I consider myself a lore hound, and I love playing games with rich, insanely deep backstories. I’m one of those people who spends just as much time combing through the codex in Mass Effect as I do shooting bad guys. I love Dungeons & Dragons because I can create my own lore, and I always wonder what happens to the characters I’ve created in video games and on paper after the credits roll. My undergraduate degree was a saga in itself (took about 7 years), but I know what I did after I got my diploma and my credits rolled (drank several Miller Lites and slept for like a week straight). In my first D&D
campaign, my rogue started as an orphan simply looking for a few gold pieces to rub together, and ended up as the new King of an entire nation by the very end. We even began a follow-up campaign set thirty years in the future, where my new character is his son. Shit like that is what keeps me engaged, as well as constantly curious about how new RPGs will handle the concept of time. It seems like the people over at Soulbound Studios have a similar curiosity, as their upcoming title “Chronicles of Elyria” looks to become one of the first notable RPGs that actually will see your character through the entire course of their lives. In other words, you can get old and die in this game, and I’m kinda stoked about it.
According to an overview and combat video posted by the YouTube account MMO HQ, characters in Chronicles of Elyria have a lifespan of one real-world year, and that lifespan may last longer (or shorter) than average, based on your character’s choices. I don’t know what the extent of this concept is going to be, but something tells me that drinking heavily and engaging in reckless behavior will shorten your characters lifespan. That’s pretty fucking cool if you ask me, and I personally look forward to seeing how quickly the natural selection process picks off the inevitably reckless and borderline alcoholic rogue that I create. Chronicles of Elyria seems to be an insanely ambitious game. Soulbound says that this game features a “closed economy”, with finite resources, non-repeatable quests, and fully destructible worlds. The skill system seems reminiscent of Skyrim, where although there are no classes, your characters’ skills will be determined by how often (or not) you use certain skills, tools, and weapons.
It seems like Chronicles will be a largely PVE-oriented game, with a few PVP elements for the less-scrupulous players who want to risk their precious lives to end someone else’s. Players can also engage in local, regional, and national conflicts, as well as steal each other’s shit from the castles and coffers they amass over their “lifespan”. If all of that wasn’t enough, players can also sign in-game “contracts” to buy and sell services, questing, and goods. To be completely honest, Chronicles of Elyria almost seems too good to be true – but I hope it isn’t. Although the focal point of the game is the concept of aging and a race against time, if Chronicles doesn’t execute on the ambitious nature of its gameplay and lore, it could just be doomed to be forever known as “the game where you get old and die”. Personally, I’ll be donating to the Kickstarter for Chronicles of Elyria, because I absolutely want to see a game like this happen. If anything above sounds appealing to you – I’d recommend that you give Soulbound Studios your money as well.