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Hellgate: London Announced

Though already unveiled (story) Flagship Studios now officially announces Hellgate: London, the debut title from this group of Blizzard Entertainment expatriates. The announcement includes the first details and screenshots from the project, as well as news that the teaser website is now open. Here's word:

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (April 27, 2005) – Leading games publisher and developer Namco Hometek Inc. today announced HELLGATE: LONDON, the first original PC title from premier developer Flagship Studios. HELLGATE: LONDON is a role-playing game set in the immersive first-person perspective. With a completely randomised world that offers a unique experience every time you play, HELLGATE: LONDON introduces a demon-ridden world where the last survivors of the human race must meld science and magic to survive.

"HELLGATE: LONDON is an incredibly ambitious title that will break the mold of conventional role-playing games," said Nobuhiro Kasahara, President and CEO of Namco Hometek, Inc. "With Flagship Studios' unprecedented experience, we are confident that HELLGATE: LONDON will be one of the most anticipated PC games ever."

"With our first game, we intend to create something unique in the world of RPGs," said Bill Roper, CEO and co-founder of Flagship Studios. "By focusing our expertise and creative energy onto this one title, we are crafting a compelling world that combines massive amounts of randomization and
customisation to offer infinite replayability."

Set twenty-five years in the future, HELLGATE: LONDON introduces a world devastated by a demon invasion and a desolate city scorched by hellfire where mankind has gone underground to survive. Among them are the Templar, an archaic and secret society that foresaw this demonic apocalypse centuries ago. Followers of arcane rites, the Templar combine futuristic technology with ancient artifacts to forge powerful weapons and armor. The mystic sanctuary of the Underground system provides players safe conduct throughout the sprawling metropolis of London as they seek to preserve the bloodline of man and gain a foothold against the minions of darkness.

HELLGATE: LONDON combines the depth of role-playing games and action of first-person titles, while offering infinite playability with randomly created levels, items, and events. The player creates a heroic character, completes quests, and battles through innumerable hordes of demons to advance through experience levels and branching skill paths. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances, and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow players to create their own unique hero. For more information about the game log onto www.hellgatelondon.com

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21. Re: Hellgate !! Apr 26, 2005, 23:12 Charlie_Six
 
The press labeled Deus Ex an RPG from an FPS view, and I think it's a very valid label. Like Morrowind, Deus Ex can't be seen as an action game.. as the action was very umm... not good.

Deus Ex, Morrowind, Vampire Bloodlines.. Arx Fatalis, System Shock 2, and Ultima Underworld were all RPGs with an FPS view.

 
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20. Re: Hellgate !! Apr 26, 2005, 22:57 ExcessDan
 
Either way we'll have to see how their innovations progress before assuming how the randomization will affect level design. For all we know the randomization process may be a controlled one. My point is valid whether or not I cut your sentence in half.


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This comment was edited on Apr 26, 22:59.
 
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19. Re: Hmmm... Apr 26, 2005, 22:50 Wowbagger_TIP
 
I'm hoping for a Vampire: Bloodlines equivalent, but without all the bugs and with improved action elements.

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18. Re: Hellgate !! Apr 26, 2005, 22:48 Jarek Forhanon
 
I don't. It's not safe to assume much of the game.

When quoting someone, it is important to include their full sentence. Notice that my statement was a conditional one. If the levels are indeed randomized, then I think it's safe to assume that the level design in the game will suck. It is irrelevant if the randomization occurs only once. Random levels = no planning, no forethought. Just a bunch of random segments thrown together. Good level design requires a skilled level designer, not a random map generator.

 
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17. Re: Hellgate !! Apr 26, 2005, 22:38 Gandhi
 
Okay, you Blues regulars are losing it

15 posts so far and no one has mentioned the biggest selling point (see screenshots 16 and 128 on the Blues page).

DEMON BOOBIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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You cannot make anything fool-proof. The fools are too inventive

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16. Re: Hellgate !! Apr 26, 2005, 22:36 ExcessDan
 
Professional that raises another question. Since it is an FPS, will combat be in real time so that one could hide behind a stack of barrels? Or is this going to be like KotOR or WoW where you can simply stand still and just click your fire weapon button? I hope it's real time, I really enjoy RPG elements in real FPSs like Enemy Territory and the RPG Invasion mod of UT2k4.

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Torch our days in paranoia while we gorge ourselves on gloom"
 
ExcessDan
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15. Re: Hellgate !! Apr 26, 2005, 22:14 PHJF
 
Yeah, everybody in Diablo 2 ended up getting Maphack anyways. The level in an RPG has nowhere near the impact that the map in, say, an FPS has, primarily because of a lack of utilization of environment. I mean when's the last time you sent your mage behind stacked barrels to avoid arrow fire?

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14. Re: Hellgate !! Apr 26, 2005, 22:08 ExcessDan
 
I think it's safe to assume that the level design in the game will suck

I don't. It's not safe to assume much of the game.

I am quite skeptical of the randomized levels being truly randomized and giving an infinite amount of gameplay though. For instance, Diablo 2 had randomized levels but when you played it the 2nd time you were playing the exact same thing. The randomized levels were meaningless. Instead of making unbased assumptions, I will wait to see how they are going to innovate from the boring Diablo 2 model.

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Torch our days in paranoia while we gorge ourselves on gloom"
 
ExcessDan
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13. Re: Hellgate !! Apr 26, 2005, 21:42 Jarek Forhanon
 
I'm still desperately waiting for the first true action RPG.

