It's good to have a nice brag. 1UP, courtesy of their real world organ Games for Windows, are having a nice brag about announcing Gas Powered Games new game, Demigod. And who can blame them? We'd have a nice brag too if we had a proper exclusive like that.
While most of the details are being saved for the magazine, the game's based around the famous Defence of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III, where you power up one hero through adventuring and try and wipe out the opposing team. It's primarily a multiplayer game, with the single-player primarily as a place to learn how to move around and level up and... FUCKING HELL! LOOK AT THAT THING WITH THE TOWERS ON ITS SHOULDERS. THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.
Actually, a few more notes on this one...
Firstly, let me have a brag too. I'd actually seen the art before. When I was visiting Gas Powered Games, Chris Taylor takes a very cheerfully careless approach to unannounced projects. Where other developers cover up entire walls and say that you can't turn THAT way or go down THAT corridor on pain of death, Chris cheerily walks past rooms full of people saying things like - I paraphrase - "Yeah, that's for a game we haven't announced yet, but look at that art? Isn't it awesome!". It says a lot about the like that Taylor engenders that no-one actually does a GAS POWERED GAMES HAS UNANNOUNCED GAMES story. Which, for me, is good as... well, it's not much of a story, and that desperate hit-chasing is a little pathetic.
Secondly, when I saw it - an enormous cut out of the Rook character with the tower-shoulders - it was clear it was something I wanted to write about as soon as possible. One part Shadow of the Colossus to one part Giants, it had to be neat. At least, neat in screenshots.
Thirdly, thinking more about the game - putting aside Defence of the Ancients comparison - what comes to mind is Sacrifice, specifically the direction it was heading in theorised sequels - the moving around the levels, the levelling up, the quasi-RPG in a limited tactical situation stuff. Which let's hope isn't a death-curse on this poor thing. Giants? Sacrifice? We're not talking about big sellers here.
Fourthly, spookily, just before Christmas an Editor friend of mine was ranting how he wished someone would make a game expanding on Defence of the Ancients. Spooks.