Nadir has made a bold gambit with its title. It literally means ‘the lowest point’ and by calling it this, the developers are serving review writers countless pun opportunities on a silver platter. Luckily, now that I’ve had a glimpse of its promising content with a demo that shows off the combat system, I think it may be fairly safe.
The game’s title references the destination that players are attempting to reach in the game — the absolute lowest point in the pits of hell. Inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy (specifically the Inferno) the game puts players in control of a group of fighters who supposedly represent mortal sins, although their names like ‘Leader’, ‘Virgin’, and ‘Poet’ suggest that they’re more archetypes than anything else. They must travel through each level of hell, here represented as a monstrously decrepit cityscape, until they get to the bottom and defeat their final foe.
The alpha demo I played focuses on the combat system, a turn-based card battle between my three Avatars and some truly disgusting enemies. Each Avatar brings a set of cards to the deck, with each card having a different ‘threat’ cost to play.
The gameplay is quite simple to jump into — players are told which of their team the enemy is going to attack during their turn, which gives them a chance to plan defense as well as attack. A nice touch is that individual characters have different attack and defense stats that modify the effectiveness of a card, so while an attack card may belong to the Poet, it’s possible that the Leader will do more damage by playing it himself.
With the actual plot and non-combat elements of the game are still a little mysterious at this very early stage, Nadir‘s most compelling facet is the amazing art style — everyone looks like they were pulled out of a particularly baroque and gruesome tarot deck. Each monster I battled was more troubling to behold than the next, and I can only imagine the types of beasts that will be rampaging through the full version.
Nadir plans on a Q3 2021 release, and based on what I’ve seen so far, that’s something to be excited about. With hordes of unique enemies, the opportunity to craft decks and modding options for those playing on PC, this should be a compellingly disgusting trip into perdition.
Like what you see? Nadir‘s Kickstarter is LIVE NOW, and you can back it here.
Full disclosure: members of the GameCritics staff have backed this game.