Wadjet Eye Games – the studio behind modern-day point-and-click adventure classics including Unavowed and the Blackwell supernatural detective series – has revealed its latest publishing endeavour: developer Curiosity Engine’s vampire-themed urban fantasy yarn Nighthawks.
Nighthawks, which was borne from a successful Kickstarter back in 2018, unfolds in a world where the existence of vampires has been exposed, casting players as a newly turned creature of the night trying to forge a life of awkward co-habitation with humans in a city, and a modern world, where “your existence is tolerated, your new thirst is not”. It’s essentially a rags-to-riches story, placing an emphasis on running your own nightclub.
Nighthawks is written and designed by Richard Cobbett (who has provided words for the likes of Failbetter’s Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies, and, full disclosure, has contributed amply to Eurogamer in the past), and deviates from Wadjet Eye’s usual output in numerous ways.
Rather than presenting its vampiric yarn in the form of a point-and-click adventure, Nighthawks is a fully voiced “story-driven RPG and undead life-simulation”, resembling a blend of visual novel and Failbetter-style text-based, choice-driven systems. It even has “strategic combat”.
“Structurally, think a freeform RPG core, with stories branching off it – some funny, some tragic, some horrific – where your decisions are always bleeding together,” Wadjet Eye explained back in 2018 during Nighthawks’ Kickstarter campaign, “Get caught lying too often and your untrustworthy reputation will follow you around, while raising suspicion will draw the attention of first mortal, and then darker authorities.
“Do you, for instance, break a window and hurriedly search a crime scene while the alarms wail, pick the lock and explore at your leisure, or use vampire powers to impersonate the security guard and walk right in? The choice is yours, and all part of learning the beat of the city, developing new skills, and building up favours and contacts.”
Nighthawks features gorgeous art from Ben Chandler, who has worked on all manner of previous Wadjet Eye titles – including Unavowed, Technobabylon, and the Blackwell series – and you can see some of its visual deliciousness in the teaser trailer above.
Nighthawks is expected to arrive on PC early next year (its Steam page is now live), and Wadjet Eye previously said it hopes to get the game onto “as many platforms as possible”.