Wildfire Stealthily Ignites a Blaze on Kickstarter
Fire and stealth mechanics generally haven’t spoken to one another since the old days of Thief, and even then it’s usually only when extinguishing torches for more darkness. But the appropriately named developer Sneaky Bastards are going for a 2D stealth game involving lots of fire.
In Wildfire, the main character is born with an amazing power to control elements, such as fire and ice. If it were modern times, he may have been regarded as a superhero. Unfortunately, in the medieval ages, this is more akin to witchcraft. Upon manifestation of these abilities, armies of sword-wielding soldiers, archers, and attack cats relentlessly hunt the poor guy, who must outsmart them, making sure his plans don’t backfire.
The protagonist (portrayed as “you” and intentionally designed to look androgynous) can’t directly damage enemies, so he has to be stealthy in order to get past the patrols. Tall grass is very important, because it offers concealment. But if there’s a source of fire nearby, he can acquire it and then shoot it, using it to ignite another patch of grass to terrify soldiers as they flee, or create a smokescreen. Fire can burn off obstacles like crates, but controlling water can be just as useful for putting out flames, or to save the character from burning himself. One of the bolder tactics in the game seems to be setting the hero ablaze in order to rush past groups of enemies, hopefully plunging into a pool a few seconds later. Wildfire aims to create a lot of different situations that require creative solutions, which will diversify as more abilities become available to the main character.
Eventually, the protagonist leaves the forest area to arrive at more complex, challenging ones, such as a fortress. While levels are fairly linear, progressively the paths will start to open up, and observant players may find hidden passages and alternative routes. Although it’s difficult to estimate, the creators count about five to six hours of playtime during a first run. One notable aspect of Wildfire is the great deal of customization, going much further beyond simply selecting difficulty. Users will be able to adjust the health system, either allowing the character to survive multiple hits or opting for insta-death, extend or shorten the duration a fire burns, and even activate a speedrun mode.
Sneaky Bastards have worked on Wildfire for about nine months so far. They recently put the game on Kickstarter, with a playable Alpha demo that teaches many of the mechanics present. Currently, there’s an $8 Early Bird discount to get a copy of the game, or pledging $20 awards monthly, playable Alpha builds and the opportunity to provide feedback to the developers. There’s also a Steam Greenlight campaign. Wildfire is targeting a release on Windows PC.
Are fire and stealth a perfect pair? Let us know in the comments, and check back with IGM for future updates on Wildfire.