It’s not often we see a properly groundbreaking indie title arrive on console, but today the independent team at Falling Squirrel have announced that their audio-only action-adventure The Vale: Shadow of the Crown will be coming to Xbox One and PC in Q2 2020.
Taking down the 2018 Ubisoft Indie Series Special Prize and Reboot Develop Red 2019 Special Selection Prize, The Vale: Shadow of the Crown on Xbox One and PC will deliver gamers the opportunity to take in a totally fresh take on the action-adventure genre, as it breaks down the barriers which have previously held back visually impaired gamers, all while offering a completely unique experience. Yep, this is a game that focuses firmly on the audio and it will be the sounds of the world around you which are the only clues of the dangers that lurk in the shadows.
Developed with input and close consultation fro the Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB), The Vale: Shadow of the Crown will launch on Xbox One to utilise the latest in assistive technologies, including binaural audio and haptic controller feedback which will create an immersive experience and a thrilling action-adventure game. This has all come about thanks to Falling Squirrel’s commitment to develop inclusive and accessible games — its development features sincere and deliberate representation by employing visually impaired voice actors and developers.
The Vale: Shadow of the Crown promises to deliver a distinct gameplay experience that foregoes traditional visual gameplay, utilizing binaural audio technology and haptic controller feedback to create an immersive world that brings high-caliber gaming to visually impaired and sighted gamers alike. Players will find themselves taking in an emotional story of the Second-to-the-Throne — blind from birth and recently exiled to the edges of the kingdom upon the coronation of their elder brother as King of the land. Through the ears of the hero, players must embark on a treacherous journey as they explore the world around them, fight off enemies in challenging, interactive combat, hunt resources, acquire gear, and lose themselves in the rich narrative supported by top-tier voice acting.
Key features of The Vale: Shadow of the Crown on Xbox One and PC include:
- Accessible Gaming For All: Haptic controller feedback, binaural audio technology, and professional cinematic voice acting guides players through real-time combat, exploration, and quests, and cut scenes, making this a gaming experience that is accessible to visually impaired and sighted players alike
- Diverse Soundscape Environments: The bustle of busy villages, the gentle rustling of leaves through the trees in the forests, the eerie echoes of the unknown in dank caves — full 3-dimensional sound surrounds players from all sides as they adventure in over 20 diverse locations ripe for exploration
- Immersive Medieval Combat: Players become immersed in the action in a way that is entirely refreshing as a diverse set of enemies attack with random and story-based encounters, boss battles, and more. Intuitive battle clamor guides players towards enemies as they attack and defend against their foes
- Meaningful RPG Elements: Presented with a choice of combat styles, players will guide their fully-voiced hero and build their potential as they unlock branching magic paths, loot enemies, hunt animals for valuable items, and visit shops to purchase weapons and armor — each with unique sounds and stats
- A Story for the Ages: With branching paths determined by player choice, over 20 side quests and more than 70 audio cut scenes, players will uncover twists and surprises as they travel the land and speak with the many unique and fully voiced characters they encounter
If you wish to know more then later today you will find Falling Squirrel Founder and The Vale: Shadow of the Crown Creative Director, David Evans, sitting in on the Xbox Gaming 4 Everyone Panel Intentionally Inclusive Design: Build a Welcoming Future in Games. As a staunch advocate for inclusivity in the gaming space, David will join the panel to discuss how Falling Squirrel has put this into practice during The Vale: Shadow of the Crown’s development and discuss how gaming can be made accessible to everyone. You can watch the panel live on Mixer.
The Vale: Shadow of the Crown will be found hitting Xbox One and Steam at some point in Q2 2020. Let us know if you’ll be grabbing it.