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Flint: Treasure of Oblivion turns Treasure Island into a tactical RPG

Key art for Flint: Treasure of Oblivion shows a crew of pirates.

It’s shaping up to be a surprisingly busy year for pirate video games. Ubisoft finally released its long-delayed Skull & Bones (to middling reviews), while Sea of Thieves is setting its sails for PlayStation later this month. Both of those games are fine options for those looking to do some swashbuckling, but they’re also multiplayer-focused titles that are best enjoyed with a full crew. What options exist for solo players looking for a more story-driven single-player experience?

Thankfully, a new option is on the horizon. Flint: Treasure of Oblivion is a tactical pirate RPG set to launch on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC this year. I got a close look at it during this year’s Game Developers Conference, where I saw its turn-based combat and graphic novel influence in action. The great news for pirate history nerds is that Flint looks to offer a story-rich campaign that draws on some iconic source material.

In Flint, players control a crew of pirates traveling the seas in search of treasure. While developer Savage Level didn’t share the exact story with me, it did give me a good idea of what to expect. For one, it tells an original tale set entirely in the Treasure Island universe, thanks to the power of the public domain. That means that it’ll feature some very recognizable pirates alongside Captain Flint and his mates. The full game will feature 15 recruitable pirates in all.

A graphic novel segment of Flint: Treasure of Oblivion shows a pirate with a sword.

Savage Level has an especially creative way of getting its story across, too. The studio is utilizing hand-illustrated comic panels crafted by French artists that pop up during dialogue. Those stylistic splashes make Flint feel like a playable graphic novel that can be more dynamic in how it tells its story. It doesn’t look like those are used sparingly either; while not every single piece of dialogue gets its own illustration, it seems like a big chunk of them do. I’d also see some additional drawings pop up when the crew opened a chest, bringing an illustrated version of the rum they’d just plundered up on the screen.

That comic book style offers a contrast to Flint’s more traditional top-down perspective. During the demo, I watched the crew walk through period-appropriate cobblestone streets that are grounded in history while still offering a bit of stylization. A trailer would show off even more environments, too, including an intricately detailed 17th-century pirate ship, all made possible with the power of Unreal Engine 5.

As for how it plays, Flint is a full-on tactical RPG. After watching a player click on the screen to move his crew, explore environments, and loot chests, I’d get to see a slice of its turn-based action. Players can spend action points on each turn to either slash a foe or shoot at them. They can also use the environment to their advantage. If a barrel is sitting on a ledge above an enemy, a pirate can shove it onto them to deal some damage. Similarly, they can roll that barrel across the ground to smash into anything in its way.

A pirate prepares to attack after a successful dice roll in Flint: Treasure of Oblivion.

There’s a clear tabletop pen-and-paper game influence here, too. Attack damage is determined by the same kind of dice rolls you’d find in a game like Dungeons and Dragons. Those dice can be improved throughout the game as players acquire more skills and abilities. Players also have to complete the occasional skill check outside of battle, which requires rolling a 20-sided dice and hitting the right number (something that should be second nature to Baldur’s Gate 3 players at this point).

For those who love this style of top-down RPG, Flint looks like it’s getting fairly creative with how to infuse pirate flavor into that tactics format. Its connection to Treasure Island is the icing on the cake, setting the stage for a historically inspired pirate game with a whole mess of booty to plunder.

Flint: Treasure of Oblivion will launch on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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