Highwater is a new turn-based RPG set in the aftermath of a flooding event that overtook the world. In an isometric view, this game is a classic adventure format that many gamers don’t see these days. Even though other titles like Tunic are gaining popularity, the fact that his new IP is turn-based is refreshing. Some titles like Final Fantasy used turn-based combat for years, only to recently turn to more accessible setting of real-time combat. In any case, Highwater is about Nikos and his ragtag group of friends traversing the watery ruins of their home. They must brave the unknown dangers that lurk in the horizon to find a better way to live. There are rumors about a rocket going off to Mars and Nikos is trying see if it is true. Of course, the journey won’t be easy since there will be all kinds of enemies, situations and turmoil to overcome.
The world is separated with islands in which certain classes of people that inhabit them. This game is an old-fashioned single-player adventure with an original story that is also kind of timely. Just like such classic RPGs that came before it, Highwater is about a one adventurer meeting comrades during his journey and building up a party. Through the accumulation of different allies, the story will unfold and take different directions. Thus, there will also be a map to explore and find loot, characters, locations and quests. The map in this game is vast and will offer a myriad of places to explore. The art design in this game has a water-color motif to it along with a slick presentation. The somber tone with the game does give everything a dystopian feel to it. Water can be the most devastating element of them all and this story is sure reminder of that.
Outside of the established colonies on the various islands is the area deemed as the “War Zone.” This is basically the entire region of the map that’s flooded out. Everything from sea creatures to pirates roam these waters and they will be a constant danger for Nikos and his crew. The aqua-themed map not only comes with hazards, but also with beauty. Every island will have a distinct look to them. Everything from jungles to sunken libraries and scientific facilities can be explored. They each will offer something unique in terms of loot and enemy design. The camera in this game appears to be quite dynamic, as well. Pulling out for panoramic shots and zooming in for more intimate encounters. There is a lot to see in this watery urban landscape. Yes, Highwater will take place within a city that has been flooded out .Which creates a rather enthralling place to explore.
Even with the rumors of a rocket going to Mars, getting to it won’t be an easy task. There is a fortress accompanied by oligarchs called “Alphaville.” Nikos and his team will need to battle their way through this place and gather as much food as possible to continue their journey. Everything from insurgents to machines will stand in the way. Even though the combat will be turn-based in Highwater, there is a unique angle to it. Players will be able to use the environment as a weapon. Different objects and items strewn on the battlefield can be utilized for explosive and electric results. Even though members of Nikos’ party will come with their own abilities and attacks, everyone will be able to use the “environmental attack” feature. Chances are that only certain characters can interact with particular objects in the battlefield.
What will make Highwater a treat for many gamers will be with the soundtrack. This game will come with a list of original music which can be found on “Highwater Pirate Radio.” Not only does this provide ample original tunes, but also commentary which will give players hints on what to do. Nikos can explore the entire map with his boat, freely going in any direction that he pleases. Interacting with NPCs, animals and even some structures will add to the charm of this adventure. Even though this world is a giant watery grave, there is still lots to do and find. This game will have an “open-world” feel to it. Even though things are clearly separated into biomes, of sorts. It could be more of a wide-linear game in certain segments. Of course, that is just conjecture. If nothing else, there is definitely some depth to this game in terms of exploration.
Even though the details on this game are slim, it is coming out pretty soon. Even though it is taking homage to many other games of its type, it is still striving to be its own thing. The environment attack featured in this game is definitely unique in comparison to the other turn-based games out there. Also, given the fact that this game is themed on a flooded city is a refreshing discourse to the other dystopian games in the industry. Any fan of classic RPGs should take a gander at what Highwater has to offer. It has a charming look to it and the gameplay appears to run smooth. Also, lets not forget the excellent sound design which will bring this game to life. There is a vibrancy to this game that isn’t seen in many other titles that are set in a dystopian future.
There is still a lot to unravel about Highwater when it nears release. Currently, this game is scheduled to come out in December of this year. The developers are now in the process of ironing out all the bugs for the final stretch. When it does come out, Highwater will be available for exclusively for the PC. Hopefully, the developers will drop a new trailer detailing on how the game will play. Especially, when it comes to combat and how the environment will work accordingly. This game could be a next cult classic if players take the time to go on this adventure.