Veteran developer Reality Pump Studios has been cooking up what’s looking like a nice surprise for horror game fans with its upcoming multiplatform release, Sacrilegium. Coming to PC, PS3 and Xbox 360’s worldwide soon, the TopWare Games-published “Survival-Horror Action Adventure” sounds (at least on paper) like a game that’s got a lot going for it if the lengthy and very detailed press release is any indication.
For many gamers who love their work, Reality Pump’s games (particularly their deep and mostly well-made RPGs) have always been highly ambitious, but between the outstanding new engine and promise of a deep, story driven single-player adventure starring a female character with a tailor made back-story, this could be one of those really intriguing game experiences that draws attention to itself on a few key fronts.
TopWare is promising this will be “A dark, thrilling tale with a captivating atmosphere, full of twists and turns, surprises and rewards.” as well as delivering “A constant feeling of tension, trepidation, and fear of the unknown and the unseen, combined with visceral action rewarded by the excitement of progression.”, which gets my brain tingling in all the right ways…
Despite her revealing outfit in that image above, the developer is clearly trying to make lead heroine Alex atypical to the majority of female game characters by focusing quite heavily on her relationship (or lack of one) with a male secondary character. Based on the press release description, she’ll be presented as a strong yet “middle ground” character both male and females should appreciate.
To wit (*cut!* *paste!*):
The Story of Sacrilegium is all about the young American Alex, a female student, who spends her days in the classroom working towards a college degree, and her nights training at her local gym. Though the 20 year old woman is beautiful, talented and down-to-earth, she has never been in a relationship worth writing home about, always seemingly too busy or disinterested with the dramatic scenarios surrounding the dating game.
The truth is however, she’s never really trusted the opposite sex due to the complete absence of her father during her childhood, and her mother’s unwillingness to discuss the details as to why. Despite this fact she built up a relationship with Ethan, whom she calls the “rock in her life” and she would always commit her life into the hands of Ethan.
Ethan helps down at the local gym where Alex trains on a daily basis. Only slightly older than her at age 25, he exudes an aura of confidence beyond his years that can easily be construed as arrogance at first glance. But there’s more to the seemingly brash young man than appearances, as he’s taken back by Alex’s ability to withstand his usual “girl-getting” tactics.
He now takes a special interest in Alex’s disregard of his advances, realizing that there’s more to this girl than just her beauty, which is a reciprocal reflection of his own personality. Raised in “the system”, Ethan jumped from one foster home to the next during his childhood. After a while a deep friendship developed between the two students…
All of that is good and well, but I’d gather the bulk of people who’ll want to give this one a go will be as interested or more in the gameplay and visuals as they are in the dynamic of its lead characters current relationship unless it’s a big part of the story that helps drive things forward outside the action sequences. Well, that seems to be covered, as the new GRACE 2 engine is more than up to the task of rendering some truly gorgeous environments and characters to inhabit them. As for gameplay, as you can see, there aren’t any big action shots below, but according to that press sheet, players should be in for quite a treat:
Breathtaking graphics: the magic of the revolutionary GRACE 2 Engine renders models and locations so real they can make a photo album look like a charcoal sketch, breathing life into the characters and environments with the dark brush of intensity and enthralling
Ultra-realistic motion-capture: state-of-the art equipment has faithfully reproduced every action and reaction, from the fluid movement of the body to the tiniest twitch in facial expressions. AI powered enemies with unique animations always matching the environment, whenever and wherever they may be encountered.
Multiple ranged weapons: from handguns to crossbows, Alex’s deadly arsenal will whet all appetites.
Unparalleled animations make each character come alive: every entity in the game has been given a unique, separately designed set of animations more realistic than ever seen before.
Cinematic fights and sequences: each one acted out by stage professionals and martial arts experts and all directed separately by film industry virtuosos.
Chopper Chase: like a futuristic road warrior, Alex will blast through the Old Continent on an appropriated police motorbike, as her enemies scatter in all directions.
Gripping Quick Time Events: heart pounding as you race against the clock, only nerves of steel will prove worthy in these sudden, stirring situations.
Add in stereoscopic 3D for those with monitors and TV sets at home and you get something that’s pretty much a must-play game experience. All of this is super-tantalizing to me as a gamer and I’m really hoping Reality Pump can pull this all off and make a game and character for the ages. Ambition this huge ONLY pays off when people see, play and appreciate all of this hard work, so here’s a glass raised that Sacrilegium not only finds its audience, but keeps them psyched for anything in the future that comes along as a result of any success it acquires.