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Darksiders creator returns to his Battle Chasers comics for a new game

battle chasers announced
Darksiders creator Joe Madureira has announced a new game based on his Battle Chasers comics from the late ’90s. This is the first project from Madureira’s new studio, Airship Syndicate, which includes former developers from Madureira’s previous studio, Vigil Games. He also intends to launch a new run of the Battle Chasers comic, which ended on a cliffhanger in 2001 after nine issues.

Madureira and co-founder Ryan Stefanelli described the game to Polygon as a role-playing game with “a sense of adventure similar to the Darksiders games.” Details are otherwise scarce on the project except that it will be “kind of classic and old school but presented with some new modern twists.”

Airship Syndicate is still undecided about how to raise money, considering the range of options from standard investors and publishers to newer, crowdfunding platforms. Madureira and Stefanelli plan to keep the development team small, at just 10-15 people. The game is targeted for PC and console development, with tablets under consideration.

No publisher or release date has been announced for the accompanying comics. Battle Chasers was an action fantasy comic that originally ran for nine issues from 1998 to 2001, first published by WildStorm and then Image Comics. While beloved by fans, the comic’s publishing schedule was notoriously inconsistent, with unpredictable gaps between each issue. Madureira left the comics industry in 2001 to pursue his career in games, leaving the series unfinished. It told stories of fantastic adventures in an arcanepunk setting, with a style reminiscent of old Heavy Metal comics — burly men and buxom women swinging huge swords.

He plans to release the new run in three-issue arcs. The first such arc resolves the story from the original comics and ties in with the game. Should the game and comic catch on, Madureira hopes to expand the franchise into other media. “I’ve always wanted to do an animated series, possibly, so there’s a couple of different options that we’re pursuing for bringing the franchise back in a big way.”

Darksiders and its sequel were third-person action RPGs, fusing the exploration and puzzle-solving of Zelda games with the hack-and-slash combat of games like God of War and Devil May Cry.  Series developer Vigil shut down in 2013 when owner THQ collapsed.

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