Heroes Of Might, Magic, & Anything Else: Project Awakened

By Nathan Grayson on February 5th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

I imagine they'll be hearing from lawyers representing Disney and the Mushroom Kingdom before too long.

Bald space marines! They’re pretty great, huh? Always shooting aliens and misplacing their hair everywhere. But in case that pinnacle of videogame characterization wasn’t doing it for you, Phosphor Games is hoping to offer more. Way more. Way, way, way, way more. As in, pretty much anything you can imagine. The basic idea behind Project Awakened is that you get a nigh-bottomless pool of superheroic powers and looks to mix and match in whatever manner you please. These, for instance: “An invisible hero who can charm enemies to fight for her. A non-violent hero with super speed and agility racing past enemies to the goal. A man who spontaneously combusts at will and touches everyone to incinerate them.” OK, well, that last one is the Human Torch, one of the most well-known heroes of all time. But the others seem fairly unique. Video and details after the break.

Here’s the basic idea behind the game, which can also be summarized using this video:

“Project Awakened contains a modular powers and skill system that allows players to select from a huge number of abilities and combine them in unique ways. Unlike other games which use a class system or skill trees, Project Awakened leaves every choice and ability up the player. Likewise, players will have the opportunity to completely customize the appearance of their characters. Comical or serious, rough or polished, nearly any character imaginable can be created using the Project Awakened Player Creation system. The result is a game with seemingly limitless gameplay and replay potential based on which abilities players choose.”

Moreover, heroes can run the gamut from “comical to serious,” and robust mod support will (hopefully) ensure that the same goes for levels. A built-in editor, however, is currently only a stretch goal, because Phosphor’s shining a beacon into the sky for that most mighty and righteous of all heroes – money – to swoop in and save the day. It’s asking for $500,000 on Kickstarter, which seems reasonable enough, given that stuffing every power ever conceived into one game might be a teensy bit expensive.

Obviously, it’s an absurdly gigantic promise. But Phosphor’s made up of vets from the teams behind Midway’s Psi-Ops and Stranglehold, so they at least know telekinesis and doves – two of the most potent super powers of all. And honestly, psychic dove warfare is all I’ve ever really wanted from games anyway. Meanwhile, Phosphor’s apparently spent the past couple years working directly with Epic on Unreal Engine 4, so the final product will likely have most of the graphics – if not quite all of them.

I’m certainly interested, if only because this has the potential to be a bigger, even more ridiculous Prototype. My main concern is that it looks pretty shooty at the moment, but it’s also still relatively early. And honestly, I say more power to developers who focus on potentially game-breaking, well, powers. Stuff like Dishonored, where the basic mission statement is “We made this meticulously constructed world, but you know, go wild. Figure out cool things we don’t even know about. BREAK EVERYTHING.” Quantity over quality concerns notwithstanding, Project Awakened certainly stands to take that idea to new heights. Unless, of course, you choose to make Subterraneman, the world’s first eyeless mole person superhero. But honestly, at that point, you’re just being facetious.

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27 Comments »

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  1. woodsey says:

    I’m pretty sure this is a cancelled project from a couple of years ago, called ‘Project Hero’ or something. Looked cool, but also ridiculously ambitious – way too ambitious for $500k. Seems like we may as well be paying them in packs of Walkers crisps.

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      JiminyJickers says:

      They already said so in the video. They were the ones working on it.

      • woodsey says:

        … Well that makes me look like an idiot. I thought I’d watched the whole thing earlier but apparently I closed it before anyone started speaking.

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          JiminyJickers says:

          Haha, happens to the best of us.

        • kelseypaul1 says:

          til I looked at the draft for $7648, I be certain that my mother in law could actualey earning money part-time at there labtop.. there aunt has done this 4 less than thirteen months and at present cleared the morgage on there cottage and purchased a brand new Renault 5. we looked here, Read about it

  2. RandomEsa says:

    When I saw the title I thought there was something about HoMM, but this project looked rather cool. Might back it up.

  3. DarkFenix says:

    So going on the first part of that ‘Project Awakened’ video, it’s a game about someone who woke up one morning to find they were extremely short sighted?

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    JiminyJickers says:

    I hope I can play it single player offline.

    The idea is brilliant, I have always wanted a game where I can have lots of awesome powers.

  5. Barnox says:

    The full video of Hero, the old game by the same team, is here: http://youtu.be/ilXbHxONdNw

    It looks very fantastic and I very much hope it gets funded/released.

  6. TheTuninator says:

    Awwww, why’d you have to go and get my hopes up that this was something related to Heroes of Might & Magic?

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    ffordesoon says:

    These guys made Psi-Ops, FYI. They’ve also been working on this game for at least five years.

    Neither of those facts guarantees success, but they are worth noting. Personally, I really hope they make the game they want to make, because it’s an absolutely glorious idea they clearly care a lot about.

  8. Bhazor says:

    Kind of sad to see the base game is set in the real world, I understand why but with such ludicrous powers I would have liked a more ludicrous setting. Speaking of the powers, it really does need some kind of limitation otherwise it will be like playing in God mode, fun for ten minutes then a dull slog.

    Still the most promising Kickstarter I’ve seen in a while, hope it makes it.

  9. kikito says:

    the world’s first eyeless mole person superhero.

    Dude. Mole Man has existed for ages and he’s awesome.

  10. mollemannen says:

    i really wonder how they will be able to pull this of. why would i want to play a military dude that relies on firearms when i could just make an immortal superhero that flies?

  11. MaXimillion says:

    But I already played all of those three examples in CoH years ago…

  12. gwathdring says:

    I’m concerned about the long-term gameplay. I’m sure the character creation will be fine–that sounds like an ambitious concept but something they’re committed enough to that I’ll trust them to pull it off.

    But the moment to moment play? That’s something I exceedingly worried about. It would be incredibly difficult to make the game feel balanced and coherent for even MOST ability combinations. I’m not convinced yet, but I’m definitely interested.

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    megabear says:

    I’m very sick of people sabotaging their work when it comes to presentation. The actual in-game footage looks fantastic, but its preceded by an entire minute of footage of drab environments assembled by someone who has zero clue of what depth of field is or how to use it.

    • Gnoupi says:

      This DOF made me clean my glasses and rub my eyes half a dozen times while watching this video.

  14. Kefren says:

    These games work best if they’re not too long and have branching options, so you can try again with a completely different character without it becoming a slog to replay.

  15. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    The problem with ‘create any character you want’ is often that the gameplay will be restricted to fit the weaknesses and powers of characters. Personally I’d rather have a more restricted player character if it allows for deeper gameplay. But this could be good.

  16. efexuy says:

    The problem is, would you trust your money to Gaius Baltar?