Primae Noctis is a single player, stealth, action game in which the player switches between three magical forms, each with unique abilities, to assassinate the English occupiers of Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence.
The year is 1301, and the first War of Scottish Independence is at its height. The English king, Edward I, has sent English lords to occupy Scottish castles and control the people. King Edward has also enacted the right of primae noctis, which gives these English lords first sexual rights to any Scottish bride on her wedding night. Soldiers are amassing in the castle strongholds, preparing for battle against the Guardian of Scotland, William Wallace.
As Cora Keith, a woman sworn to avenge her sister’s rape and murder under the pretense of primae noctis, the player infiltrates Lachlan Castle in the disguise of a new bride. Cora invokes two terrifying faerie spirits to assist her in her mission to kill Lord Anacletus and his sons, dispatching of her sister’s murderers and crippling the English forces in Scotland. Once inside the castle, the player uses the abilities of Cora’s human form and the forms of the two faeries to make her way through the castle through strike and run ambush tactics.
In her human form, Cora does not attract attention as quickly as the faeries do. She can bring down these unsuspecting enemies with a quick stab of her knife. She can also seduce guards into fighting for her, providing her with extra assistance in battle.
The two faeries Cora summons are the Green Maiden and the Washer at the Ford. The Green Maiden is a vampiric faerie that haunts the wilds of Scotland, tearing travelers apart with her terrible claws and drinking their blood. As the Green Maiden fights, her attacks gain speed and strength as she imbibes more and more blood, making her powerful against many enemies. She can also leap in and out of combat and up to otherwise unreachable perches.
The Washer at the Ford is a harbinger of death seen washing death shrouds and the bloody clothes of fallen warriors in the river. She can also travel unseen, only revealing her presence though her eerie wail. When Cora becomes the Washer, she is invisible in shadows, allowing her to sneak through the castle. She can call upon a breath of winter wind to blow out torches and create more shadows in which to hide. When the Washer wails, it knocks soldiers back, giving Cora a moment to escape and, possibly, killing her enemies by throwing them into environmental hazards.
Primae Noctis emanates an ominous, visceral tone appropriate to the themes of occupation and dominance represented by the English soldiers and unrestrained revenge personified in Cora and the faerie spirits. It’s mysterious, gothic environments are eerie and beautiful, like Cora herself, accentuated by intense, high contrast lighting. The power and excitement of the game all weaves around its compelling central character, who is both frightening and heroic.