Spiffy Biffing: Project Awakened Shows Off All The Powers

She gets her powers from her hat, clearly.

Project Awakened does not have all the powers. Well, I don’t think it does, anyway. That would be a very large number – probably more than I can count on my fingers, toes, and hyper-sophisticated computational machine on which I do the majority of my day-to-day tasks put together – and thinking about such things makes me uncomfortable. But, if nothing else, I’m certain Phosphor Games’ unabashedly ambitious hero factory contains a lot of powers. That’s my official calculation. But why trust incredibly shifty-looking characters like myself when developer-produced videos created with the sole intention of getting you to spend money tell only the truth? Why indeed.

Quite the array, huh? I have to admit, though, that I wasn’t super impressed by Phosphor’s examples of mixing and matching. I mean, they produced gigantic, oftentimes amusingly spinny effects, but they didn’t tickle my clever bone. I “oooooo”-ed and “ahhhh”-ed, but never “hmmmm”-ed. I nearly “harumph”-ed, but it was just a sneeze. That said, I imagine there’s plenty more where those powers came from. Plus, Phosphor has no qualms about letting players break the game. Well, sometimes, anyway.

“Characters will have limited total power allowances in the single-player campaign and in competitive multiplayer modes (you are free to create a character with every skill in the game, but you can’t use them in these base modes if he exceeds the skill cap).”

“Players will be able to create modded maps and custom lobbies that are ‘unsanctioned’ (for both MP and SP) which have different skill caps, or no skill caps, and do not contribute to player ratings or earn the player currency. This allows you to ‘break’ the balance of the game in order to setup specific experiences to your liking.”

In other words, go wild! Or don’t. I think the goal of including a semi-balanced multiplayer mode’s something of an idealistic one, though. With so many powers in the mix, I’m envisioning complete chaos no matter how many skill caps are keeping all the flying super mutant ninja cyborg totally-not-Solid-Snake men grounded. I mean, I suppose you could disallow certain skills outright, but that’d kind of defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?

Oh well. I still very much like the general philosophy behind this one, as I am nothing if not a connoisseur of kitchen sinks – hurled into piles of Everything or otherwise. And seeing as Awakened could well include a power that amounts to throwing kitchen sinks at people, it’s definitely piqued my interest. As of now, its Kickstarter‘s chugging along dutifully at a hair of $100,000, but it’s still got a few weeks. Interested?


  1. Wednesday says:

    She wears a Stetson now.

    Stetsons are cool.

  2. LionsPhil says:

    Ok, ok, so, ok, I’m going to vomit out all these giant lumps of coal, right.
    And then I’m going to ignite them with my LASER EYES.
    And then I’m going to render all that irrelevant by spawning a whirlwind so strong that it sucks up the enemies and half the walls anyway.

    When demoing stealth, too, it helps if your enemy AI doesn’t have eyes in the back of its head, early footage or not. There’s not much else to look at BUT behaviour at this point.

    • Gnoupi says:

      About the same impressions. Combining powers doesn’t have much point if they have such difference in strength and scope. Gamers have a tendency to max things, optimize to the most effective.

      See Magicka before the PvP patch (which hopefully rebalanced a bit). They give you the power of elements to combine… And after a week everyone goes QFSAA on every enemy (lightning arcane ray with steam to increase the lightning damage furthermore, aka death ray).
      Hopefully they did balance this, with adding resistances to elements negating the whole attack if such element is present. Well, at least it balanced most of the campaign mode, forcing you to change elements depending on the enemy, and experiment a bit.

      About stealth, yeah, eyes in the back are not helping, even just to prove the point.

      • Sian says:

        About Magicka: At least in PvE, the QFSAA beam isn’t the all-powerful spell it was anymore. And in PvP, a simple SAFE self-cast protects you from all its effects except getting wet, I think. Now, the glacier boulder, on the other hand, is hideously powerful, but since it has a charge time, reacting to it isn’t all that difficult.

        In short, a variety of powers can be balanced. The stronger examples in the video likely have high points costs, but you knew that. And yes, there will be min-maxing. There always is. But hopefully it won’t be much more effective than any sensibly put-together power selection.

