Polish horror games developer Bloober Team just made the news with the announcement of a strategic partnership with KONAMI, which bolstered long-standing rumors of a collaboration to create a new Silent Hill game, but the prolific development team is already working. to at least three other games.
To be clear, Bloober Team did not announce the titles themselves. However, as they are made in collaboration with the European Union (which has given Bloober Team a grant of €150,000 for each game), very detailed descriptions for each project are available on the ‘Creative Europe’ website.
The first is a new Layers of Fear codenamed ‘H2O’. The project started in early 2018 and ‘finished’ in March 2021; it obviously hasn’t been released yet, but it could be close to a reveal.
The market success of Layers of Fear, as well as continued player interest in a sequel, convinced Bloober Team to start working on another game in the series. H2O (working title) is going to be a hidden horror game that delivers high quality refined gameplay. Hidden horror combines the two most important aspects of a game from the player’s perspective: a high level of emotions during gameplay and a uniquely immersive story. The main goal of the design team is to create a game world that will build on selected aspects and ideas of the original layers of fear. The following aspects were essential to the success of the last game and will continue in a sequel:
• an intimate story centered around a singular, specific character that the player can identify with
• artistic theme
• discover the layers of the story through later revelations of the masterpiece
• the theme of madness
• air of mystery
• an enclosed space. The player has to survive and discover the story of the main character. Depending on the details the player has been able to see during their playthrough, they will decide on the outcome of the story.
An analysis shows that the planned production of H20 by Bloober Team will meet the following player needs:
• deep, enriching stories in horror games
• increase the immersion effect in horror games thanks to innovative technology
• providing an appropriate level of replay value in horror games through innovative technology.
Features that distinguish H2O on the market:
• a high degree of immersion
• ambitious gameplay
• call back to Layers of Fear assets
• exceptional sound design
• the end of the game reflects the player’s playthrough.
The second project, ‘BLACK’, sounds a bit different from the usual Bloober Team game. Played in first-person view, it will feature melee combat and a medieval setting with aliens mixed in. This project was submitted in February 2019 and the completion date is February 2022.
Presented from the first person perspective, the gameplay is a mix of exploration, survival and combat. The players take in the world by exploring the environment, interacting with characters and participating in story-driven set pieces. As the story progresses, they shape the story by making a series of moral choices that will lead to one of at least two endings. Sometimes the player engages in visceral hand-to-hand or melee combat. Though sparse and sometimes optional, the combat is always challenging and builds suspense, fit for a survival horror game. The hero is constantly outnumbered, or overpowered, and can easily perish if not careful. When fighting isn’t an option, the players will be tasked with simply staying alive despite seemingly insurmountable odds. They can achieve that by covertly evading, improvising or outsmarting the opposition.
These segments, including encounters with the alien enemies, will serve to really ramp up the tension and give the game that much-needed sense of terror. Do you evade, distract, or do battle with your enemies?
Most important features:
• unique setting, the unconventional mix of the Middle Ages and exotic species
• mature story about the dark aspects of faith and humanity with the alien life form as a catalyst for character development
• ambiguous moral choices (should we punish those who wronged us, or stand with them against a greater evil? Should we save a child at the cost of our own life?)
• mix of stealth and intense, visceral combat (hand-to-hand/melee)
• historical setting makes the story more realistic and recognizable, and allows for possible spin-offs that take place in other historical periods (a la Assassin’s Creed).
The third Bloober Team project was also the first to be submitted, dating back to March 2015. The Polish studio may have put this aside for a while and are now coming back to it. Dum Spiro is set in a World War II ghetto.
Dum Spiro is a horror game, the title of which comes from a Latin phrase “dum spiro, spero” – it means “while I breathe, I hope” and expresses the main theme of the game: that even in the face of certain death people still able to decide their lives, determine its meaning through their actions towards the end and even overcome evil in a symbolic way. The story is set in the years 1941-44 in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto – a World War II ghetto established for Polish Jews, the second largest ghetto in all of German-occupied Europe. Player takes on the role of the imprisoned boy who struggles against all odds to hide and rescue his little sister. Although at first glance the game looks like it is presented from the first person perspective (the view from the eyes of the protagonist), the aim and main distinguishing feature of the game is the destruction of the so-called “fifth wall”. which the player from the presented history (to make him the recipient instead of a full-fledged participant).
Unique aspects of the game focus on increasing immersion by creating a player’s sense of responsibility for the characters’ activities, giving him the freedom to make all the choices in the game while simultaneously making their impact. judge. These are:
– Branching plot of the game – the game is divided into 3 acts, at the end of which the player makes a choice to decide which of the episodes to play next. The main advantage of this is that in the real sense of the word the player is called upon to decide on the form of the plot, and thus the responsibility for his decisions.
– Dilemmas in later acts chosen based on previous choices – thereby escalating the tension created by the dilemmas in later acts according to the best principles of drama history.
– An elaborate system of interpersonal relationships – based on smaller and more frequent decisions that do not change the main events, but affect the state (emotional, mental, physical) of people close to the hero.
Which of these upcoming Bloober Team games sounds most like you? Let us know below.
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