The Iron Oath is an upcoming indie RPG game with a retro style game engine and some very innovative features, including a very unique take on the concept of in-game time. It has an immersive graphics engine that, while basic, forgoes many of the usual bells and whistles that many competing RPG’s utilize in their game interface, opting instead for immersive gameplay that engrosses the player.
This is a technique that harkens back to much more oldschool classic RPGs including the likes of Runescape and Diablo. One thing that some players may not enjoy is the turn based and tile based combat, which will certainly lose the game some immersion points for many players. That said, the graphics engine and artwork is very impressive and it’s clear that the developers have taken their time in polishing the game so far.
Originally a Kickstarter project from back in 2017, the game was quick to raise its modest fund raising target of $45 000 in only a couple of months. Since then the game has received slow but steady development updates that make it clear the game designers are committed but are also not keen to rush things. With an initial estimated release date of 2019, the game has clearly taken longer than expected with no set release data available at the time of writing. The games Steam page currently lists the game with a release date of “When It’s Ready”, a sure sign that the developers would rather spend longer on perfecting the game than rush to a premature release. The game is being published by Humble Games, the publishing arm of the ever-popular Humble Bundle game store and subscription service for indie games.
In terms of gameplay, The Iron Oath puts you at the helm of a mercenary company for hire in a medieval fantasy world. This includes both fighting and character management which are core parts of the classic RPG experience, but also more in-depth RPG elements such as managing your guilds finances and political connections in the world and watching how your actions shape the world around you.
The decisions you’ll face often carry weight, and can have a minor or major influence on your characters and the world that surrounds them. As the years progress the world changes dynamically, enabling new story-lines and missions which results in a unique experience for every playthrough.
Cities can be overtaken, destroyed and rebuilt; while various factions can emerge, rise and fall. A playthrough can potentially last hundreds of years, resulting in many changes to the initial world state.Developers Notes on Steam
This includes an incredibly unique take on the idea of time within the game world. The game world evolves over time to the extent that entire cities and towns can be destroyed or built from new as the world around you changes and progresses. In practice, this should allow for an insane amount of content and playthroughs due to the fluid nature of the world itself.
Currently in an estimated Alpha phase by its developers, the game has had some understandable setbacks in 2020, but it’s clear that The Iron Oath is a game to watch closely and one that has a huge amount of potential for indie gamers and RPG fans alike.