Preview | Towerborne

Preview | Towerborne

I was invited by Stoic and Xbox to briefly demo the upcoming asymmetrical action-adventure game Towerborne.

In it, I got to see the titular tower for whose people we are (re)borne, the Belfry. It serves as the last beacon of humanity in these monster-infested lands and will be the hub where you get to spend time with other aces in between outings into the wild. Here you can customise your Ace, a warrior reborn from the spirit realm to protect the people of the Belfry, with different loadouts, emote at other players and prepare for the next mission.

The missions happen when you venture outside the tower into the wilds. At the start of Towerborne the entire world map will be covered in a fog, and it will be up to you to clear it tile by tile. When we asked the developers how long it would take to uncover the whole map we were told that it wouldn’t surprise them if only a small number of people ever uncovered it all at once. This however means that cooperation with your fellow aces will be key, as they can invite you to encounters in areas they’ve explored, meaning everyone can chart their own course. And over time, Stoic plans to continue the story of Towerborne by means of an evolving world that’ll bring changes to the terrain and even bring new enemies and loot as a result.

It’s inside these tiles however that the real meat and potatoes of Towerborne can be found. Here you’ll be thrown into a series of sidescrolling 2.5D levels that are reminiscent of Streets of Rage and and the TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge. You can choose from four distinct styles to take to the field with, namely: War Clubs, Gauntlets, Dual Daggers, and (best of all, totally not biased) Swords and shields. With these you’ll fight your way through, gathering loot as you go, to the boss at the end. Of course, you’ll want the boss loot to kit out your ace as much as possible. You’ll also be able to befriend spirits to join you in battle. They’ll help you by being the conduit to cast spells, but it will take some effort to win them over and convince them to help you.

Towerborne is scheduled to be available in 2024 for Xbox series X/S, Xbox One and PC.