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Weaving Southern Folklore: South of Midnight's Gothic Tale - XBOX Showcase Highlight

By Frances Baker

The long-awaited Xbox Showcase 2024 was broadcast live today, keeping fans eagerly anticipating the new games for this year and unveiling upcoming releases for next year for the first time.

From We Happy Few creators, Compulsion Games, South of Midnight was one of those titles. The footage from today's showcase – taken from around a third of the way through the story – reintroduces us to our heroine Hazel. (who we met in last year’s introductory trailer) and all-new gameplay. The animation style used in the cut scenes bears a strong resemblance to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, evoking a claymation aesthetic that pays tribute to classic films by directors such as Tim Burton and others.

When disaster strikes her hometown, Hazel is called to become a Weaver: a magical mender of broken bonds and spirits. Imbued with these new abilities, Hazel will confront and subdue dangerous creatures, untangle the webs of her own family's shared past, and -if she's lucky - find her way to a place that feels like home. (Steam)

The traditional folklore aesthetics of the Gothic Deep South in this action-adventure game bring a breath of fresh air to storytelling that was lacking in the mainstream video game industry. By drawing inspiration not only from rich Southern folklore but also from the authentic history and vibrant culture of the American South, the game promises a uniquely immersive experience. The influence of this rich heritage is evident in the evocative music, intricate architecture, and captivating characters we've glimpsed so far. All these elements come together to create a world that feels both genuine and enchanting, offering players a chance to explore a setting teeming with diverse and meaningful representation.

In the developer's and Joe Skrebels, Xbox Wire Editor-in-Chief's own words "South of Midnight feels as rich with storytelling as the age-old tales it draws on – and it promises to be like nothing we’ve ever played as a result."

We're excited to see the stars align for this one.

South of Midnight will be released in 2025 on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, Steam, and Cloud – and play with Xbox Game Pass on day one.

This game is rated Mature.

You can watch Xbox's Showcase here.


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