A small crew of developers inside Techland, creators of the zombie hit Dead Island, have announced their newest endeavor, Project Hell. Although only a code name, Project Hell seems apropos for this dark fantasy, first-person hack-and-slash. The game is currently being developed for PC, but if received well may be expanded to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms.
Project Hell evolved from a simple internal weapons mod for Dead Island. The mod enabled players to use magical spells on zombies and eviscerate them with swords. Developers noted the popularity of the mod as players seemed addicted to immobilizing enemies and slicing them back to oblivion. Developers also noted that the mechanics of Dead Island were reminiscent of hack and slash games. Thus an idea was sparked: why not create an independent game that polished the melee mechanics of Dead Island, catered to the first person perspective, and was set in a darker, more gruesome genre. It was with the evolution of this idea that Project Hell was born.
Supernatural enemies, magical abilities, melee combat, and a lot of blood will all contribute to the glorious horror of Project Hell. Monsters are expected to be repulsive and battles are anticipated to be appreciatively gory. Project Hell intends to create a real dark fantasy atmosphere, complete with grotesque designs and challenging gameplay.
In addition, it seems Team Techland has been inspired by some beloved oldies, writing on their official Project Hell blog, ”…we’re lucky enough to remember the first Quake and Diablo and the impression these games made on us – so few games can keep up with these classics.”
Being influenced by such legendary titles, it’s not surprising that future Project Hell players can expect laudable, eerie environmental designs and large-scale boss fights. Team Techland has some other resources to perfect the look and feel of their dark fantasy realm.
“While searching for a dark and mature mood we are constantly referring to early European medieval times,” the blog post said. “It was a time when a lot of people were torn between Christianity and pagan habits – they attended masses but kept casting curses, asking oracles for advice all the while living in fear of necromancy. This gives us a believable base to build up a setting with grounds for magic bound with the evil side.”
This doesn’t mean developers are planning to desecrate any sacred religious symbols or insult anyone’s religious ideology. Instead, the project plans to be respectful yet creative, bringing to fruition a “gory world based on a universal dichotomy between good and evil.”
To stay updated on Project Hell’s progress visit the team’s official blog at sharpenyouraxes.com. They have preview pictures of monsters, characters, and levels. You can also participate in character design polls and offer input for game ideas. Don’t ask for the inclusion of unicorns, however, as the team is currently adamant those mystical horses have no business in their hell.
Although no release date is expected in the near future, dark fantasy lovers can certainly get excited. As team member Kruq pithily put it, “Project Hell is really happening!”