Winter Ember is an upcoming isometric action game from developer Sky Machine Studios and indie game publisher Blowfish Studios. No firm release date has been revealed for the stealth sandbox title other than the tentative plan to launch sometime this year for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam. Prior to the game’s release, however, Winter Ember is receiving graphic novel treatment courtesy a partnership with comic and manga publisher eigoMANGA, and the author of the series – Underworld series creator, Kevin Grevioux, who is also known for his comic work for Marvel and DC.
Winter Ember: Chapter 0” target=”_blank” >Winter Ember: Chapter 0 – “The Broken Rises” – is the first issue in the series to be released, setting up the dark world of Winter Ember and introducing readers to the main character, Arthur Artorias. “The Broken Rises” is short and to the point, but it provides plenty of intrigue that already has me excited for the next issue.
*** The following contains mild spoilers for Winter Ember: Chapter 0, Issue #0 – “The Broken Rises” ***
Arthur Artorias is the definition of a playboy who spends his days (and nights) galavanting about in various social circles, taking in all of the pleasures that you might expect from such a lifestyle. Parties, booze, women… it’s all just another day in the life for Arthur, whose family wealth derives from his father. We soon learn, however, that said wealth may not have come from the most reputable sources. The sins of the father catchup with the Artorias family – something that Arthur’s father has been expecting for a long time.
Left for dead, Arthur wakes up six months later facing more questions than answers. Someone has plans for him, though, which is where the issue ends.
“The Broken Rises” is a solid start for the prequel series. The art design looks great – which is unsurprising, since the series is illustrated by the talented Chris Awayan (Indestructible). Narratively, it’s the beginning of a story that we’ve heard plenty of times before. However, Grevioux does a great job of setting up the mystery of Arthur’s family’s shady past, which is sure to be fleshed out over the issues leading up to the video game’s release. I wouldn’t expect Grevioux and team to show all of their cards in the comics though, leaving plenty of storyline (and secrets) left to be revealed in the game.
Winter Ember is building its way to becoming one of my most-anticipated titles of 2022. Most of that comes from the amount of world-building that is already happening prior to the actual game’s release. I’m a sucker for the long game in this regard, so I can’t wait to see what else the team has in store for Winter Ember – both in its graphic novel and video game versions.
A digital copy of Winter Ember: Chapter 0” target=”_blank” >Winter Ember: Chapter 0 – “The Broken Rises” was purchased by GamingPizza for this article. Issue #0 is now available for digital download now from Amazon Kindle, GlobalComix, Graphite Comics, and Comic Distro. A physical release is planned for April 2022.