Polish developer Techland (of Dead Island and Call of Juarez fame) has announced that it will bring its first-person, dark fantasy action game Hellraid to the next gen ssytems. The game was originally revealed last year for current consoles, but the studio has since had a change of heart, discouraged by the disparity between PC graphics and those of older consoles. Now the game has a shiny new engine, and will be launching for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One next year.
The gameplay looks like The Elder Scrolls by way of Diablo, with a focus on bone-crunching, spell-slinging action for one to four players across three modes of play. In Story Mode, players can explore the world while trying to fend off the forces of Hell. Mission Mode, which sounds somewhat akin to Diablo III’s Bounties, is a replayable, arcade-style romp through random missions to climb up leaderboards. Lastly, Arena Mode offers players the chance to survive as long as possible against waves of demons. All three modes are playable in single and multiplayer.
Character advancement uses a classless skill system, allowing players to pick active and passive abilities from Combat, Magic, and Agility trees. Further customization comes from a wide selection of equipment — both found and crafted — accessories and spells, allowing players to develop an avatar perfectly suited to their play style.
In lieu of massive world building or epic storytelling, Techland’s primarily focused on its fast-paced combat system, featuring one- and two-handed melee weapons, shields, magic staves, and ranged weapons. The expansive skill selection allows for diverse fighting styles with tactical options like counter-attacks, parries, and dashes. You’ll need all of these tools if you hope to survive against the enemies’ challenging and adaptive AI.
The new engine, Techland’s proprietary Chrome Engine 6, is the same being used in its upcoming zombie survival horror game, Dying Light. The increased power will let the game have a physics-based lighting system, more detailed characters and environments, and more powerful AI, which will particularly shine with hordes bearing down on you in Arena Mode.
Hellraid will be available for Early Access on Steam in fall 2014, and launching in full for PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2015 (date TBD).