Samtsirhc Yrrem! As they say during the festive season in Gloomwood‘s Mirror Realm. Actually, I imagine they say things like “What was that?” followed by “Argh!” much as they do in regular Gloomwood. What is the Mirror Realm, you ask? Why, it’s part of Gloomwood’s just arrived Christmas update, which adds bugfixes, new areas, and a whole host of festive doohickies alongside mysterious alternate dimensions.
If I seem evasive about the true nature of the Mirror Realm, that’s because it isn’t entirely clear what it is. Publisher New Blood Interactive is being decidedly cryptic about the whole affair. On the website formerly known as Twitter, New Blood posted a video of Gloomwood’s Doctor stepping into a fetching magenta portal, writing “The Mirror Realm of Gloomwood is now open to you, Doctor! Come and go as you please, discover inexplicable ways back to areas you’ve previously been, and maybe even a new surprises!”
It sounds like some kind of portal-y, fast-travel-y system for skipping around Gloomwood’s increasingly large map. But in the game’s patch-notes, New Blood includes a subhead that reads “Area:???” followed by the line “The mirror beckons you”. So perhaps there’s an interstitial area that connects your fast-travel points, a bit like wandering along the World Tree in God of War: Ragnarok.
Fortunately, New Blood is much clearer about what other gifts the Christmas update brings. For starters, the whole game has been given a seasonal makeover. The map has been sprinkled with snow. The Doctor can wield snowballs, chucking them at enemies to blind them, and at fires to douse them. The enemies have been given new festive skins, like a Krampus outfit for the Goatmen, Reindeer costumes for the Fishdogs and a “tiny Santa hat for Bubert the Rat,” which you can see below.
(Image credit: New Blood Interactive)
Meanwhile, numerous existing areas have been expanded. Fittingly, the City Market has seen the most growth, with a new entrance hall to Lord Kar’s manor, an entrance to the Underport, reworked structures outside of the barbershop, and a bunch of smaller additions. Elsewhere, the lighthouse on the Coast Cliffside has received a spanking new kitchen and hammock area, presumably so the Huntsmen can cook Christmas dinner and then sleep it off. Oh, and the Market Shop has got an attic area, because where else are you going to hide all those presents, eh?
The update also adds various tweaks, bugfixes, and other general improvements, like anisotropic filtering and improved textures for the Doctor’s hands and holdable item models. You can read the full patch notes here. And if you want to check out the new additions but aren’t in a festive mood, New Blood has even added an in-game option to turn the festive content on or off.
Here’s a nice detail I think my fellow gamedev friends will find neat – all of the seasonal stuff can be swapped on/off at runtime instantly. The snow, enemy skins, seasonal items/weapons, props, ect. Yes, this was a challenge to get working lol https://t.co/fkAff1STnc pic.twitter.com/gmED4kkVLoDecember 22, 2023
That oughta keep the Doctor’s silk stockings filled until the New Year.