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‘Drawn to Death,’ the latest from ‘God of War’ creator, due out in April

Why it matters to you

With few competitive shooters available so far in 2017, Drawn to Death could be your next obsession.

Drawn to Death, an intense multiplayer shooter from the creator of God of War, is due out for the PlayStation 4 in April. To celebrate the game’s release date announcement, Sony and developer The Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency offered an inside look at the development of the doodle-inspired game.

“Just like Twisted Metal and God of War represent a very real part of me, I think Drawn to Death does as well,” says director David Jaffe in the developer diary, which can be viewed above.

Drawn to Death, which Jaffe describes as both a “hero-shooter” as well as a “brawler,” takes place within the pages of a high school student’s notebooks, with the goofy doodles and sketches he creates turning into the game’s cast of characters. The game’s maps, which use a black-and-white color scheme similar to PlatinumGames’ MadWorld, reflect this, with the lines of the paper visible within environments.

Though the game takes place in a 3D space, this notebook aesthetic also translates to the game’s visual effects. A puff of smoke, for example, appears to come from a flip-book animation, with just a few frames necessary to convey what it is before it fades away.

Unlike many contemporary shooters, Drawn to Death features an extremely long time to kill — the amount of time you can expect to survive before being forced to respawn.

“We want it to be superfast (and it is!) but not so chaotic that you can’t track what you need to track. For us, it’s imperative that Drawn to Death players are able to focus on specific enemy behavior,” Jaffe said on the PlayStation Blog. “This is very hard to do when you’ve got lots of players to worry about and you’re dying every 45 seconds.”

Jaffe said this is the first time he has worked with players in the community while a game is still in development, and that it has helped to feed the “iterative process” so crucial to the creation of a sustainable multiplayer shooter.

“They’re using the language, ‘our game,'” Jaffe added. “There’s a sense of … they have as much ownership in this as we do.”

Drawn to Death hits PlayStation 4 on April 4.