Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Greenlight Spotlight: Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves

Straight up: there are way too few games that showcase Canadian culture. There, I said it. As a Canadian, and a self-proclaimed patriot, I feel that the game industry's snubbing of Canada has gone on for far too long. We should have more games that celebrate Canadians as a part of the world -- and a strong part at that. I admit, I am happy to see that Joint Task Force 2 will be featured in Medal of Honor: Warfighter, but that is only one example in the entirety of a very large and ever-expanding industry.

It was largely because of this fact that, when I discovered Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves on Steam's Greenlight, I immediately supported the game.

Sang-Froid, which means "coolness of mind" or "composure" in French, is a game that celebrates Canadian culture and history. The game is set in the mid-1800s in Lower Canada and the developers are very quick to tell you that everything in the game, even the werewolves, are painstakingly researched to make the experience as historically accurate as possible.

Wait. Maybe not the werewolves.

What we know about the story of the game is quite interesting, even though it's only been explained in fairly broad strokes: you play one of the two brothers of the MacCarol family, Jacques or Joseph, who are tasked with protecting their sister Jos├ęphine from the Devil and his werewolf minions. We don't yet know exactly why Jos├ęphine is being chased by the Devil but, given the fact that the plot was co-written with award-winning Canadian author Bryan Perro, one can assume that all will be revealed in time.

Plot aside, Sang-Froid looks to be a very impressive -- and unique -- title. In a way, it seems to play somewhat similarly to the FPS-tower defence Sanctum. Both games break their gameplay into two phases: planning and combat (which, in Sang-Froid, is broken into day and night). You spend the planning phase setting up the field, spending resources on building defences and, when you are ready, you activate the combat phase which sends waves of enemies at you. Unlike other tower defence games where you have to sit and hope things go well until the next wave, both Sanctum and Sang-Froid allow you -- and pretty much require you -- to move around the map and help defend your objectives.

What looks to set Sang-Froid apart, however, are two main things: firstly, the unique and diverse number of defences the game gives you to choose from; and secondly, and more importantly, how the game forces you to redesign your defences each night.

Where most tower defence games are based on a "tried-and-true" method, where you design a single defence and continue to use it over and over, Sang-Froid forces you to reconsider your defences each and every night. Every day, when you are planning your defence, you can see the path that the enemies are taking to destroy the buildings on your land and must decide which defences to use to protect each building. The waves will presumably change every night, forcing you to continually reassess the situation and decide how best to approach each group of enemies.

From the gameplay video Artifice Studio is showcasing on their Steam Greenlight page (shown above), it looks like Sang-Froid will be a very in-depth game -- much more so than your typical tower defence. Add to this a compelling story, a great art direction and -- for the Northern patriots -- some true Canadian heritage and it would be hard not to want to play this game. I know I want to!

If this game has piqued your interest, check out their official website here and their Steam Greenlight page here and give them an upvote. Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves definitely deserves a spot on Steam but it won't get it unless the public speaks up! So spread the word and tell your friends; they too must know of the awesomeness that is Sang-Froid.

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