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19 October, 2015

Crysis 2 and Syndicate Writer Richard Morgan Bringing Gamebook Trilogy to PC and Mobile

Veteran video game writer Richard Morgan's dark fantasy trilogy A Land Fit for Heroes on its way to PC and Mobile

If you’ve played Crysis or Syndicate, then you’ve had a taste of the superb work of author Richard Morgan. Likewise, if you’re a fantasy fan then you may have read Morgan’s dark fantasy trilogy “A Land Fit For Heroes,” comprising The Steel Remains, The Cold Commands and The Dark Defiles. In rather exciting news, Morgan (in conjunction with indie developer Liber Primus Games) will be bringing his trilogy to PC and mobile in the form of a digital gamebook. And rather soon, in fact.

For those who may not be familiar Morgan's work, here is the background to the series (from Goodreads):

“A dark lord will rise. Such is the prophecy that dogs Ringil Eskiath—Gil, for short—a washed-up mercenary and onetime war hero whose cynicism is surpassed only by the speed of his sword. Gil is estranged from his aristocratic family, but when his mother enlists his help in freeing a cousin sold into slavery, Gil sets out to track her down. But it soon becomes apparent that more is at stake than the fate of one young woman. Grim sorceries are awakening in the land. Some speak in whispers of the return of the Aldrain, a race of widely feared, cruel yet beautiful demons. Now Gil and two old comrades are all that stand in the way of a prophecy whose fulfillment will drown an entire world in blood. But with heroes like these, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.” 

Following the original series, A Land Fit for Heroes will be told from the perspective of three separate protagonists with interlocking stories - Kirellin of House Caithwith (read sample page); Ilaria, Thief of Yhelteth (read sample page); and Calnar, the Majak Warrior (read sample page). While this sounds interesting enough, perhaps the biggest reveal about A Land Fit for Heroes is that it will be “a multiplayer interactive experience.”

While other digital gamebook developers like Tin Man Games and Forge Reply have been innovating in this space for years, I think Liber Primus Games is about to take it to the next level. Working together with two other players online, you'll be able to vote together to make key story decisions and also share items. On paper, this idea sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. Hopefully, there’s no opportunity to grief other players as this might sour the experience. Nonetheless, you can also play the game solo if multiplayer isn't your thing.

Don't Miss: Our exclusive "reinvention of the gamebook" feature with Tin Man Games in Grab It Episode 6 for iPad.

In keeping with the mature tone of the original gamebooks, A Land Fit for Heroes has an incredibly stylistic flair to it. As you can see in the screenshots, the art style uses bright and eye popping colours thrown together into a portrait-like, splotchy watercolour painting. The vividness of the colour palate is almost shocking to the eyes when applied to some of the more dark and sombre scenes. It’s hard to look away from that picture of the fellow hanging upside from the bell, blood splattered all over the belltower. I absolutely love it!

We don't have too much longer to wait to get our hands on this badboy either. A Land Fit for Heroes will be available for Android and iOS at the end of October, and for PC in December.

Stephen Mitchell

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