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South of Midnight (third-person action-adventure set in a magic realist version of the American South) - update (06/09): "Gameplay Reveal" trailer

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South of Midnight is a brand new third-person action-adventure set in a magic realist take on the American South. You've seen the trailer, now learn much, much more about the game in our exclusive interview.




Revealed for the first time today during Xbox Games Showcase 2023, South of Midnight is a new third-person action-adventure set in a magic realist version of the American South. Developed by Compulsion Games (Contrast, We Happy Few) – and coming to Xbox Series X|S (with Xbox Game Pass), Windows PC (with PC Game Pass), and Steam – the reveal trailer gave us a sense of the place, the tone, the heroine, Hazel, and her mission to subdue supernatural creatures that have spilled into the world – but you still want to know more, right?


Fear not! I was lucky enough to sit down with creative director David Sears and narrative producer and creative specialist James Lewis to talk through, much, much more about this mysterious, beguiling new game. From the story and inspirations, to its magic and monsters, here’s our exclusive South of Midnight interview



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6 hours ago, Mr.Vic20 said:

This was the best trailer of the show, despite being devoid of any game play. 

It also wasn’t CG, which gives that more of a pass in my book.  The style alone sells it, plus it’s good to know that it’s in-engine.


Gameplay is the bigger test for Compulsion.  We Happy Few could have ended up being something really special, but they picked the worst possible genre for it out of the gate.  (Survival)

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12 hours ago, skillzdadirecta said:

Never read it. Recommend, I guess?




There's a damned good reason why it won the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2020 and 2022.  Also, Legendary is producing a film based on the story with Oscar winner Regina King (One Night in Miami) as producer and director.

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  • 11 months later...
  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to South of Midnight (third-person action-adventure set in a magic realist version of the American South) - update (06/09): "Gameplay Reveal" trailer
1 hour ago, crispy4000 said:

Not sure how I feel about this being another Souls-like apparently?  It has so much style, but we’ve seen this combat format so much lately.  I want that part of it to feel original too.


I had practically the identical reaction as well when I saw the combat as I was genuinely hoping for something that would thematically reflect the setting.

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South of Midnight got its first gameplay trailer at Xbox Games Showcase 2024 - we spoke to the developers at Compulsion to find out much more about this unique project.




After seeing the trailer, I got the chance to chat to South of Midnight’s Creative Director David Sears, Art Director Whitney Clayton, and Game Director Jasmin Roy. What became clear as we talked is that South of Midnight has been designed with a single, guiding vision, one where thought and care has been put into every decision. In this game, story suffuses everything – combat, boss design, art, even music. Ask the team about any gameplay element, and they won’t just tell you why it’s fun, they’ll tell you the narrative reasoning behind it. Key to all of this is that Hazel’s story is about repairing a world, and the individuals caught up in its newly-darkened corners.


“From top to bottom, that’s the message behind Hazel, her combat design, her powers,” Sears explains. “Everything is a Weaving metaphor – Weavers are supposed to put things right, do good in the world. She’s literally repairing the tapestry, and with creatures – Haints included – we spent a good amount of time making sure it was clear that when you’re attacking or interacting, you’re doing it in a non-lethal but aggressive way. You’re doing it because you’re helping – removing the weight of all this trauma.”





We heard last year that the game would reflect the regions of the Deep South through a shifting soundtrack, but this trailer reveals how far that goes – each mythical creature will have their own theme song. Composed by Olivier Deriviere (A Plague Tale: Requiem, Get Even), and with lyrics by Sears and the writing team, each song will be woven throughout the Kingdoms, growing in complexity and systemically responding to your actions, until full-blown lyrics begin telling the stories of the creatures you’re trying to evade and, eventually, cure.


It’s rare to hear voiced songs in games – but it’s rarer to hear them originally composed to support the narrative throughout a whole game.

“I wanted the story of the origin of the creatures to be there,” says Sears. “If you had nowhere else to find it, you could listen to the whole track and it would tell you. It’s like a piece of the puzzle that you’ve collected in the history of the character.”



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