Techland really know how to make first-person melee incredibly satisfying. Dead Island – for all its flaws, like the awful quests and boring narrative – held my attention for as long as it did because flailing around, dismembering zombies was just so much damn fun.
The studio’s fantasy first-person hack and slash romp, Hellraid, looks to be continuing this tradition. Indeed, it’s particularly evocative of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, which I ended up devouring after I grew tired of Oblivion’s rubbish combat back in 2006.
Some of the devs played through the first 20 minutes on Twitch a wee while ago, and you can watch the whole, violent affair below.
Well that was a hoot.
Melee looks great, although the weapon swipes are so fast I worry that the murder tools won’t feel like they have as much weight as one would expect.
It looks like Techland are making an effort to make spellcasters feel like bad asses, too. After freezing an enemy with an ice staff, they can be given a swift kick, making them explode into frozen shards. There’s dismemberment too – the lightning staff can carve off limbs, and that’s just lovely.
Making mages feel like bad asses seems to be in style at the moment, just look at Lichdom: Battlemage. This is something I can get behind.
Hellraid has been rebuilt by Techland since it was first announced, moving from the Chrome 5 engine to 6 – the same one that Dying Light uses.
Keep an eye out for it on Steam Early Access this autumn.