I know a lot of people who would say a grand strategy game set anywhere would be hell, but those people don’t know what they’re missing out on.
Solium Infernum was announced overnight, and it’s the next game from League of Geeks, the team behind the long-running and very good Armello. Its official description reads:
Prepare yourself for Solium Infernum, the grand strategy game of politics, intrigue and betrayal, set in the ultimate arena of Hell.
As a powerful fallen Archfiend, sinister overlords of the Infernal Kingdom of Hell, you are a contender for the Infernal Throne – the Great Dark Majesty is missing and the feverish Conclave demands a replacement declared. Command dread legions, enlist champion praetors, cast sinister rituals, and outplay your rivals to become Hell’s new Dark Majesty.
A “Grand Strategy Game” is something like Crusader Kings, a title where the player is asked to do all kinds of different stuff at the head of a faction, from managing the economy, to moving armies, to dealing with political intrigue. So imagine that, only here you’re vying to become the new Great Dark Majesty.
Now for the really fun part: this isn’t an all-new game! It is instead an attempt to do justice to one of the most interesting, if also under-appreciated strategy games of the last 15 years. Designer Vic Davis, aka Cryptic Comet, released Solium Infernum in 2009 (its site is still live, and you can even download a demo for it), and it looked like this:
League of Geeks’ take, meanwhile, looks like this:
If you’re noticing similarities between the above screenshot and Armello, that’s no coincidence. League of Geeks boss Trent Kusters told GI.biz that “[Solium Infernum] was a huge inspiration for Armello. So it’s a real honour. We’ve known Vic [Davis] for years. And when we were [thinking], ‘What are we gonna do for our next game?’, Ty Carey—my co-founder–was just like, ‘let’s do this, let’s talk to him’.”
Davis—who apparently no longer designs games and now sells donuts, which sounds amazing—ended up letting League of Geeks “acquire” the IP and in doing so “passed on the torch” to the Australian studio, who will be hoping that Infernum’s core experience (which led to this brilliant series from Rock Paper Shotgun back in the day) can find a wider, more appreciative audience after it has been reworked and given a new coat of paint.
The game is due on Steam sometime in 2023, and you can see its cinematic trailer below: