I'd be interested enough in Phantom Hellcat if it was a stylish third-person 3D hack-and-slasher - which it is. But it's also a stylish 2D hack-and-slasher, and the perspective shift - and the odd, theatrical world that it reveals - is the most interesting thing about the 30 second announcement trailer. Watch it below.
One of the lesser trends from tonight's Gamescom Opening Night Live was cassette players, for some reason. When is it the MiniDisc's chance to be retro cool, I ask you?
Phantom Hellcat stars Jolene, and "stars" feels like the right word given that Jolene stumbles into a cursed theater and is set upon by evil props. The theatrical framing seeps into each part of the game. Jolene's combat abilities, for example, can be remixed by popping on different character masks, and you'll unlock new abilities as you fight through each stage on the way to rescuing your mother.
The 2D moment that sold me on the concept in the trailer above shows Jolene running through what looks like a broken castle, while behind her clouds hang on wires and a clockwork day/night cycle spins. Other stages will apparently flit through varied settings, with the press release referencing "a Transylvanian bibliotheque castle possibly full of vampires" and noting that other settings will be "inspired by pop culture."
Phantom Hellcat is being developed by new studio Ironbird Creations, an internal developer established by Polish publisher All in! Games. Both studio and game were announced this evening during Gamescom's Opening Night Live. There's no release date yet.
For more Gamescom coverage, be sure to check out our Gamescom 2022 hub for all the latest news, impressions from the show floor and more.