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

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*

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Nathan Grayson

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