Ori and the Blind Forest developer wants to ‘revolutionize the ARPG genre’ with its next game’s ‘direct and tactile’ combat

The developer behind Ori and the Blind Forest thinks action RPGs have room for improvement, and aims to “reinvent the genre” with its new game No Rest for the Wicked.

Launching on Steam Early Access early next year, No Rest for the Wicked will carry over Moon Studio’s painterly art style into an isometric “mature” world set on an island just after the death of its king and freshly corrupted by a transformative plague. You’ll fight beasts and invading armies with the gear you gather using a combat system “where skill and timing is required over simple ‘button-mashing.'”

“Fights in the game are animation-driven, direct, and tactile, allowing skilled players to combine visceral strikes and deadly moves,” Moon Studios says. Weapons will have unique movesets and there will be enemie and bosses that require careful play. As someone who has had to learn the intricacies of Diablo 4’s combat to succeed in its endgame dungeons, it seems like No Rest for the Wicked will demand that of you earlier in your journey.

No Rest for the Wicked’s island, known as Isola Sacra, will have “verticality that is unmatched in other ARPGs,” as well as underground crypts, forests, and mountains. Each area will have characters and secrets to find as you progress through its campaign. In co-op, you’ll have every “quest, boss, and square foot of Isola Sacra” open to you, and the press release makes it seem like you can split up within the same shared world at any time.

Player housing will play a role too. In the town of Sacrament, you can buy property to build your home on. You can also fish and farm for meals to replenish your health and increase your stats before you go dungeon diving.

“We have been dreaming of being able to contribute to the ARPG genre that we all grew up with and love. After the success of Ori, it was clear to us that Moon was now mature enough to finally realize those dreams,” said Thomas Mahler, co-founder and creative director at Moon Studios. “We can’t wait to see how players will react to this entirely new take on the genre!”

In February, Mahler wrote on X that the developer’s “next project is going to be a make-or-break moment for Moon: Either we manage to revolutionize the ARPG genre or we’ll slowly fade away into the distance. While that should be scary, I LOVE the challenge! Diablo, [Path of Exile], etc.: We’re coming for you, may the best one win!”

“Finding the right loot is fun, but it shouldn’t just be all about getting some gear or skill that’s 0.1% better than your current [setup],” Mahler said in a reply

More details on No Rest for the Wicked will be streamed on March 1. Moon Studios plans to release it on Steam in Early Access in “the first quarter of 2024” where it’ll be iterated on until it’s ready for a full release.

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