      • LintMan says:

        I’m under the impression that you design your character and then play the game, so there really isn’t any respeccing going on to taylor your abilities to the enemies. So your all-fire-damage specialist guy would be rather helpless against fire-immune enemies. But maybe I’m wrong?

        To me, the game seems more about joyfully wreaking havoc and doing it “your way”, than about carefully balanced powers. (And I’m totally OK with that).

  3. Neo says:

    Remember seeing footage of this a few years ago, glad to see it might finally be made.

  4. Mbaya says:

    Looks like it could be a lot of fun, especially the character creator – but I’m reluctant to back the project as I’m concerned about potential lawsuits with how easy it seems to create well known characters from other works. I expect they’ve done their homework and all, but this is one situation where I think I’d feel a little safer knowing they had the backup of a large publisher.

    Didn’t City of Heroes run into trouble regarding that in the past?

    • Triplanetary says:

      The suit was settled on undisclosed terms, but NCSoft never had to make any changes to the actual game, so basically, no, giving players tools with which they can theoretically create clones of copyrighted characters is not a huge legal hazard. Does Microsoft get in trouble every time someone uses Paint to draw a picture of Spider-Man?

      link to joystiq.com

  5. J-snukk says:

    Where are my tentacle and imp summoning powers a la The Darkness?

  6. -Spooky- says:

    City of Heroes anyone?

  7. aliksy says:

    Interesting. I imagine it’ll be somewhat spoiled by people who immediately take a spreadsheet to it and determine the “optimal” set up. But I also imagine I can happily ignore those sort of people, so long as the developers don’t cater to them.

  8. Choca says:

    But can we talk to the powers ?

  9. Zeewolf says:

    The screenshots have a very PS2-era vibe to them. Not neccessarily in terms of detail, but the whole “feel”.

    Edit: It’s the ugly greenish colour. It screams PS2.

  10. Ultra Superior says:

    Reminds me of the absolutely wonderful magic system in Two Worlds 2. That game was worth just for the magic alone. Stun enemies, summon anvils, mix it all with tornado, suck it in black hole, set it on fire, then let it explode. You could create wonderfully crazy spells there.

    • Barnox says:

      Two Worlds 2 is a fantastically overlooked game. Sure, you can minmax the spells… but why would you when you can make a earthquake-causing homing missile?

      Know anything else with this level of custom magic?

  11. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    Ooooh, you’re not going to excite me all over again, customization-monster. You’ve burned me enough times already. Damn you, All Points Bulletin.

  12. Barnox says:

    It’s a shame that, at this rate, it’s not looking good for it. Hopefully more websites pick up on it/some of the Youtubers.

  13. Shooop says:

    This has to happen. Someome make it happen.

  14. abandonhope says:

    I’m almost more interested in seeing if they can even make this a viable game than actually playing it. I also feel that they’re sort of forgetting that what makes superheroes interesting are often their weaknesses and character flaws. It all seems rather superficial–you get to play/break the game in myriad ways, but that’s kind of it. It’s an awesome it, but ten days in it’s coming off a little half-baked, with a dev that seems just a little bit aimless for the $500k ask.

    Being closer to what the AAA-all-the-time crowd wants than most Kickstarters, it’s also attracted a couple of undesirables. Usually a project’s community can chase these types off, but I don’t think they’re going anywhere. Not a fantastic development for a project that desperately needs its backers to stick around and help get the word out.

  15. DarkFenix says:

    As cool as this looks, I’m not sure there’s a game behind the cool. They’re also asking a lot of money and are locking large parts of the game behind even more ambitious stretch goals.

  16. Geen says:

    Count all the reference characters in the intro, I like these guys already. I saw Superman, Batman and all his sidekicks, Spiderman, Solid Snake, Cyborg Ninja, Psycho Mantis, Raiden (the MK one), and a couple I can’t remember.

  17. Branthog says:

    It’s just too bad their kickstarter video doesn’t really make it clear what is actual game footage and what . . . the game even is. By watching it, I’d have no idea it had anything to do with super powers, even.