It always makes me shudder slightly when a game is announced as "a new franchise". First of all, look at you, Mr Big Head. We'll just see if it's a franchise after you've made the first one, shall we? And secondly, God, have some passion... Oh, it appears that's exactly what Codemasters had planned for the rest of the announcement for their new game, Damnation.
(Click on the pics for full size impressiveness. They really do look rather spectacular.)
The oddly peach looking game promises to be the evolution of the shooter, the next generation of gaming, and the future of the planet's hopes for freedom and peace. Some of these statements are lies I've made up. But see below for quite how excited Codies are about this.
As the press release explains,
"Evolving the shooter genre with its unique and exhilarating combination of fluid action and combat, Damnation will feature huge, open environments, frenetic combat, daredevil acrobatics and high-octane vehicle-based stunts. Presenting players with an intense test of reflexes, quick thinking and rapid-fire conflict, Damnation will feature vast, breathtaking landscapes, each covering miles of distance and thousands of vertical feet."
I really hope this is a great game. There's no reason to think otherwise at this point. But you can't write, "Evolving the shooter genre with..." and then just describe what all shooters already do. Right now I'm evolving the tuna sandwich, with a unique combination of tuna and the latest in mayonnaise, held together with two completely independent slices of bread, both buttered with high-resolution margarine. It will be served on a plate, and digested like never before in the human tummy. Also, you can eat it high up. Form an orderly queue.
Fortunately they remember the new thing next, but the melodrama doesn't fade.
Billed as a 'shooter gone vertical' and visually inspired by iconic elements of American history, these massive streaming landscapes will form the battlegrounds for a post-industrial conflict between humanity and an unstoppable arms dealer hell-bent on total world domination. Players will be able to choose their own paths and navigate the world by performing daredevil feats on the edge of human ability. However players aren't the only ones with mind-blowing acrobatic skills; intelligent enemies will give chase and engage players in frantic gun fights and attacks that can come from any direction – in Damnation's world there's no safe place to hide.
So what this all is trying to say is that it's a world that will go up and down, as well as along, and that's a pretty decent feature. So few games are thinking this way, and it would be fascinating to play in a crafted world with some heights to explore. Especially if they can pull off the Prince of Persia athletics the screenshots imply. But flipping crikey, reading this must be what it's like to be inside Michael Bay's head. "And then the walls explode and they punch in mid-air and then the girl kisses the guy before they both catch on fire and there's a giant robot!"
"With up to three hours of actual gameplay stretching out in front of them per level, players will need more than just muscle power to get across each level safely. Damnation will offer players a selection of awe-inspiring vehicles, from motorbikes capable of launching across seemingly infinite chasms, to huge, armour-piercing marvels that will induce mayhem with every huge shell."
Breathe! For goodness sakes Mr Press Release Author, breathe! (Note, not just three hours of gameplay, but "actual" gameplay. None of your fake stuff.) See, I feel mean, because this does sound great. Bloody huge levels that take three hours to cross, and go up and down thousands of feet? Yes please! But for crying out loud, calm down. Someone was carrying the Big Box of Superlatives across the room when they tripped up, and spilled the lot. Spilled them, that is, like no mortal human has ever spilled before in the history of the universe, cascading the words in a planet-sized waterfall of cataclysmic terror and destruction, falling a near-infinite distance before shattering the very fabric of space and time on the desk below.
You want more? I know you do.
"The high action will be supported with an epic and in-depth story which, while focusing on the exploits of the hero character Rourke, is truly an ensemble piece. Players will meet and become involved in intricate story plots that reveal much more than the obvious."
Fuck me, this is going to be THE BEST THING EVER! OMG TO THE ULTRO-MAX!
Help! It's working! The enthusiasm... can't... prevent... it... taking... over!
(It's being developed by Blue Omega, who make films normally, I think, and published by cuddly Codies, currently slated for Winter 08. And admittedly, it looks a bit good.)