The Ball: Guns, Dinosaurs, Great Apes

By Alec Meer on October 19th, 2010 at 9:41 pm.

Monkeys: last decade's zombies

Unreal Engine mod-done-good The Ball is finally due for its big-boy release, after months of cooing and dribbling about how its mental puzzle-carnage could evolve given time and money. The answer’s below, in video form. In word form: a sort of omni-geek power fantasy.

Dramatic music. Enormous monkeys. Dinosaurs. Blood. So much blood. And that’s even before you factor in the titular Ball, a titanic death-machine that’s both weapon and puzzle.

While a completely different thing in crucial ways, it somehow evokes the singular psychopathy that the Unreal Tournament games once plumbed before the cold and spiky UT3 put a stop to all that.

The Ball’s out a week today, on all your favourite digi-shops and some of those dusty high street ones too. I suspect most of us will want to give it a shot, eh?

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81 Comments »

  1. BobbleHat says:

    Looks like its shaping up to be a well-rounded game.

  2. Jake says:

    Not sure that’s a great ape, surely it’s a super monkey.

  3. Farkeman says:

    looks like a good game ,

    puzzle , blood , zombies , monkeys ?
    im sold ..

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Am I the only one who thinks that ball looks like a Pokemon ball, and therefore can’t take this game serious anymore?

  4. Matt says:

    The best game based entirely around an escort mission?

    • Protagoras says:

      @matt

      Nope. Now if they make a whole game based on escorting a sweet cube with a heart symbol on it, making it your “companion” – that would be the best game based entirely around an escort mission.

    • 9of9 says:

      Ball VS. Cube

      Coming soon to deathmatch near you.

    • klo3 says:

      As much as i love Portal i’ve come to believe that the best considered game based on an escort mission would be Ico. I’ve yet to play it myself but it being released as a HD version together with SotC was the tipping of committing heresy in the form of giving my money to a Japanese manufacturer black boxes meant to enhance your TV’s interactivity.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    What with this and Rock of Ages games sure are becoming a load of old balls.

  6. Chris Evans says:

    I am really looking forward to this one, I’ve watched the videos and they are great. The idea of the Ball being your tool and weapon is great. I’ve got an interview with the project lead on The Reticule. Shame they don’t have any immediate multiplayer plans though.

  7. KBKarma says:

    How very odd: RPS has the title of the game on the LEFT of the colon. Normally it’s the right.

    Yes, that was the only thing I wanted to say.

    … Oh, the game? Looks pretty cool, actually. The music is great.

    Also, zombie gorillas and dinosaurs.

    A final note: did anyone else notice the little ticker in the bottom-left, above the health meter, that shows how far away THE BALL is from you (and yes, it must be written as THE BALL at all times).

    Another final note: someone mentioned an escort mission, and drew parallels with Portal. Now… anyone ever played the Advanced version of Test Chamber 17? Yeah…

  8. terry says:

    Are balls the new cubes? Discuss.

  9. Shadowcat says:

    Looks like laugh-a-minute and die-a-metre action.

  10. Spacewalk says:

    Hey hey…

  11. kutkh says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, Clive Barker’s Super Monkey Ball.

  12. ScubaMonster says:

    I’m assuming the ball is the only weapon you have against the bad guys?

    • Dominic White says:

      Yes. That’s kinda the entire point of the game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      Actually I’m pretty sure there’s no point!

    • ScubaMonster says:

      The point is to move the ball, that doesn’t necessarily mean you couldn’t use anything else to defend yourself.

    • ZhouYu says:

      I approve of Lambchops’ comment here in every possible way.

  13. Freud says:

    Looks like it could be fun/annoying.

  14. Rane2k says:

    Looks like somebody enjoyed QPong so much that they made a single player game out of it, nice! :-)

  15. Gaytard Fondue says:

    I sense a dangerous lack of IS-2′s.

  16. KingOfTheCosmos says:

    I want you all to roll that thing over monkeys until it is the size of a planet.

  17. Ted says:

    This looks completely ridiculous. Who thought this was a good idea?

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      Your cerebellum did, a few microseconds before your cerebrum kicked in.

