E3 2014: Hellraid (impressions)

by: Chuck -

There aren't a lot of first person combat games on the market as nailing that feeling of sword on sword combat is difficult to do. The Elder Scroll games and possibly the F.E.A.R. series of games are the ones that have really been able to nail down melee combat and now Techland is hoping add Hellraid to that distinguished list.

Hellraid is a first person melee combat game that's all about the hacking and the slashing. The game will ship with four player co-op and will feature three modes (story, arena, and mission).

The game has a nice gothic and creepy feel to it and you'll be exploring the usual dungeons, woods, castles, and other places where the orc and goblins run wild and free.

The combat is an interesting mix of different attacks (fast/light attacks and slow/heavy ones) and your currently equipped weapon will determine what options you have. Using a shield and sword? Well you can block attacks and use the shield to bash opponents. Using two one handed weapons or one big two handed weapon? Then you're going to have to parry to avoid being hit. You'll also have to factor in the trajectory of your weapons into your plans as that two handed axe works great in an open environment but combat in smaller spaces will require something bit less dramatic.

Hellraid isn't all swords and melee weapons as you'll have access to ranged magical weapons that allow you to take out enemies with elemental energy (ice, fire, electricity) .

There are a few things that make Hellraid a bit different. The first is that the game isn't class based, you develop skills by using weapons and doing things and so your players aren't constrained to a pre-set career path. The AI in the game is also supposed to learn and adapt to your playing style which will provide a progressive difficulty system rather than just having the game throw more or less enemies at you based on where you are in the game.

I came away from the Hellraid demo a bit intrigued as the game certainly looks good and Techland is really going all out with the game in terms of making something a bit different. I'm still a bit leery of the game though as I want to actually play the game to see how well the melee combat feels. The demo was certainly good looking but I'm interested to see how the game plays and how well it works with other people before getting fully onboard with the game.

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