Back in February, Elodie Games teased a new co-op action RPG codenamed Project Skies. Today it officially revealed the game, and it’s fair to say that things have changed just a little bit between then and now: It’s called Seekers of Skyveil, and it’s a “PvPvE fantasy extraction RPG” that blends conventional APRG mechanics with an unusual mix of other influences from games like League of Legends and Escape From Tarkov.
Seekers of Skyveil teams players up in groups of three “Seekers” and sends them out into a lush fantasy world on a quest for loot and treasure. But rather than a linear grind where you can come and go and run around as you like, in this game the clock is ticking and you can’t just head for home whenever you feel like it: There’s no town portal mechanic, so the only way out is through set extraction points—and of course if you die before you can escape, all that sweet loot is lost.
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The game was initially envisioned as a PvPvE mode for Project Skies, which was initially intended to be a more conventional ARPG. But Elodie Games co-founder and CEO David Banks said the team saw much greater potential in it when they began playtesting a prototype. That led a small group of developers at Elodie to put together a more “fleshed-out” version of the mode, and after some experimentation the studio decided that an extraction mechanic would be a good fit.
“We playtested an early extraction prototype and never looked back,” Elodie Games co-founder and CEO David Banks told PC Gamer. “We couldn’t even extract in that first playtest, and our team was still scream-laughing and immediately wanted to run-it-back. That feeling is special, so we jumped in with both feet.
“On top of that, we have an opportunity to bring something new to the genre and to players who haven’t found their home in extraction games yet. The genre is dominated by dark, serious, and oftentimes militaristic environments, and if you’re not a fan of FPS games, there’s not many options for you. We want to combine the high-paced thrills of the genre with a more tactically oriented MOBA-style combat system to create something fresh for players.”
Currently there are six Seekers in Seekers of Skyveil—character classes, basically, each with unique abilities and playstyles—with more set to arrive as development continues. These are the four that have been revealed so far:
Zuraya – An experienced warrior in harmony with the wind, Zuraya easily flows through close-quarters combat.Kumu – An ancient protector in a sturdy visage, Kumu unleashesunleases the power of the Everbloom to shield and defend his allies.Lily – A talented sculptor and auspicious mage, Lily controls the battlefield by conjuring stunning but deadly ice forms.Joon – An unapologetic rebel with a flair for the dramatic, Joon unleashes barrages of bullets to execute enemies.Image 1 of 4Zuraya – An experienced warrior in harmony with the wind, Zuraya easily flows through close-quarters combat.(Image credit: Elodie Games)Kumu – An ancient protector in a sturdy visage, Kumu unleashesunleases the power of the Everbloom to shield and defend his allies.(Image credit: Elodie Games)Lily – A talented sculptor and auspicious mage, Lily controls the battlefield by conjuring stunning but deadly ice forms.(Image credit: Elodie Games)Joon – An unapologetic rebel with a flair for the dramatic, Joon unleashes barrages of bullets to execute enemies.(Image credit: Elodie Games)
“Our experience is fundamentally different from ARPG exploration or dungeon hunting,” design director Jen Ortiz said. “Players enter into a session-based map experience with others, in which they have a limited time to explore, find loot, and find an extraction point to leave. There is no town teleport or recall to leave when you wish, and you must extract (using an extraction point) if you want to retain the items you have found and looted.
“Within each extraction match, players must fight through creatures and defeat player opponents, level up, and train their abilities (similar to a MOBA) while they are collecting loot. Gear-based loot helps players gain persistent power that they can carry with them from match to match. Other loot items can help players earn gold to buy items they may need (like consumables) and modify their gear. As players accumulate their stash of gear, this will help them gain further ground within the extraction match, including reaching the center of the map where the toughest bosses and best loot can be found.”
It may not be the most obvious genre mash-up ever, but I think it can work: One of my favorite games of 2022 was Hell is Others, a top-down take on extraction shooters with a heavy focus on exploration set in a pulpy, horror-inspired world. Gamers curious about what Seekers of Skyveil has to offer will soon have the opportunity to check it out for themselves: The first alpha playtest is set to begin on October 20, and you can sign up to take part now. Elodie Games will also be giving away alpha test keys on the Seekers of Skyveil Discord.
(Image credit: Elodie Games)(Image credit: Elodie Games)(Image credit: Elodie Games)(Image credit: Elodie Games)