Smuta: This Is “The Russian Witcher”, Sponsored By More Than Just Anyone!

Developed by the Russian studio Cyberia Limited in Unreal Engine 5, Smuta is exclusively for PC, although it will not appear on Steam…



It is not the first time that we hear about Putin’s Russia trying to adopt any technological achievements from abroad so that it does not leave its borders. Its government has already toyed with creating a dedicated graphics engine for its video game market. Recently, they brought up the “competition” of Steam. Now they launched a state-funded action game exclusively for Russia: 1612, or Smuta, a kind of “Russian The Witcher”, only without magic, on Unreal Engine 5.

Eastern Europe has proven to be one of the most important regions for video game development. Poland, Ukraine and Hungary are unstoppable superpowers with licenses such as The Witcher or Dying Light.

Although their future is in question, for the time being, it seems that Putin’s Russia also wants a piece of the pie, albeit without leaving its borders.

In light of this, with a state subsidy of 750 million rubles, which at today’s exchange rate is just over 7 million euros, the development of Smuta/1612 began in 2023 with the Russian team of Cyberia Limited. The idea, which was far from primarily pursuing commercial goals in the context of the Polish-Russian war between 1605 and 1618, wanted to show the Russian Union and its power how to recover from unfavourable situations.






A historical open world and a “Geralt-like” character


The game takes place in the year 1612, hence its name. Czarist Russia is in decline, and its citizens live in abject poverty. Meanwhile, the war rages between cease-fires and invasions. Until in November 1612, the foreign occupying forces were expelled from Moscow. It gives the game an extraordinary framework, the historical facts of which should be checked for accuracy.

But he has a special “Witcher” who, although he doesn’t have magic or cat’s eyes, does have special combat skills, which will be used to benefit diplomacy, a field that is foreign to him.

As mentioned by the people of Gry-Online, the adventure’s protagonist is the young Russian noble Yuri Miloslavsky. He wanders alone in the barren Russian wasteland and fights against Polish invaders. Although you can’t buy it from us, you can see what the whole project is about on the VKPlay page. In terms of its mechanics, we are dealing with a third-person, open-world game. In it, we will visit the modern Nizhny Novgorod region west of Moscow. We deal with political intrigue while uniting a country on the brink of destruction. The Russian studio also allows itself to include some RPG elements in the game. We can also come into contact with the conflict’s different, apparently historical characters.






We don’t know how good it is, but Smuta will undoubtedly be spectacular


Despite the promises in the teaser, it looks surprisingly good. It is not a massive project, nor is it from an established studio. However, Cyberia Limited struck a good balance between a stunning visual experience with Unreal Engine 5 and a combat system with motion-capture-based animations.

They did all this to mould their own Geralt of Rivia as a grim, gloomy figure who gets involved in a political conflict from which he cannot escape.

However, the perception of the Russian open world is mixed. Although we can’t turn to Steam for data, reviews on VKPlay’s site are mixed. 1612, or Smuta, or whatever we want to call it because they’re both correct, got a 6.2 out of 10 positive rating. The main complaints came about the optimization and the uninteresting battles beyond the eye-catching. What did you say to him? Would you like to try the Russian-exclusive game?

Source: Gry-Online, VKPlay

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"Historian by profession, gamer since historical times."

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