  18. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    What’s the rash, monkey boy?

  19. Pantsman says:

    “…it somehow evokes the singular psychopathy that the Unreal Tournament games once plumbed before the cold and spiky UT3 put a stop to all that.”

    If it really does this, it’s a day one buy for me.

  20. rammjaeger says:

    Shameless self promotion:

    The Ball is also now available for pre-purchase here:

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/35460/

    And if you pre-purchase The Ball you get an exclusive “The Ball” themed playable character for Killing Floor.

    Ok shameless self promotion over :)

  21. Alan Wilson says:

    Well, I suppose it has to be done… seeing someone else started the ball (theme) rolling:

    Hitler only bought one ball.
    Goering bought two, as the price was really small
    Himmler was rather similar
    But poor old Goebels
    Got no balls at all

    [He couldn't even get a friend to gift it to him on Steam]

  22. droid says:

    While the game does have a point, the point of the game doesn’t.

  23. Gwathdring says:

    Ah, bad puns. You folks are awesome. As a side note how much bigger/longer/well featured/different is this from the modification of the same name? I found it a while back as a standalone modification for the Unreal 3 engine.

  24. DMJ says:

    Pah. Totally redundant. I don’t think I have a single person I know who doesn’t already have an enormous spiky death-ball they can use to crush their enemies into pulp and leap on top of to climb higher than they could on their own.

  25. MDevonB says:

    This is topping the list of games perfectly suited for tessellation.

  26. Ptoxiq says:

    Why does most video game music SUCK? Really, they should have used some public domain something or other before paying someone to compose that typical crap. Rant over.

  27. The Hon. Reverend Fred Gherkin says:

    $18-20 for a six hour game? Pass. Looks like good contender during the Christmas sales if it drops to fivebux though.

  28. markcocjin says:

    I know everyone’s praising the Unreal Engine technology but whenever they try to do a creature or a character in a grimy detailed and armored theme, they all look the same visually. Not in a realistic manner but with the way they look in the light.

    Even the Kronan in Mass Effect looks like a character from Epic studios. Look at Bulletstorm’s character. So strangely identical to what Epic would do.

    • terry says:

      Yeah, everything looks like it’s being lit by a full on spotlight to show off the shiny surfaces. I think the only really pleasant looking UE3 game is Bioshock. And that looked pretty because it used soft lighting effectively and sparingly. Everything else I’ve seen out of this engine has all the atmospheric subtlety of a school nativity play.

    • DestinedCruz says:

      Mirror’s Edge, Bioshock, Borderlands, Fairytale Fights, I Am Alive, Medal of Honour: Airborne, The Last Remnant, Rainbow Six Vegas/Vegas 2, Red Orchestra 2.

      Those all look different.

      I don’t see your point.

  29. fuggles says:

    I was quite interested until I found out it was by tripwire and comes with a character for the worst game I have ever installed :\

    Still, there is something primordially appealing about running over a giant ape with a giant ball…. I shall await the reviews and see if its worth full price, which is better than not looking at the reviews at all! Ah, the value of a trailer. As an aside, you are described as a swashbuckling archeologist – I hope you actually get to do some archaeology as a juxtaposition at the start.

  30. Grubblik says:

    Wonder if there is a level based at C.E.R.N. think Icosahedron collider mission would be cool.

  31. Grubblik says:

    bah! reply fail

  32. Bungle says:

    I could see myself enjoying this game with a nice Seven and Seven… or Highball, if you will.

  33. Porcupine says:

    You guys are on the ball with these puns.

  34. james says:

    :rolls eyes.

  35. Krimson says:

    Do not taunt happy fun ball,

  36. Nighthood says:

    Mirror’s Edge is pretty, and it’s UE3.

  37. Nike says:

    Round objects!

  38. Scandalon says:

    And you didn’t even mention the Mod and/or Standalon UDK demo?!?

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-ball/news/the-ball-stand-alone-udk-demo

  39. pupsikaso says:

    Um, the size of the ball in the video makes me cringe. If it’s going to take up the whole screen, exactly how would I be able to effectively use it to fight monsters or solve puzzles? It’s just going to get in the damn way every time.