A Real Cut Up: Hellraid’s First-Person Sword Shenanigans

By Nathan Grayson on February 14th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Today's necromancy brought to you by the color purple!

Are you ready to go on a HELLRAID? *guitar squeal, logo explodes into a thousand super rad monster trucks* I’m sorry. It’s just that Hellraid’s name is the most ’90s videogame title in the history of videogame titles – even more so than most games released in the ’90s. But I will say that it’s a rather apt name, given that Hellraid is a game about, you know, raiding hell. You and some friends go in with swords held aloft, and then you bop skeletons until they regain the sense to realize that their own muscle-less existences – maneuvering, cognition, combat prowess, etc – are impossible, at which point they slump into blanched piles of order and sensibility. Ah, the existential plight of the videogame skeleton. I think we’ve all been there. Video of Hellraid’s apparently quite detailed first-person combat below.

Well, OK, I guess I should’ve said, like, “13 seconds of first-person combat footage, followed by men telling you how cool it is for a very long time.” But it’s like the gaming industry always says: tell, don’t show. Which strikes me as rather strange, given that I mastered the art of show and tell when I was six. But oh well. It’s a developer diary. I guess I shouldn’t have expected much else.

It is neat that the developers are studying actual swordfighting, though. First-person weapon-based melee combat is a notoriously tough thing to nail down, so every last scrap of know-how helps. And hey, Dead Island’s first-person paddle-thwappery wasn’t entirely unsatisfying, although it did show its weightless, number-crunching RPG roots at times.

But yeah, first-person co-op action role-playing set in hell. That is what you’re getting here. Sounds like Diablo, except you get to put your best face forward instead of clicking furiously on tiny ant people. Personally, I think the combat snippets the video showed still look a little stiff, but I saw so little that it’s impossible to render any sort of verdict.

At any rate, that’s about all there is to say for the moment. And now, back to writing my ’90s cartoon Hellraid theme song. Hellraid / Goin’ underground / Hellraid / Where no one’s around / Hellraid / Except skeletons / Hellraid / And tons of fun / Hellraid / For kids of all ages / Hellraid / Note: Hellraid is not appropriate for kids of all ages / *58 second one-note guitar solo*

, .

33 Comments »

Top comments

  1. Spacewalk says:

    Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
    Somewhere in this town
    See me and the boys we real like it
    So were loadin’ up for beatin’ down

    Hiding low zombies right to left
    If they see us coming I think it’s best
    To charge right in do you hear what I say
    From under my breath

    Chorus:
    Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
    Somewhere in this town
    Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
    Burnin’ the churches down

    Tonight there’s gonna be co-op
    Some of us won’t survive
    See the boys and me mean business
    Bustin’ all those dead and alive

    I can hear the hellhounds on my trail
    All hell breaks loose and revenants wail
    Liking the game even if ya lose
    So respawn

    Chorus

    Tonight there’s gonna be co-op
    I’m gonna find myself in
    Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
    So you better bring your friends

    You know it’s safer

    BREAKOUT!

    Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
    Into purgatory zones
    Don’t you dare to try and stop us
    No one could for long

    Skeletons are on my trail
    Tonight’s the night all Christians fail
    Hey you a good lookin’ zombie
    Come here!

    Chorus

    Tonight there’s gonna be co-op
    I’m gonna find myself in
    Tonight there’s gonna be co-op
    So ya better bring ya friends

  1. UncleLou says:

    I am hoping this is the game I’ve been waiting for for years, Dark Messiah’s combat with D’s* loot.

    *iablo

    Bloody filter.

    • Premium User Badge

      Skeletor68 says:

      Yeah the comments section really dislikes any reference to ‘An Fear Dubh’ of the Blizzard variety. I’ll need to look at the video later but what you describe sounds compelling.

      • Premium User Badge

        Jonfon says:

        Isn’t ?iablo ‘An fear dearg’? He’s bright red!

        • Premium User Badge

          Skeletor68 says:

          Possibly even ‘bean dearg’ at this stage.

          Interdasting tidbit here. ‘An fear dubh’ is the devil in Irish which meant that when Gaeilge encountered black people they had to be ‘fear gorm’ (blue man) instead.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Skeleton dropped Hellfury’s Divine Portable Spiked Wall of the Night-Stalker

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Or this

  2. Low Life says:

    Hellraid / Goin’ underground / Hellraid / Where no one’s around

    Unless my rhythm is completely off, the second line would be much better with “no one is” rather than “no one’s”.

  3. Spacewalk says:

    You need to rewrite your song so that it goes to the tune of Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy.

