The Night Wanderer Interview: “A Souls-Like With a Twist”

Will The Night Wanderer live up to the standards set by The Witcher 3?

Polish developers Mighty Koi are developing two games based on Polish literature named The Night Wanderer and Thorgal. The former is based on the Lord of the Ice Garden series by author Jarosław Grzędowicz while the latter is based on comic books of the same name by Belgian writer Jean Van Hamme and Polish graphic artist Grzegorz Rosiński. The developers sat down with SegmentNext to give an exclusive look into the upcoming projects and what players can expect from them.

Mighty Koi revealed that both games are being developed in the Unreal Engine 5 which is becoming more and more popular with more specialists available and revolutionary tools. Mighty Koi said:

Something like Unity might be considered for simpler, 2D projects, but UE is pretty much a no-brainer for the type of games we’re making. We currently employ around 100 people and are continually recruiting for both projects.

Speaking about The Night Wanderer, Mighty Koi said that the game was further down in the development cycle than Thorgal and was likely to be released first. However, they are still trying to release both games simultaneously. The trailers for both games have been released to exciting gamers worldwide, but there is no release as of yet:

The Night Wanderer is further in the development pipeline and, as such, is likely to be released prior to Thorgal, but we plan to develop both games simultaneously and smartly allocate our resources. As we already shared with the public, both games will be out when we deem them ready – making a good first impression is important to us as a new studio.

The game takes great inspiration from the Lord of the Ice Garden book series by Jarosław Grzędowicz, much like CD Projekt Red did with the Witcher series. But there are some differences. They said that The Witcher by author Andrzej Sapkowski opened the way for other games, including The Night Wanderer. The Witcher series was a massive hit as both a book series and trilogy and was even adapted into a Netflix series.

Although there are some differences between the material Mighty Koi took inspiration from for their game, they said they made an effort to respect the source material and the fanbase. The developers said they were working closely with the author, Jarosław Grzędowicz, who has been offering input in major creative decisions:

“The Witcher” started a trend and blazed the trail for the others to come, but it’s far from being the only Polish novel that can captivate fans. “Lord of the Ice Garden ” is considered a classic in the fandom and an important part of Polish literature. We recognize the power and rich worldbuilding in that story and think it deserves a powerful adaptation into a modern and compelling game. We’re working closely with the author, Jarosław Grzędowicz, and want his involvement in major creative decisions we’re making while creating the game. The whole Mighty Koi team respects the source material and its fanbase, and we will strive for a deserving adaptation. Of course, some creative changes would have to be made, as a game medium is very different from the book, but we want to ensure that all changes are approved by the author and fit into the overall story.

The story follows the protagonist, Vuko, who, along with his trusty sword and an entity named Cyphral, explores the world of Midgard. There are clear nods to Norse Mythology in the story, but it has a lot of other elements as well. Players will wield their trusty sword which they can customize and upgrade as the story goes on. Cyphral is an integral part of the game that can help players, both in combat and outside of it. However, it has a limited resource, so you’ll need to choose carefully when to use it and when not to.

While discussing the progression system of the game, Mighty Koi shared:

Melee combat and Vuko’s sword are pivotal components of gameplay and you’ll be able to modify your sword in countless ways, making difficult but meaningful decisions in the process. 

As for Vuko himself, as he continues to develop his relationship with Cyphral, the way he choose to interact with it or her rather will shape the course of the game in every conceivable way.

With so many “souls-like” games already released, we wanted to know how The Night Wanderer plans to stand out among the pack. To which the developer replied:

We don’t want to create a typical soulslike, but “a soulslike with a twist”. We aim for a game that is strongly story-driven, with  RPG-like quests that will make the whole experience dynamic and enjoyable.. Also, many soulslikes have very high entry threshold which may discourage some new players – “The Night Wanderer” aims to be more accessible and focus on blending an immersive story with a dynamic combat experience.

That said, Souls veterans will still find plenty of challenges lurking around the game that will test their skills to the limits as shared on their dev bog on Steam. While it won’t be a typical open-world game, exploration is front and center in The Night Wanderer and you’ll need to do plenty of it to fully experience the game. In the words of Mighty Koi:

We’re aiming for Metroidvania-style levels with many secrets to explore and alternative paths to discover. We hope to create compelling and engaging level designs. 

All this leads to your choices in the game, which can shape the overall narrative. Players will make meaningful, impactful moral decisions that each have consequences. Like the book, it takes inspiration from, the game shares its commentary on nature and consequences of power. The developer shared:

Yes! We want players to face meaningful, impactful moral decisions in the game and deal with potential consequences. The book itself is a commentary about the core of human nature and implications of power, so we want to reflect that too.

The Night Wanderer is set to release on the PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, and S. Although there are no plans for a Switch release, Mighty Koi expressed willingness to release the games on as many platforms as possible.

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Talha Bin Rizwan is a reader, writer, journalist, and most importantly a gamer. He is a junior editor of and has previously worked for GameRant. He is passionate about all things geeky, music, gaming, ...