It's hard out there for a new development studio. You need to really stand out from the crowd. When The Astronauts debuted their first game, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, back in 2014 they managed to do that with a thoroughly surreal journey and fantastic visuals. It was a thoughtful, mysterious adventure game that involved unraveling a series of murders and uncovering strange, seemingly occult puzzles. Witchfire completely bucks expectations and draws upon the team's roots in shooters - many of The Astronauts worked on projects like Bulletstorm and Painkiller.
The result of that pooled experience thrusts players into the world of a dark fantasy FPS very reminiscent of Painkiller. The protagonist struggles against skeletal enemies powered by mystical forces in gorgeously gothic locations. The jaw-dropping environments and enemies have been constructed using advanced photogrammetry tech that allows the team to scan real-world objects and use them as assets. The technique is scaleable to assets the size of buildings, so whatever the team is planning will be big.
Adrian Chmielarz, one of the co-founders of The Astronauts, gave a bit more context for the mysterious teaser saying, "[Witchfire] is still a long way from release and we are not announcing any other platforms than PC/Steam. The reason we’re launching the teaser so early is simply to let everyone know that we’re alive and kicking, and how radically different this new project of ours is compared to our previous game, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. [...] While Witchfire is also a shooter, we’re aiming to make a game unlike anything we have done in the past, both in tone and in game mechanics."
We don't know much more than that, though there are some hints that 2018 might hold more information as production on Witchfire continues and The Astronauts finalizes more features and builds up the world of Witchfire. Until then, imagine the possibilities presented by a spiritual successor to Painkiller mixed with the narrative sensibilities The Astronauts have demonstrated thus far.