May 31, 2009

Wii are hardcore

In the midst of gimmicky family fun, one developer seems to be rising to the occasion when it comes to bringing hardcore to the Wii. That company is High Voltage Software, developers of the old Hunter The Reckoning series. They've developed The Conduit, which isn't even out and I already love it, but in the madness that is Pre-E3 they've announced two new Wii-exclusive titles, again targeted at the hardcore.

The first new game is titled Gladiator A.D. and should be out in the first quarter of 2010. According to an interview with the developers, they wanted to design an intense fighting game with customizable gladiators and combat inspired by the movie 300. The game uses HVS' Quantum 3 engine (the same as The Conduit), but looks a little rough around the edges at the moment. For single player, each gladiator will have his own play style and story, but you can also take the fighters online. Combat will be gesture-based and will support Wii Motion Plus.

Even more interesting is Wii's very own Left 4 Dead styled cooperative shooter entitled The Grinder. The Grinder takes place in the American Southwest where four monster hunters have been called back to action because of a recent monster outbreak. The game will indeed include both online and split-screen coop as players take down armies of creatures such as werewolves, vampires, and zombies. Unlike L4D, however, each of the four characters will have their own unique playstyle including a Japanese assassin who may or may not use a Wii Motion Plus controlled sword. In any case, the game looks absolutely fantastic and nothing like a Wii game at all. The Grinder looks to push the Quantum 3 engine past the limits of what anyone thought was possible by allowing 60+ enemies on screen at once and still looking phenomenal. And I can already tell the soundtrack is going to rock. More info here.

On a related note, it seems like there's a growing trend these days with hardcore Wii games. Even if they're ports, they count because it shows that there's a market for those types of games on the Wii. It seemed to start with games like Okami and moved on to No More Heroes (which is soon getting a sequel) and then MadWorld and the Conduit. It's a trend I hope developers keep up or, at least, High Voltage.

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