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Default Dread Delusion - Preview @ Inverse

June 21st, 2022, 19:35
Inverse checked out the open world RPG Dread Delusion:

Dread Delusion feels like Lovecraft made an Elder Scrolls game

Who needs a main story with all these side quests?

The residents of Hallow live their lives under the ever-present neuron star, the world is shattered and those that remain cling to life on islands in the sky. This is Dread Delusion, a new RPG in early access from developer Lovely Hellplace. Dread Delusion combines elements from Elden Ring, Elder Scrolls, and the retro aesthetic of the PS1. Even in its incomplete form, the game offers such deep worldbuilding that I felt compelled to turn over every rock and find every secret available to me. Who needs one thousand planets when a game like this can offer such expertly crafted experiences that still give the player a sense of scale?

As a newly released prisoner, it is your job to track down and apprehend the outlaw, Vela Callo. This is a setup that sounds right out of an Elder Scrolls game. Before being released to the world, you set your character's attributes based on a handful of backstory options, I choose to boost my Wisdom and Guile as I prefer to be sneaky. Once the short intro quest is completed, Dread Delusion opens its map, letting you explore to your heart's content. See that mountain? You can go there.

Retro is in - Dread Delusion is billed as a retro horror RPG with PlayStation 1 visuals. The basic mechanics of the game are heavily inspired by earlier Elder Scrolls titles. It harkens back to the tabletop roots of roleplaying video games with lockpicking visualized by a literal roll of the dice and players needing to boost stats to pass skill checks. The Oneiric Isles, the game's setting, look and feel like the island of Vvardenfell from Morrowind, down to the giant mushrooms scattered across the landscape.

But Dread Delusion isn't just a Morrowind clone; The Lovecraftian horror elements are as palpable as the RPG influences. Dread Delusion began life as one of several demos on the Haunted PS1 Demo Disc 2020. The Demo Disc was made to evoke an existential horror in the player through a collection of unsettling games all in the style of the PS1. In the case of Dread Delusion, the brand of horror is cosmic. The main struggle between people in Dread Delusion is between those who worship the gods, cosmic beings that can fulfill prayers to dangerous effect, and the Apostatic Union, a group of anti-occult militants that exercise power over much of the land. This struggle propels the player, but along the way, you will meet many regular people just trying to survive.

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June 21st, 2022, 23:10
I played the demo for this during one of the Steam Next Fests. It's definitely weird in a cool way, but it's also kind of clunky, and the graphics are pretty painful.
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June 22nd, 2022, 12:40


Yikes.
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June 22nd, 2022, 12:59
Well it's not labeled a vibrant take on Elder Scrolls: Morrowind for nothing.
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