Wee Break: Techland’s Action-RPG Hellraid On Hold

A Dead Island mod adding magic spells and whopping great swords was the initial spark for Hellraid [official site]. Developers Techland announced in 2012 that they were working on a first-person action-RPG with wizards and skellingtons and zapsticks, then codenamed Project Hell. As the years went by, the game slipped and slipped again. It was originally due in 2013, then slated to launch on Steam Early Access in autumn 2014, then… now Techland say it won’t launch this year, as it’s outright “on hold”.

Techland said in today’s announcement:

“In the recent months we conducted an internal analysis and came to the conclusion that Hellraid, in its current shape and form, is not meeting our own expectations for this project. Therefore, we decided the best course of action would be to send it back to the drawing board and invent our dark fantasy title anew.

“In the meantime, we will consolidate our development resources and focus on further expansion of our Dying Light franchise.”

Our last peek at the game was in September 2014, after Techland had shifted the game over to version 6 of their Chrome Engine. It looked a bit pants, really. What should be a right lark about hitting skeletons until they explode in a shower of bones seemed slow and too interested in its boring fantasywank plot. It needed many more daft traps to kick enemies into too. Here’s that last look, which I hope is so muddy because it’s over-compressed from a livestream:

19 Comments

  1. Bassem says:

    Oh damnit, I was really looking forward to this one. I loved the melee combat in Dead Island and Hellraid seemed to be a blend of that and Dark Messiah. I hope they get around to resuming development at some point.

    • Barnox says:

      Yeah, a more combat-focused game using the Dead Island base could’ve been interesting. Knocking back enemies, hacking off limbs, just generally being an ARPG Dark Messiah.

      Arkane Studios haven’t released anything since 2012, so hopefully a new Dishonored or Dark Messiah (even in name only) will pop up. Although given how Dark Messiah is a Might & Magic property…

      • damoqles says:

        It’s no secret that they’re working on Dishonored 2.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I was also looking forward to Hellraid. Like you said, it seemed to be like Dark Messiah and I haven’t found any game that is like Dark Messiah. I never thought the Dead Island games looked fun enough, even if they had some good parts. Transferring those good parts to a more interesting setting – the generic fantasy dungeon, lol – made it look much more promising.

        The things that are fun in Dark Messiah are not at all tied to the Might and Magic franchise, so a spiritual successor would work much better there than in many other cases. If they just get the whole “fun with physics” murdering and the solid melee fighting in another environment then they can have my money. I still play Dark Messiah and still think it looks good, but like Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (coincidentally, also made in Source) it’s many years since it was released and we’re overdue for another game like it.

    • Fushigi says:

      Ah what a shame! It was on my Steam wishlist since the moment it appeared (((

  2. montorsi says:

    So that’s who stole the Witcher 3’s game engine. Looks quite nice, if a bit… brown.

  3. Michael Fogg says:

    Hellraid!
    Buried forevermore
    Hellraid!
    Never reach this shore!
    Hellraid
    Rot in early grave!
    Hellraid!
    Yeah!

  4. XhomeB says:

    Kinf of a shame, but the game looked a bit too like Dead Island in a different setting, only more linear.
    Hope they reboot it in the vein of Hexen, now that’s something that would greatly interest me – traps, puzzles, good level design.

    • SXO says:

      Mmmmmm, now THAT would be something. I think Heretic and Hexen were underrated games. I think people were just too jaded with the vast amount of “Doom-clones” at the time.

  5. derbefrier says:

    awww my buddies and I were really looking forward to this.

  6. Strangineer says:

    Something to look into with a fairly similar concept that will come out this year is Warhammer: Vermintide which could be interesting. Any other first person melee games on the way this year?

  7. malkav11 says:

    It’s ironic, but at this point I would really rather have traditional fantasy than Yet Another Zombie Game, and the combat in Dead Island is incredibly good so I was very much looking forward to this. Oh well. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of Riptide and Dying Light left to play.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Out of all the generic settings that I can think of, the generic fantasy setting is the one I’m least likely to be irritated by. I haven’t even played any zombie games, but they never seemed that much fun, which is why I never played any of Techland’s previous games. It’s funny that some things make me say “oh no, not another one of those!”, but not with everything, even though I know that they have been done hundred’s of times before and rarely look that different from each other.

  8. BattleXer says:

    NoooOOOooOOOOoOOooo!

    Damnit, this game was right near the top of my anticipated games this year…

  9. tonicer says:

    Meh, it would have been just another lazy console port anyway. Just like almost all new releases. Damn those fucking consoles they ruin everything they get in contact with.

  10. UncleLou says:

    Oh my, what a disappointment. Was really, really looking forward to a Dark Messiah/Diablo hybrid, at least that’s what it looked like to me.

    :-/

  11. Loyal_Viggo says:

    This is not a surprise, but warrants the following nonetheless:

    link to nooooooooooooooo.com

  12. Fenix says:

    Where’s the ‘Skellington’ tag?