I used to love reading books as a kid. Some of my favourite memories were spent in the pages of some fantastic novels and series which would let my imagination roam dream as big as it could. Goosebumps, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or anything by Graeme Base are staples of many Gen Y kids’ childhoods. However as per usual, my habit of being into stuff a little outside the norm (such as liking Nickelback) also strayed into books, and as a kid I was fascinated with Brian Jacques’ Redwall series.
For the many of you that have never heard of Redwall (it was first published in 1986) or have never read it, the fantasy series takes place in known as Redwall and its surrounding areas such as Mossflower woods and other lands. The series does not focus on humans or humanoids, instead the tales focus on animal species such as mice, otters, hares, hedgehogs, badgers, rats, foxes, ferrets and more. Now these are no ordinary animals, these animals are armed to teeth as they fight tooth and nail to defend Redwall Abbey from Cluny the Scourge – the evil one-eyed rat warlord. Sounds intense right? This is just the premise of Redwall – the original but not chronologically the first book. There are 20 books in the Redwall series, and if you have any interest I suggest you take a gander at the Redwall Wiki.
In 2013, Soma Games, much to my shock, announced that they were working on Redwall game, titled Redwall: The Warrior Reborn. Soma Games launched a Kickstarter, however it was only used to create a Redwall-themed Minecraft server called Abbey Craft. That was successfully funded and long wait commenced.
A couple years went by with very little updates from the studio, so I consigned it to being another Kickstarter flop. However, as I was trawling the Internet last night I stumbled upon what I thought was a mistake. The early access release date for the first episode of Redwall: The Warrior Reborn. September 29, 2017.
So as I discovered, Redwall: The Warrior Reborn is being split into six episodes, three focusing on events before Redwall and three on the events during Redwall. The game’s Steam page says the following about the episodic release:
The Scout is the first episode in an episodic mini-series called The Warrior Reborn and is set in the wildly popular world of best-selling books, Redwall, by Brian Jacques.
The first three episodes of The Warrior Reborn take place in the the 6-months immediately prior to, and then coincident to, the events of the book, but from a perspective not included in the book itself. Taken together the episodes tell the story of three reluctant heroes who each find themselves inside Redwall Abbey for deeply personal reasons when it is besieged by Cluny the Scourge. Thrust into a suddenly dramatic situation the three strangers become fast friends and wind up in a critical, but as-yet unsung role in the events that bring the sword of Martin the Warrior to Matthias and the end to that villain Cluny the Scourge.
As the first episode in the series, The Scout is best understood as a stealth-adventure game set in the winter before the Summer of the Late Rose. It tells the story of a mouse who is driven to Redwall Abbey when sea rats raid the peaceful village of Lilygrove. The events of The Scout play out along the ancient, but now altered, course of the mighty River Moss. What was once a wide river is now the sunken bed of a seasonal creek that that runs east-west between Redwall Abbey and the Great South Stream that feeds the swamps south and east of Salamandastron. The player must find a way through the confusing snow-covered channel punctuated by occasional hedgerows, ancient stone walls, scattered shacks, and the few-and-far-between hearths of friendly woodlanders.
Along the way there is untold adventure to include (of course) feasting, fiddling, and even a few fisticuffs as we meet Valo Scrimpaw, the mysterious stoat who lives in the Winsome Wraith, Scumsnout the murderous weret and the mysterious, ghostly assistance when all seems lost.
Episodes 2 and 3, tentatively titled The Miner and The Archer, tell the stories of a mole and a squirrel as they too are driven to Redwall for their own reasons in the Spring and early Summer.