, but they will also be affected by tension and fear brought about by the atmosphere.

“The Sanity of the subjects is just as important as their physical Health,” the developer explained.

Zmora front

If a subject doesn’t bleed out after a fight, they may still flee if the psychological damage is too great. Thus, Sanity is the current emotional state of a particular subject. Sanity drops most severely when a subject travels without a light source or after experiencing something terrible, such as the death of a family member. Sanity may be regenerated in a number of ways – for example, in a Meadery or by basking in the warming glow of a torch. However, the most negative stimuli will drop your subjects’ Sanity and also influence their level of Burden.

Burden takes a more subtle shape as a mental resource, developing as a measure of long-term psychological wounds each subject has incurred during their lifetime. While Health and Sanity can be restored, Burdens will only increase over time and traumatic event will be noted in that subject’s Journal of Burden. There’s no definitive threshold for just how heavy a burden can get before its too much to bear, but it will eventually result in a subject having a complete mental breakdown.

A pure single-player game, Gord is currently aiming for a 2022 release date on PC via Steam. Already far along in development, Covenant.Dev is considering an Early Access release, with a final decision to be revealed later this year.

Last Updated: April 13, 2021

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