'South of Midnight' is a Southern Gothic monster adventure from Compulsion Games

It's a third-person action game set deep in the American South.

Compulsion Games

Compulsion Games is back with a new project called South of Midnight, a third-person action adventure set in an original world of magic, monsters and giant, blues-playing skeletons. The game's debut trailer is a cinematic snippet introducing the protagonist, a young woman named Hazel, as she attempts to reason with an immortal specter on a dark dock. Hazel is hunting a monster — or, it's hunting her, as the trailer goes on to show — and she can wield bright threads of magic.

South of Midnight is in development for Xbox Series X/S and PC, including a Steam release, and it'll come to Game Pass on launch day — whenever that may be. Compulsion Games is the Canadian studio behind We Happy Few and Contrast, and it was acquired by Xbox in 2018.

South of Midnight is set in a fictional town in the southern United States and the game is infused with magical realism. It's a Southern Gothic love letter of sorts, creative director David Sears said on Xbox Wire.

The magic Hazel practices is called Weaving and it represents the game's central mechanic, used for combat and to travel around the world. Hazel is a "protector" from the small, fictional town of Prospero, and it's her job to not only hunt supernatural creatures throughout the South, but to repair the rips in reality that are letting the beasts in. The monsters are based on Southern folklore, and blues, gospel and folk music play a big part in the game.

Hazel is a young Black woman, and Sears noted that this description, "unfortunately, is still pretty unique for video games" when it comes to protagonists.

He continued, “To tell the story of a Black woman in this setting creates another level of complexity that the team had to meet with curiosity and empathy. The approach to this had to start by having just proper representation on the team, ensuring that we had Black women and women of color on our narrative team is key for understanding and writing Hazel’s voice.”

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