Panic, the publisher behind Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game, is dropping a unique soccer title on PS5, Xbox and PC next year. It’s called Despelote and is described as a “beautiful slice-of-life adventure” about childhood and the world’s favorite sport. Created by Julián Cordero and Sebastian Valbuena, the title’s set in Ecuador in 2001, which was when the country had its first succesful qualifying run for the World Cup.
Gameplay involves exploring the city of Quito, playing soccer and engaging in “playful, funny interactions” with various townspeople. It boasts a first person perspective and a highly unique art style that merges grainy photo realism with flourishes of animation. Not sure what that means? There’s a teaser trailer.
Panic says the game was inspired by co-creator Cordero’s childhood and it boasts full voice acting in Spanish with the option for localized subtitles. Much of the dialogue was actually captured in real life on the streets of Ecuador to give it a bit more flavor. The same goes for the background ambient noise.
It’s worth noting that this is a narrative title first and a soccer game second, so don’t expect a full-on sim like FIFA. There looks to be plenty of opportunities to kick things, pass things and dribble, however, as you explore the town, “getting caught up in mischief and soaking in the local culture.”
Despelote first appeared on the scene in 2021 at that year’s Summer Games Fest, but there wasn’t an official publisher or release platform back then. As for Panic, the company’s been busy meeting the demands of Playdate portable console owners in addition to publishing nifty indie titles.