Hell is really other people
That does not like a small part of 4X from time to time ? develop its population, his territoryits economy, his military strengthand use this power to run over neighbors. Some titles allow you to chat with them, but it is always difficult to prevail diplomacy when the endgame does not prevail only one winner.
Solium Infernum hope to put you in this same race for supremacybut where the relationships you have with your rivals and the art of subterfuge can undermine any economic power or armed force. A snub quite daring with a formula that we thought was immutable.
In fact, such a title exists since 2010developed solo by a certain Vic Davisfamous American board game designer, and all the ideas were already in place to make it a 4X focused on diplomacy devilishly engaging and effective, especially for break up friendships by interposed emails.
Yes, niche game among niche games, at a time when independent games just beginning to gain popularity, Solium Infernum was a multiplayer title where game progress was sent by emaillike the very first Civilization of 1991. But, it is especially its realization who has terribly badly agedwhich surely brings it the greatest harm in addition to its outdated multiplayer system.
For League of Geeksthis lack of recognition for such an addictive and unique game has been a real source of frustrationassuming that Solium Infernum was a huge source of inspiration for their fun strategy game: Armello. In agreement with Davisthe studio therefore set out to recreate it from A to Z, finally enjoying a modernized presentation and interface worthy of the name. Only (and fortunately), the heart of Solium Infernum remains the same.
Present at Gamescom 2022I could see the extract of a part of this remake of Solium Infernumand understood in just a handful of turns title interest which is effectively unlike any other 4X.
To start, the borderless map is tiny and a few rare buildings duel, controlled by 4 factions who share the kingdom of hell. Every leader tries to extend its influence to inherit the throne of the Dark Lord at the end of the game, suddenly left vacant. And all means are good to achieve this.
Of course, the first solution would be total warbut conflicts are terribly expensive in resources… which often represents a pressure sometimes enough to extort neighbors under cover of threats. Especially since the units to be recruited are common to all factionsnegotiated by secret auction.
The stroke of genius Solium Infernumis that the players are limited up to 3 actions per turn. BAR POINT. Chat with a rivalcollect resources, recruit a unit, order the move of a legion, improve his lord of the Underworld, prepare a ritual with powerful active or passive effects…. The strategic options and diplomatic are numerous, but the dilemmas even more. However, with good maneuvers and deceit, it is possible to turn the tide.
In the gameplay demo that I could see, the player directly threatened by his neighbor was able to reverse the balance of power in just 5 rounds. All it took was a few interactions with the rivals, good anticipation adverse actions, a good concealment of his own, while a bit of cheek did the rest. It’s mostly the board without edges which allowed an effective surprise counter-attackgaining just enough time to summon a gigantic demon gobbler of legions.
Sure, Solium Infernum should reveal your its potential in multiplayer up to 6 participantsa new single-player mode with narrative issues would also be part of it. And because it was very important to the developers, the famous asynchronous multiplayer will always be present, so that the parties – and the discussions they provoke – can stretch over several days, even weeks.
However, even if the foundations are already more than solid, Solium Infernum still requires a little gestation time before being able to break some friendships. Thereby, the infernal 4X should land on PC in the current of 2023.