Last night (August 22), during Gamescom 2023’s Opening Night Live, one particularly interesting game shown was Dustborn - a stylish story-driven action-adventure game developed by Red Thread Games and published by Quantic Dream, which allows players to use their words as weapons.
Set in a Neo-Western alternate-history America, Dustborn puts players into the shoes of Pax, an exile who’s been hired to transport a package across the “Justice-controlled American Republic”. Along with a group of misfit friends, you must travel undercover as a folk-punk-rock band, evade the people who are desperate to get their hands on the package, overcome challenges, and expand your crew.
Dustborn’s new trailer showed the game's tantalizing cell-shaded art style in all its glory - a little reminiscent of the Borderlands series - but finished off with a comic book flair. It also demonstrated how “words have power” - Pax can be seen using the ability in combat to stop enemies in their tracks simply by shouting “stand still”, and in another situation, she seems to employ some sort of mind-manipulation ability. Take a look below.
"This is not a one-woman job. The fanatical Puritans are on your ass, the authoritarian Justice is in your way, you’re an outlawed Anomal, and you’re four months pregnant," the game's synopsis reads. "You need help. You need a crew. Recruit a band of misfits and outcasts with the power of words. Together you might survive this road trip… unless you destroy yourselves first."
As you'd expect from a game with a focus on words, Dustborn also boasts a branching dialogue system - players must manage their relationships with the cast of characters through the choices they make here.