The shattered remains of the mother planet Gaia float in stark contrast against the sky on nearby satellite planet, Archos, serving as inescapable evidence of the dark forces surrounding the world. As a lone explorer in the wilderness, you must learn to understand the terrain, natural resources, as well as how to domesticate the local creatures and build a home. You will need to harness and control the magical energy that courses through the planet, or you risk being consumed by the looming darkness that permeates throughout the planet.
Every aspect of Dark and Light has been re-imagined, re-worked, and upgraded from the 2004 original. Gaia’s very existence is dictated by primal elemental forces, including wind, earth, water, fire, light, and darkness. These elements course through the world, sometimes clashing and causing earth-shattering changes. Gaia houses a number of various biomes, including lush forests, soaring peaks of ice-capped mountains, a towering volcano clouded with sulfur and ash, as well as breezy floating islands, ominous dark forests, wide swamps, and deep caverns. Extreme weather conditions will put you to the test; you’ll need to procure food and water, as well as the proper tools required to roam this expansive land and brave the unforgiving elements.
Ages ago, Gaia was attacked by dark forces and collapsed, plunging the world into darkness. Many sought exodus to Archos, one of Gaia’s satellite planets – unwittingly (or for some, perhaps intentionally) bringing the dark forces along with them. As a result, Archos’s atmosphere has been adversely affected, causing some strange occurrences on the planet during the night. During the day, Archos’s landscape is peaceful, but once the sun sets, the planet immediately plunges into chaos. Occasionally, the remnants of Gaia will block out the sun, causing an eclipse on Archos, resulting in a violent, bloodthirsty frenzy among the planet’s native creatures. Eclipses also provide an opportunity to obtain incredibly rare magical resources, so players must learn to survive during eclipses if they want to thrive.
Magic permeates throughout everything Dark and Light, and the line between physical and magical becomes increasingly blurred as the game progresses. There are dozens of magical skills related to survival, exploration, defense, transformation, control, attack, and more. Players can harness the power of the elements to construct buildings, erect a network of portals to transport you all across the continent, and even control the weather. Possibilities aren’t just limited to creation and control, however. Players can master important battlefield skills with a magic staff and over 14 different melee and ranged weapons, including bows, swords, daggers, and more. Players can also use magic to forge weapons and create their own legendary equipment.
Dark and Light features dozens of magical beasts, including dragons, griffins, unicorns, centaurs, goblins, and many, many more. There are also plenty of unique creatures that players have never seen before, and all are native to this planet. All the creatures in the game survived the havoc spread by the destruction of Gaia, and thus are all imbued with incredible magical powers. Players can hunt them for food and clothing, extract their magical essence, or they can choose to tame them and raise them as faithful companions.
Players and NPCs can all progress through their own growth systems, and players can choose which skills they want their characters to master. These include both physical skills such as speed, endurance, and strength, but can also apply to a character’s crafting abilities. Whether a character chooses to be an architect, a mage, or a warrior is all up to them, the combinations of skills and stat builds in Dark and Light are virtually limitless. It is possible to become a master of all skills, but doing so will require tremendous time and effort. In order to develop a strong foundation, players are encouraged to specialize and cooperate with one another throughout their time on Archos.
Archos’s punishing environmental conditions have bested many adventurers who tried to go it alone – players will need to band together to survive. Dark and Light is designed to encourage cooperation at every level; survival, exploration, and combat are all incredibly demanding, and few will be able to fully master their surroundings. This is particularly true in regards to group combat, where supporting and managing a diverse battalion of warriors, mages, trainers, and more will grant you a major advantage in large-scale battles.
Players can choose to start in one of three main cities, each one belonging to one of the three ruling factions on Archos. This community structure is critical in the early stages of the game, when players are relatively weak and need support from others. Your role in the faction becomes increasingly important as you progress through Dark and Light – if you establish your specialty early, it’ll go a long way in helping you contribute to the success of your faction.
Dark and Light’s sandbox world affords players the freedom to create and build just about anywhere in the world. Whether you want a secret underground base or a fortress atop a massive floating island, if you can reach it, you can build there. As the forces of darkness simmer on the horizon, defending your homestead will become increasingly important. A combination of physical and magic fortifications, including NPCs and tamed creatures, will be necessary for players to defend their land from being engulfed by darkness.
Archos is still threatened by the total collapse of Gaia and a massive invasion by the forces of darkness. Even though the portals that link Archos to Gaia have closed, darkness emanates from the mother planet, affecting all the living creatures on Archos. Whether to embrace the darkness or fight it is a choice that remains solely with you, and it is your choice that will represent the future of the world.