Spotlight: Nighthawks

Spotlight: Nighthawks

Wadjet Eye Games, the studio behind the critically acclaimed Unavowed, recently launched a now fully funded Kickstarter campaign for a vampire RPG point and click adventure game called Nighthawks.

The summary for the story of Nighthawks goes like this:

Three months ago, you died. And in that moment you were reborn as something new. A monster. A predator. Not a creature of the night, but one of its masters.

Unfortunately, things aren’t simple as they used to be. Vampires have finally been exposed, and though your existence is tolerated, your new nature is not. You came to the City hoping for a new start, but found only suspicion and starvation. Now you stare at the ceiling of your cheap hotel room as a penniless outcast, suckling on rats and destined to wither away.

But every new era brings new opportunities, and in the political chaos of a world gone mad, even an outcast may rise. An outcast can change everything.

This is the story of how you rose.

Along with this Kickstarter campaign came an early demo build of the game. Here are some first impressions of Wadjet Eye Games’ next title from what we’ve seen so far.

You start by waking up in a dirty hotel room, with a character named Madame Lux there with you. Once you wake up, you have several choices, only one of which will have you progress. Once you talk to Madame Lux, you learn that you’re a newly formed vampire — although you may have realized this once you saw no reflection in the mirror– and choose between having either the power to mesmerize others or the ability to communicate with the dead. For my playthrough, I chose mesmerization, as it seemed like the more interesting of the two.

You then find out that you’ve been starving for some blood. From their your options expand to going to the reception desk or going outside. Whichever you choose, you have several potential victims to feed from. Instead of attacking a human victim, I chose to kill a rat, which helped at little but not nearly enough From there I went to the titular club, Nighthawks, of which you first hear about through a flier someone slipped under the door of the hotel room.

Once you get to Nighthawks, yours choices are either to wait in line, bribe the bouncer, hypnotize the bouncer, or sneak around the back. Since this demo represents what is likely to be the beginning of the full game, the hypnotize option always had a low success rate, and to get in faster I chose to bribe the bouncer, which worked out just fine — even if it did use up some of my money. Once I got into the club, I went to the bar to see if the bartender could give me any information. As it turned out, she knew I was a vampire once I attempted to order a drink, and gave me a glass of blood. Still only helped my hunger a little bit, but at least it was better than the rat. After asking the bartender a few questions I learned that the club itself is owned by a vampire, but that was the only important information i received, as she claimed that only regulars get to know about all the details and gossip.

After talking to the Bartender, i decided to sneak into the VIP room where a lone man was distracted by his phone,, although I could have chose for no one to be there as well, but I thought that would be a pretty boring choice. I decided that since he was the only one there that I might as well try to get some blood from him and see if it satiated my appetite.  I ended up sneaking up behind him to drink some of his blood, but without murdering him even though I did have the choice. After this I was knocked unconscious by the owner of the club while he comforted the man. When I awoke, the owner was in front of me complaining how the new vampires never follow the old ways anymore. I tried to talk my way out of the situation, but it was to no avail, and it was decided that I would have to do some dirty work for this individual to repay my debt.

This is where the demo ended for me. Is not long and is more just a proof of concept, but it provides just enough to get players interested, even if the final product turns out a bit different. The different choices you can make provide some interesting outcomes, but it makes me wonder if there will be a few more choices in the full version or if those seen in the demo will be the only ones available in the beginning. One problem I had was that some of the backgrounds could take a very long time to load, but the developers have stated that this a problem with the video player used for the demo, and that a different video player will be used for the full version.

Although the Kickstarter campaign for Nighthawks has ended, the demo is still available. Nighthawks will soon be heading into pre-production, and it was stated that the developers would like to have the full version of the game out by May 2020 on PC, Mac, and hopefully Linux, with a more polished technology test version of the demo finished by the end of the year. Although at the moment Nighthawks looks like it won’t be available on other platforms, the developers have expressed interest in also releasing it on iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch if possible.

The learn more details about Nighthawks you can watch the trailer below or read more about it on the Kickstarter page.

Nighthawks is expected to launch by May 2020 for PC, Mac, and Linux.

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