Developer: Samuel Lopez De Victoria
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: Fighting, Visual Novel
Rating: Not Yet Rated
Release Date: March 2017
Wotan is an interesting fusion between a visual novel and a fighting game. Inspired by modern adventure games and Norse mythology, Wotan follows its titular character on a long journey across America.
Wotan is a visual novel combined with the gameplay of a classic arcade style beat ‘em up where choice matters and fighting is not the only option. Inspired by old school brawlers, modern day adventure games, and Norse mythology Wotan combines the power of fighting with the power of words in one epic trek across America. Wotan’s sharp and neo-dark world inhabits a cast of colorful characters ready to help or hinder you depending on your choices and actions taken across the entirety of the game. Discover the protagonist Wotan’s troubled past and unleash endless bloodshed or delve into his methodical mind and avoid conflict as you befriend characters or create enemies as decisions are made.
Whether or not Wotan qualifies as a true visual novel will be seen once the game finally launches. After playing the demo, the game appears to lean heavily towards the fighting aspect of the game. The Kickstarter campaign does describe a bit of the future story for the game, indicating that there will be several choices available for players in an almost Mass Effect-style. These choices will effect the entire outcome of the game including which fights you have to endure, which characters survive, and who will be friend or foe.
The game tells the tale of retired Wotan, the former leader of the deadly and violent biker gang known as the Aesir. Having left his former life Wotan has opened up an orphanage and has begun to live a so called better life. Everything seems at rest until Wotan hears that the children of his orphanage have been kidnapped and taken far out west by his ex-mistress P. Lipp. Angry and tired Wotan sets off in pursuit stopping at nothing to get the children back. Little does Wotan know this journey will throw him back into the violence and pain he tried so hard to leave behind. Why would P. Lipp take the kids? Why now? Wotan goes off on a trip that will not only answer all his questions but also start something bigger and crazier than he could imagine.
The vector art style of Wotan is the colorful and gritty style seen in other of Samuel Lopez De Victoria‘s games. It looks absolutely amazing when applied to a fighting game, giving off an almost comic book vibe. That being said, the demo is not very long and only shows what is already in the trailer. While some of the dialogue has been changed between the trailer and the demo, it is otherwise identical. Some of the cut-scenes seem a tad random and the fighting is basic but the game is still decently impressive for an early-alpha demo.