I'm not entirely sure what's going on in Living Dark, but I'm intrigued. It's a neo-noir open world game announced on Tuesday by RocketWerkz, Dean Hall's studio. While he's been heading a team busy with Stationeers, which released on early access this week, a separate team has been working on Living Dark under wraps for the past year. At its heart is a relationship system "that drives the behaviour of every character in the city", with a proceduarlly generated narrative that'll be different for every player.
So far they've put out an ambitious list of features and three teaser trailers, with two more to follow this week.
Look at that person cough all over his drugs at the 0.38 mark. I can deal with the possibility of rat poison in my coke, but come on man, keep your germs to yourself. Anyway, killer robots: confirmed. Here's the second one.
There are a surprising number of knives capable of impaling people laid out in that cafe - if only out telekinetic pal had stopped for some grub somewhere with plastic cutlery. But yeah, telekinesis: confirmed.
Seedy strip clubs and hand-to-hand combat: confirmed.
Here's how its all described on the game's website:
"Welcome to Vox - a near-future city straining under tensions it can barely control...Fight for friends, factions or your own future, but survive at all costs in a society where justice is only for the powerful. Explore dense, diverse open environments in a myriad of playstyles. Forge critical bonds then confront demanding choices - against the darkness of the city, your decisions make all the difference."
I'm tempted to call it an immersive sim, in that there are a number of ways to deal with each situation:
"Any situation in Living Dark can be approached several ways. Fight, sneak, hack or forge your way through obstacles – the array of hand-to-hand combat styles and ranged weapons can be combined to deadly effect, but violence may create even larger problems. Whether you opt to silently infiltrate an area or socially engineer your way inside, it’s up to you."
I like the idea of my playstyle affecting my relationships with other characters, though from the sounds of it the game's systems go well beyond that. According to the website, "your choices shape the history and future of the city and its people". You can even start a new game and play through the version of Vox that your previous character helped to create.
It certainly sounds ambitious. Creative director Rashad Redic has worked as an artist on Fallout 3 and Skyrim, and he's got a team of "hand picked ex-Bethesda and DICE veterans" behind him. By their powers combined, hopefully they can make Vox a city worth shaping and exploring.
There's no word of a release date yet.