Dead Island Studio Announces Dark Fantasy Hack-and-Slasher

Dead Island Studio Announces Dark Fantasy Hack-and-Slasher

An internal Dead Island weapon mod has spawned into a hellish new project.

Techland's zombie-reconstruction simulator, Dead Island, is popular with some of the staff here at The Escapist. It's a solid title with some brutal melee combat mechanics and one of the best promotional videos I've seen. Deep Silver is following up on the first game's success of three million sales with Dead Island Riptide, but Techland has also announced a new first-person hack and slash game that's going to be set in a dark fantasy setting. (Yes, there'll probably be a few zombies in this one, too.)

"Project Hell" was unveiled a few days ago in an official blog, and is currently being driven by a small team within the Techland team. The project originated from a simple internal weapon mod that combined ice magic spells with two-handed swords, and it was enough to inspire a few developers to band together and create a prototype, which has since grown into an independent project.

"Our main goal is to make a game we can all enjoy playing so don't expect unicorns and fairies - we prefer breaking through hordes of undead minions only to slaughter their devilish and loathsome masters in a bloody boss-fight," reads the initial blog post. "To achieve that we'll use our experience already gained in game development and enhanced technology from Dead Island.

"We believe that we can make something really unique and thrilling and share it with you. Keep your fingers crossed."

Dead Island's melee combat system was definitely one of the game's strong suits, and a more polished version of this in a dark fantasy world sounds very promising indeed.

Source: Sharpen Your Axes!

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i love it when mods become games, makes me wish more games would offer Dev kits.

looking forward to it.

Looks like it may take some cues from Dark souls... The genre is hardly thin on the ground, but it could be good. The concept art pic looks not so hot though, trying to do too much with one character. Doesn't need the armour if you are going to stitch heads on the hands and give it the zombie head. Kind of like the guys from Dragon age with bits glued on.

Will it be a lackluster FPP game?

Colour me interested. I'll keep an eye on this.

Ugh... no, sorry, I really hate first-person hack and slash games. I was just about able to stomach it in Skyrim (if only because the third-person camera was even more awful), but any developer who willingly tries to do swords-and-slashing combat in first person gets a massive sigh from me. It just doesn't work. Melee combat is not like gun combat, where you send a bullet in a straight line to the target designated by the crosshair. Melee combat does not happen in straight lines.

Melee combat in FP is not like melee combat in real life. In real life, you can snap your head around and change your positioning at a second's notice. If someone goes for you from behind your left shoulder, you can react to that instantly. In first person, you're limited by the small window of the TV monitor, and the sluggish speeds at which your character can turn around. If your character gets surrounded in first person, you're boned. If your character gets attacks by someone off-screen, you're boned.

It's the same thing as mouse and keyboard. If you're playing a shooter, M&K is the most responsive control method, hands down. And with melee combat focused on swords and shields, third-person offers more spatial awareness, and better potential for attack animations than first-person. I don't see why developers are so intent on trying to make the first-person perspective work for melee when third-person games such as Dark Souls, Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden et al have proven time and again that hand-to-hand combat works better when you can see your own character. Every first-person brawler I've played, even the ones celebrated for their combat, it feels like I've been battling the game mechanics first, the game enemies second.

...sorry, went on a bit of a rant there. Well, suffice to say my interest in this game has slipped somewhat with this announcement. There are so many great fantasy hack-and-slash games that use a third-person perspective, I don't particularly feel the need to suffer through yet another attempt to marry melee combat with first-person restrictions.

The concept looks like a fantasy undead judge dredd with heads as hands!

Hey, more power to them.
Even if it´s Dark Souls/Amnesia "inspired", I don´t mind people ripping of an art style I actually LIKE.

Gordon Freemonty:
The concept looks like a fantasy undead judge dredd with heads as hands!

Slight correction on your spelling: it´s actually spelled "fucking metal!!!".
I often get it wrong as well.

Also, is that a Screenwipe Avatar ?

Will we be able to throw little girls out the window this time?

Ugh, here we go again. Another grimdark trip through the dirt-brown section of fantasy. Hard men will have to make hard decisions in the face of unstoppable rape-orcs and cannibal demons of Bad McSkullDoom, lord of all naughtiness and hardcorez. I don't want to even think about how many 'ghouls' or whatever fantastic acronym they concoct for zombies I'll have to slog through, pretending they evoke any kind of emotion more out of a courtesy.

...

Oh who am I kidding?

image

WANT NOW.

Gordon Freemonty:
The concept looks like a fantasy undead judge dredd with heads as hands!

Fucking I know, right?! That alone is worth the price of admission.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Snip

I'm not so sure. Yeah, Dead Island's first person melee combat didn't really work somehow. It felt off. But Skyrim's I can handle. Also, Condemned: Criminal Origins worked well enough. I think a block ability is important. Dead Island didn't have one, did it?

Looks very dark souls, which is good. I loved the style and atmosphere of dark souls, but the difficulty of it kinda locked me out after a while. Hopefully it'll also be scary, as being a badass knight is all the more entertaining when up against something that makes you soil your greaves.

latenightapplepie:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Snip

I'm not so sure. Yeah, Dead Island's first person melee combat didn't really work somehow. It felt off. But Skyrim's I can handle. Also, Condemned: Criminal Origins worked well enough. I think a block ability is important. Dead Island didn't have one, did it?

I agree with you that Skyrim's combat was alright. But that's the thing: if I'm playing a game where a large part of the focus is on close-quarters combat, I don't want the combat to be 'alright'. Skyrim only got away with it because of the huge open-world to explore, as with every Elder Scrolls game before. But for games without that huge epic world to explore, clunky first-person combat goes from being a minor nuisance to an outright obstacle.

Compare Skyrim to something like Dark Souls. The combat in Dark Souls is immeasurably better, by virtue of the fact that you can actually see around your character, instead of having your view restricted to a small rectangle. If an enemy attacks from the left, you can anticipate it and roll out of the way (another maneuver impossible to do in first-person), before following up with a counter attack. In Skyrim, or Condemned, or Dead Island, if someone attacks from the left... they attack from the left. There's no way for you to know until they've actually hit you, at which point you'll just start madly spinning round until you can see them.

Close combat is as much about how your body is positioned, and where your feet are placed, as it is about hitting stuff with swords. And that is something you cannot do in first-person.

Gordon Freemonty:
The concept looks like a fantasy undead judge dredd with heads as hands!

But head hands are all the fashion right now!

image

I'm just happy someone's remembered fantasy doesn't mean "a human, an elf, and a dwarf walk into a mead hall..."

Wasn't really thrilled with Dead Island, but that does look really awesome and has peaked my interest.

I will be keeping an eye on this.

TheAmazingHobo:
Also, is that a Screenwipe Avatar ?

Yes, It is Barry Shitpeas from Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Close combat is as much about how your body is positioned, and where your feet are placed, as it is about hitting stuff with swords. And that is something you cannot do in first-person.

Yeah, I think you're right. Skyrim had the role-playing and exploration to distract from its combat issues. Similarly, Condemned was a suspenseful, immersive horror game, so again, the combat didn't have to be perfect. Hmmm.

 

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