    • Premium User Badge

      Skeletor68 says:

      Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
      Somewhere in this realm
      Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
      So you better don your helm

    • Premium User Badge

      Skeletor68 says:

      I can hear the hellhounds on my trail
      All hell breaks loose, alarm and satyrs wail
      (And in the game) if you lose
      Go to Hell

    • GreatUncleBaal says:

      Haha, this was the exact same thing I first thought after reading Nathan’s intro. I’ve got that cool little riff going on in my head now.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
      Somewhere in this town
      See me and the boys we real like it
      So were loadin’ up for beatin’ down

      Hiding low zombies right to left
      If they see us coming I think it’s best
      To charge right in do you hear what I say
      From under my breath

      Chorus:
      Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
      Somewhere in this town
      Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
      Burnin’ the churches down

      Tonight there’s gonna be co-op
      Some of us won’t survive
      See the boys and me mean business
      Bustin’ all those dead and alive

      I can hear the hellhounds on my trail
      All hell breaks loose and revenants wail
      Liking the game even if ya lose
      So respawn

      Chorus

      Tonight there’s gonna be co-op
      I’m gonna find myself in
      Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
      So you better bring your friends

      You know it’s safer

      BREAKOUT!

      Tonight there’s gonna be a Hellraid
      Into purgatory zones
      Don’t you dare to try and stop us
      No one could for long

      Skeletons are on my trail
      Tonight’s the night all Christians fail
      Hey you a good lookin’ zombie
      Come here!

      Chorus

      Tonight there’s gonna be co-op
      I’m gonna find myself in
      Tonight there’s gonna be co-op
      So ya better bring ya friends

  4. BooleanBob says:

    This looks (Satan’s) (a-)bodacious (sorry)

  5. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Nathan is the chosen one to bring back 80s speed metal.

  6. Shieldmaiden says:

    I like how he talks about wanting to be the most realistic representation of sword fighting, before showing a clip of beating a monster around the head with a sword in the same old, entirely unrealistic video game fashion.

  7. Noodlemonk says:

    I’d like to see a return of simple yet awesome sort of 90′s videogame titles. Hellraid is an excellent one. Titanfall is also up there. What else? Destiny? Naaah, too philosophical. Both Warframe, Loadout, and of course WARFACE(!) do have a ring to them…

  8. Trespasser in the Stereo Field says:

    Well, OK, I guess I should’ve said, like, “13 seconds of first-person combat footage, followed by men telling you how cool it is for a very long time.”

    Oh, stop it. The video clearly says “developer diary.”

  9. PopeRatzo says:

    You and some friends…

    No.

    • The Random One says:

      Sigh, fine. “You and some frenemies…”

    • Severn2j says:

      Dead Island played pretty well solo (I preferred it to co-op), so I expect this will be a similar affair.

  10. DatonKallandor says:

    All this needs to do is be as good as Heretic or Hexen. Then they’ve got an instant classic.

    • socrate says:

      hexen and heretic would be classic if people would actually remember them as really good game but the truth is most people that remember them don’t remember them as actually good game…and to tell the truth i played them 3 days ago and in my head they were alots better then this…yet i play duke nukem 3d with 3d texture mod and im having the best time of my life in this horrible era of FPS that are all clone of Call of Duty…even blood is awesome but that i played a few month ago so….meh i got my dose but still i had an awesome time.

  11. RecklessPrudence says:

    Ah, but if it has the most nineties videogame name – even moreso than any game actually published in the nineties – does that not retroactively define all nineties videogames as having mid-noughties names? Just, thanks to wibby-wobblieness, before the time in question?

    On-topic, game sounds promising, hope it lives up to it.

  12. Tarrom says:

    The skeleton in the video caused some blood splatter on the wall :D

  13. Demon Beaver says:

    I wonder how much they really do take from their sword fighting lessons. He says that in real sword fights there is no such thing as a swing, but then all their animations seen in the video are furious swinging.

    To be honest, it looks about as complex as Oblivion’s sword fights.

  14. derbefrier says:

    I hope it doesnt suck or is at least on par with something like that goblin kicking simulator we all love. This had potential o be great but knowing this studio it will probably just be average.

  15. Shooop says:

    All that talk about sword swinging, and the footage they show looks identical to Skyrim’s system?

    Is this an elaborate joke video like Divekick’s motion-capture trailer?

  16. Peter says:

    I’m looking forward to this but I doubt how closely the combat will resemble actual European martial arts. No game yet has come up with the perfect blend of gameplay and realism, a few have done very well (M&B and Chivalry) but none have reached that perfect place.

    • socrate says:

      chivalry was extremely arcady and as no feel of realism in it at all,there is really old game that i forgot the name where sword fighting was actually really well done but can’t remember the damn name i hate it when that happen…it is really old though….

      also why do german/polish/etc always do dumb fantasy medieval combat game that are always horrible or mediocre at best…and why are people not learning that they tend to release game infested with bug and problem at this point…i mean cmon who still buy these game without even thinking before…other then witcher ive yet to remember a good game from these country they have just a HUGE history of disappointment …and after seeing that apparently dying light is actually their praised “bigger and more flexible and in-depth Dead island which was supposed to be something including the entire world(guess they realized they had no clue wtf they were getting into)…i lose interest quite fast in these company that tend to make a one hit wonder then continue to die slowly with bad concept and game filled with game breaking bug

  17. LordDamien says:

    When I saw they said that were associated with ARMA, my heart nearly stopped.. too bad it’s an association of medieval weapon crazies.