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Enotria: The Last Song preview

Enotria: The Last Song is a thrilling Soulslike game, from Jyamma Games, set in a sun-lit land inspired by Italian folklore and filled with danger. The full game is being released on September 19, 2024, on PC via Steam and Epic Games StorePS5, and Xbox Series X|S, but you can jump into an 8 hour demo NOW on Steam and PS5!

In a world gripped by the Canovaccio, a twisted eternal play that keeps everything in an unnatural stasis, you play as the Maskless One, the only person without a given role and master of your own destiny.

Your goal is to defeat the fearsome Authors that created the eternal play and free the world from stagnation by harnessing the power of Ardore.

I had the pleasure of chatting to Stoyan Stoyanov, the Game Director of Enotria: The Last Song to find out more.

Robin: Stoyan, thanks for joining me, what were the main inspirations for the game?

Stoyan: Aesthetically, narratively and in terms of the world, our primary inspirations were Italian culture, history and folklore. The story and characters, especially, are a very loose adaptation of Commedia dell’arte. When it comes to gameplay, however, we were inspired by the amazing works of FromSoftware – the creators of the subgenre – as well as trying to put our own spin on it by bringing a more systemic, streamlined and player-friendly approach to many things, such as build crafting.

You mentioned FromSoftware and the Soulslike genre, why did you choose to make a Soulslike game? What is it about the genre you like?

What we love about the genre is that it respects players. Secrets are truly secret, enemies are challenging, it demands a certain level of investment from a player… but at the same time it is an incredibly fair genre. They have a reputation for being hard, which is true, but they are also very very fair – there is always an answer to any situation and you are not artificially gated.

The most powerful thing in a souls game is information and you get better by learning, not raising stats. This is a very powerful old-school game design approach which we believe is sorely lacking in mainstream games nowadays, so we were eager to create our own spin on it. Something that is refined, intuitive – but will still expect you to put effort, learn – and rewards you greatly for doing so.

You also mentioned about wanting to put your own spin on the genre and specifically mentioned build crafting. Tell us more about the unique mask system which enables this build crafting.

The narrative being loosely based on theatre meant that we always wanted to involve Masks in the core gameplay loop. We wanted to have mechanics that work together with the narrative, rather than feeling separate, like in many titles.

This is why Masks are one of the most significant elements of the story – each character is defined by the Mask they wear and “unmasking” them is effectively destroying them. Your character can acquire Masks from foes, allowing you to not only look like them – but channel their very essence.

In this way Masks can be thought of as entire armour sets mixed with an archetype. They are the core of the story, the combat and the Loadout systems. They even influence the narrative, with many secret interactions with NPC’s and the world based around which Mask you are wearing. In this way Masks tie together the world, the story, quests, combat, builds and more!

The game is rooted in Italian Folklore – what elements of the folklore will players get to Experience?

Almost every single fabric, building, weapon, enemy, creature or even strand of grass is based off of a real part of Italy. If you are a history buff you will learn a lot about authentic Italian culture, especially through item descriptions and lore content. Whether it is ancient theatre, the types of rocks in Southern Italy, local cuisine or a mythical creature from Pagan legends… Enotria is a fantastical history lesson and holiday all in one.

Why was it important for you to showcase this game as being authentically Italian?

Part of it is national pride, but the main reason is that while Italy is very culturally significant internationally, it has rarely if ever been represented properly in games. The most famous examples, such as Assassin’s Creed 2, were made by foreign studios.

This game is an attempt to not only share lots of the more unknown aspects of the incredibly rich and diverse culture – but also to be the first of its kind truly authentic representations. We have several foreign developers in the studio and many of them were shocked at how little they truly knew about Italy – as the international representation is often quite watered down and basic.

We also discovered that, just like with a game such as Civilization, fictional content is always that extra bit engaging when you know there is an element of truth to it. We challenge our players to find out the real-world inspiration for each enemy, character and location!

What does the future hold for the game?

For now we are entirely focused on launching the game and making it the best possible version it can be. However, we have always been forward-planning. We already have ideas on where to take the game with expansions and downloadable content, as well as a possible sequel, should fate smile at us.

A big fact of this is that the world we have created, as well as the technical foundation with Unreal Engine 5 – is very future-proof. In fact, it was one of the main reasons we moved the game from Unreal Engine 4 to 5, even though it’s newer experimental technology. In this way we know we can build on this starting foundation and we are confident that any future content we make will only get better and better!

Enotria: The Last Song will be released on September 19, 2024, on PC via Steam and Epic Games StorePS5, and Xbox Series X|S. 

To stay up to date with Enotria: The Last Song ahead of its full release, check out the official website, join the official Discord and SubReddit, follow the game on TwitterYouTubeTikTokInstagram, and Facebook

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