Ever play Deus Ex?

Oh, and if the levels in Hellgate are indeed randomly generated, I think it's safe to assume that the level design in the game will suck.


This comment was edited on Apr 26, 21:44.
 
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12. Re: No subject Apr 26, 2005, 21:40 Beamer
 
random levels to me means they must be looking at soe form of co-op as well.

Scroll down, IGN has a 4 page preview that Blue linked to. Co-op is mentioned.

 
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11. Re: No subject Apr 26, 2005, 21:37 Undead Scottsman
 
Blizzard Entertainment expatriates

Actually, they were all working for Blizzard North when they left; Roper included.

 
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10. No subject Apr 26, 2005, 21:27 Hump
 
random levels to me means they must be looking at soe form of co-op as well.

anyhoo, I like the name. Reminds me of an Olaf Stapledon novel. The idea of a modern day Templar using both magic and technologically advanced weapons sounds intriguing.

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9. Re: Hmmm... Apr 26, 2005, 21:20 Creston
 
don't ANY game that has ever used 'random' as a selling point has achieved AAA sales

Diablo
Diablo 2
Soldier of Fortune 2 (multiplayer)

Methinks you are wrong.

I think Hellgate looks very interesting, although I'm a bit skeptic over the "long range weaponry are like spell delivery systems" when the entire game looks like an FPS.

But we'll see. It sure looks nice.

Creston


 
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8. Hellgate !! Apr 26, 2005, 21:09 Charlie_Six
 
I'm really looking forward to Hellgate.
Generated levels.
Tons of monsters.
Character building.
FPS view.

The idea of an FPS game that doesn't require you to aim is kinda weird though. I hope they know what they're doing. Can you imagine playing say, Call of Duty, and just looking in the general direction of the enemy you want killed... clicking.. and that's it? It'd be weird.

I think they should reward players who can aim well, while just offering the "Auto Aim" feature as a crutch for those who want it. The Auto Aim should be inferior but not drastically so.

I'm still desperately waiting for the first true action RPG. Was hoping Dungeon Lords would be it, but nope. While I was playing Serious Sam 2 a few months ago, I kept thinking "Wouldn't this be cool if it had a Diablo 2-like system underneath it all?" HellGate seems to be the same idea. But I think it sucks that I wont' have to aim. That's just weird.

I hope they do the smart thing and let players script new quests, goals, and battles. While the random monster and level generation will be fun for a great deal of time, players *do* want some purpose behind the killing, with plot, drama, story, etc... they don't just want power gaming.
Furthermore, players like to see scripted battles like that of Half-life 2. Flagship should try to put these elements into the game's mod tools. It doesn't have to be a NWN Aurora Toolset endeavor, just something simple and straightforward. Modders should be able to create at least one or two non-randomly generated areas. These areas would be quest-specific and they would have NPCs with custom designed dialogue/stories. Also, these areas would have a custom designed battle. The battle would still scale to the player group size/level, but its behavior could be scripted by the modder. So instead of "yet another monster mob that runs at me like idiots", the modder could make the monsters arrive and attack in a cool way.

Look at all the most popular FPS games of the past few years. Call of Duty, Half Life 2, and Chronicles of Riddick were the biggest names. All of these games either included a great deal of scripted fighting or some form of deeper gameplay. Meanwhile, all the popular RPG games have NOT been hack-n-slash Diablo-type games. So it's like Hellgate is trying to make a hybrid game with types of games that aren't really all that popular anymore...

But if they could throw in some more complicated elements, I'm sure this could be a huge hit. But it DOES need to be more than Serious Sam meets Diablo.

 
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7. No subject Apr 26, 2005, 21:09 Rictor
 
Solely from the screenshots, it looks like Vampire: Bloodlines.

The graphics are OK, nothing really too impressive, especially for a game that is probably at least a year or so from being released.

 
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6. Re: Hmmm... Apr 26, 2005, 20:57 itzaaron
 
It could be good, certainly, and good randomized worlds would be interesting. I just can't see how a first-person Diablo-like game could work. A Morrowind+randomization I could see, but... well, I good luck Flagship, I hope this works.

 
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5. Re: Hmmm... Apr 26, 2005, 20:32 Beamer
 
As did I. I had no clue it was an FPS. I'm also curious about it being only 27 years in the future, as the PCG cover I saw lead me to believe it was swords and armor with some gunplay, as in majorly in the future.


Should be fun. It's Roper. It's randomly generated equipment. And the monster design looks good, even if those screenshots are a bit raw (the second one is kind of funny, the monster looks like he's floating independent of the background, as there are no shadows yet.)



I'm predicting me loving this game.

 
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4. Re: Hmmm... Apr 26, 2005, 20:32 Bill Borre
 
"massive amounts of randomization and
customisation to offer infinite replayability"

I don't ANY game that has ever used 'random' as a selling point has achieved AAA sales. You'd think devs, especially ones as experienced as former Blizzard employees, would get it through their heads that 'random' doesn't have any connection to whether a game is played over or set upon the shelf. The only thing that makes me replay a title is if it is very visually impressive, like Doom3 and Half-life2, or unlockable features.

 
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3. Re: Hmmm... Apr 26, 2005, 20:32 runnerct32
 
why do something like that...its been done....this looks hot

 
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2. Re: Hmmm... Apr 26, 2005, 20:32 Kobalt
 
Whats with all these games with previews months ago getting "announced"?

This basicly sounds like a sci fi vampire bloodline

 
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