The power of choice is never truly caught between paragon and renegade. Saint or sinner. Choice is neither good nor evil, but rather is identified by our pursuits, be it of mercy, or ruthlessness. For Jehan, the one-armed protagonist of Triple-I’s Hindsight 20/20 – Wrath of the Raakshasa, his struggle between these many paths of grey arrive when he is forced to reconcile the actions of others: when the Sheriff of the town murders his father in cold blood. In addition to this, it is revealed that Jehan’s closest friend Andrew has been infected with a strange disease that has turned him into a Raakshasas: a wild, bloodthirsty, man-eater with no hope for a cure. The King, Marcos, has declared that all who are infected should be put to death. So with Andrew’s life at stake, Jehan must make not just a single choice, but many.
Hemanshu Chhabra is the Creative Director of a four-person team made up of Bioware and Sucker Punch alumni who sought to create a game where choices not only matter, but shape and mold the world as you play through it. By focusing on shorter playthroughs that encourage repeat play, Chhabra describes the game as one where there are no right or wrong answers, and much like real life, the spectrum of grey is massive.
True to this nature is the combat, which centers around two weapons: the electric stun club and the sword. With a fencer’s grace Jehan can use the stun club to show his foes the mercy they deserve, delivering non-lethal thrusts that he is able to chain together into maneuvers and combos. In contrast, the sword is more versatile and by far more devastating in its assaults. The fear of the blade, the fear of death causes enemies to approach you differently and employ alternative tactics to try and defeat you.
Combat is measured by two gauges, health and morale. Either dropping to zero results in defeat, but losing morale is by far more devastating. The brutality of the finishes and combos is a wild spectacle that ends in either showers of blood and carnage or tides of electric torrent surging through all your foes. The choice of which weapon, and their symbolic reflections of mercy or ruthlessness, are core to the story and the game’s identity. The final fight of the PAX East 2020 demo has you face Authur: King Marcos’ right hand and the sheriff who murdered your father. How you approach the fight, the dialogue beforehand, and the actions you take all matter and can very well change Andrew’s fate.
There is much more going on in the world of Hindsight 20/20, as a mysterious figure rallies those among the Raakshasas who live in defiance of King Marcos’ decree of death for their kind. All while, the conspiracy around your father’s death, the betrayal of Aurthur, and the role King Marcos plays in it all. Unraveling these mysteries, all the while the responsibility he takes on by doing so, hangs over Jehan, a sword of damocles brought closer and closer to his head by the weight of his decisions.
The path Jehan chooses will decide his fate, as well as the fates of his friends and their entire world. The choice to pursue the path of the virtuous and merciful or the self-centered and aggressive path bent on revenge, will be yours later this year Hindsight 20/20 – Wrath of the Raakshasa is slated for release in the third quarter of this year.