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Tunic E3 2018 Preview: It's Dangerous To Go Alone

Tunic is an indie adventure that may look familiar to long-time players, but there's a certain twist in this sword-and-shield adventure. Shacknews takes a look.


At first glance, Tunic is going to look very familiar to a lot of veteran adventurers. It's something about the way the lead character looks. Can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm sure someone will provide a link in the comments.

All that aside, Tunic is an isometric shield-and-sword adventure from developer Finji Games that has one key element that makes it stand out. There isn't exactly a quest to save a princess or save a kingdom. In fact, there's no strict story attached, in the traditional sense. To get an idea of what's ahead, Shacknews checked out the demo, following Sunday's Xbox E3 Briefing.

Tunic is centered around a fox that winds up in a mysterious land. There's nothing that tells him where he is, nor is there anything pointing him in a particular direction. All signs (as well as menus and in-game messages) are written in a strange, unknown language. The idea is to simply explore and see what's happening.

The adventure begins proper with the discovery of the fox's key weapon: a stick! No, there's no sword, at least not yet. The idea is to first explore with the stick, with players encouraged to play around with the world, defeating enemies and breaking pots. Weapons collected over the course of the game can be mapped to the X, Y, or B buttons.

Enemies are plentiful, with the Left Trigger shifting the camera to an overhead view for combat. This allows players to target their enemies, as well as see the enemy health bars. Enemies will strike back in familiar patterns, but players avoid their attacks with a dodge roll mapped to the A button.

The fox will eventually find a sword, which offers an idea of how progression works in Tunic. Certain areas will be gated off until players collect certain weapons to help them pass certain obstacles. In this case, the sword was able to cut through bushes that were gating off the path forward.

The allure of Tunic looks to be the mystery of exactly what the story is. The collectibles seem to add to this mystery, as at one point the fox found an instruction manual page for the very game that he's in. There's also plenty to explore, as shortcuts are plentiful, as are checkpoints that replenish the player's resources and health, albeit in exchange for respawning any enemies defeated.

There's much more information coming soon about this indie adventure. Look for more in the months ahead, as Tunic is set to release on the Xbox One at an unknown release date.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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