Even if you haven’t heard his name, you’ll mostly likely know of Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s work. The games developer was responsible for converting the classic Castlevania games into more complex, stylized adventures like Symphony of the Night and Dawn of Sorrow. Having left Konami last year, Igarashi expressed a desire to make more games in the style he has become renowned for; known as ‘Metroidvania‘ or ‘Igavania‘. Earlier in the month, he revealed his return to the series would be funded via Kickstarter, and launched the campaign for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Within twenty four hours, the project had smashed the $1 million mark, and has a current total of over $2.5 million raised.
The lead character is Miriam, “an orphan scarred by an alchemist curse which slowly crystallizes your skin,” who in classic Castlevania fasion must fight through a demon-filled castle. Set for release on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC platforms, the game utilities Unreal Engine 4 and is described as 2.5D – a departure from the traditional pixel based 2D art of past Castlevania titles.
The Kickstarter page explains the games graphical choices are “both financial and artistic reasons,” with the 2D gameplay style described as “non-negotiable.” The game focuses on exploration, crafting and RPG elements, drawing from many different points in Castlevania’s history. Dracula may be a staple of the series, but his future in this game is a little uncertain. There are however, some exciting possibilities for horror fans, with Igarash stating that: “Dracula is part of a different legacy. Bloodstained is a new project, and IGA is excited to take this opportunity to introduce new enemies. Of course, he’ll need your help—over the course of the campaign IGA plans to talk to backers about his new villains, and a new selection of demons and classic b-movie monsters is definitely still in the tarot cards.”
Bloodstained is set for development by Inti Creates, the studio behind several Mega Man games. Renowned Castlevania composer Michiru Yamane is also on board to score the soundtrack along with Ippo Yamada, known for his work on Resident Evil and the Mega Man series. David Hayter, who voiced Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid series will play villain Gebel. The project is already funded, but if you want to place an order now, $28 will get you a digital copy of the game, with many other rewards available.
Check out the Kickstarter video below, or here to check out the campiagn.