Nightingale, the upcoming survival game from Improbable studio Inflexion, is a magical realm-hopping adventure full of bizarre fae creatures and worlds inspired by Victorian themes and fairytales. Just how many mysterious worlds will players get to explore in Nightingale? Inflexion isn’t telling, but in an interview for IGN Fan Fest, art and audio director Neil Thompson suggests they will be at least “seemingly endless.”
Thompson joined CEO Aaryn Flynn at Fan Fest to talk about the different worlds of Nightingale, which Thompson says Inflexion thinks of as parallel universes inhabited by creatures, monsters, and wildlife. Players travel between the worlds via portals, Flynn says, which appear after they have explored a particular realm sufficiently. Once a portal is found, players can decide whether they want to move on or remain where they are. Flynn adds that while they aren’t discussing the details yet, there will be some checks in place to ensure players have the correct gear and other resources to be able to survive what’s on the other side.
The creatures and worlds connected via the portals come from a number of different inspirations, including Susanna Clark’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Dutch and other classical art, and of course, the Victorian era which Thompson calls “incredibly visually evocative.” And it’s all deeply rooted in myth.
“From a creature perspective we wanted to delve into this idea of folklore and fairytale,” he says. “The Bandersnatch, in our world, is a pretty vicious cross between a raptor and a batlike creature. They’re pretty lively in the realms, not necessarily something you’d want to meet on a dark night, that’s for sure.”
Nightingale Reveal Trailer Gallery
He’s more coy when asked if we might run across a Jabberwocky, but is willing to spill some details on other creatures. Thompson goes on to detail The Bound, a faction created by the adversarial Fae as a “mimicry of humanity” to combat the player RealmWalkers. The Bound come in many forms, including minion creatures, long-range attackers, magic users, tank-like creatures, and a bruiser seen in the trailer with a wheel for a head, “just cuz it was kind of cool,” according to Thompson.
He also details the Harpies, flying creatures that can steal things from the player’s encampment and even disguise themselves as old women wrapped in cloaks to lure players into a false sense of security until they can get close.
We spoke earlier this year with Flynn about the BioWare roots of Nightingale and more about how it will handle things like player choice and worldbuilding, as well as its optimistic tone. Nightingale is preparing for an early access beta sometime later this year.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.