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 Cursed Mountain
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Cursed Mountain - Jul 31, 2008 13:57

Scaling the Cursed Mountain
A new survival horror game built from the ground up for Wii.
by Matt Casamassina

July 30, 2008 - On Wednesday, publisher / developer Deep Silver revealed to IGN its new Wii-exclusive survival horror game, Cursed Mountain. The title, set in the late 1980s, follows an experienced climber who sets out to scale a huge mountain in the Himalayas in order to find his recently-lost brother. According to Deep Silver, "As he ascends the mountain, he encounters an ancient curse: the souls of the people who died in that region are stuck in limbo, caught in the Shadow World." Players must content with villagers, pilgrims, mountaineers, Buddhist monks, and evil ghosts and demons as they unravel the mystery of the location. And for what? The climber isn't at all convinced that his missing brother is still alive.

"With a fresh setting, gloomy atmosphere and the innovative use of the Wii controls, Cursed Mountain will deliver a unique, terrifying game play experience," said Hannes Seifert, Managing Director at the Deep Silver development studio. "Deep Silver is confident that Cursed Mountain will help to further establish our international presence, and help expand the survival horror game genre on the Wii platform."

According to Deep Silver, Cursed Mountain will boast advanced graphics and amazing scenery. Since the game is set on the "roof of the world," players will be able to see the entire game world from any level. In addition, the title will feature IR / pointer and gesture-based controls for exploration and combat respectively.

Although Deep Silver is still unwilling to divulge too many details about the project, we did get a few extra tidbits from Hannes Seifert, who also serves as executive producer on the game. Exactly who is the main character -- other than a climber, that is? "He is an experienced high altitude climber, well known in the international climbing community. He cares a lot for his younger brother, also a climber, and has deep concerns about his overambitious, high risk-taking nature," Seifert said. "Somehow he always knew his brother would get into trouble one day and sure enough, on a particularly difficult route that has never been successfully completed, his brother is lost."

Seifert also elaborated on the game controls. "Controlling the character in the physical world is straight forward. In certain situations we utilize motion sensing for climbing, balancing, chases etc.," he said. "But when you enter the Bardo, the shadow world, you sense the enemies with the IR pointer and you use praying and fighting gestures to defeat the evil sprits. Depending on the difficulty of your opponents you will fight with simpler or more complex gestures and with one or two hands."

Exactly how will the gesture system work? "Talking about gestures is like dancing about architecture (or so they say)," Seifert mused. "The basic idea is: simple to learn movements with your hands represent movements of attacking, defending and praying. You will sense what gestures can defeat the enemies and bosses, and then you can use the motions to 'redeem' them. I think we have been really innovative here but managed to keep it pretty easy to learn. It balances very well across the entire game."

With a wealth of gesture-based battles planned, can Wii owners expect an over-the-top violent game? "That's a difficult question," said Seifert. "What the player experiences is very scary and violent. Half of the people that climb these mountains die up there and are left behind. You will encounter dead bodies, frozen mummies, and fear inducing archaic Buddhist rituals. On the other hand the game is not about chopping up zombies or splashing blood all over the place. It's violent in the sense of ever present danger and very aggressive environments and enemies. But you can't be violent against ghosts and mountains. So Cursed Mountain is violent, yes, but in a very unorthodox way."

Although it definitely is a survival horror experience, Seifert doesn't believe that Cursed Mountain can be compared to a title like Resident Evil. "Besides the fact that both are horror games, you can't easily compare them. Resident Evil is a great game in the normal horror mould, but Cursed Mountain is about exploring a realistic environment coupled with a very versatile fighting system," he said. "You encounter spiritual enemies and it's about the main character discovering his physical and mental limits in a very hostile part of the world. These are just two really different games, but both would probably appeal to a similar audience."

Deep Silver has developed a game engine that makes the most of Nintendo's console. "The entire game is realtime 3D," said Seifert. We really push the Wii hardware regarding lighting, shaders, geometry, audio, and animation. Cursed Mountain is not about technology, but about the gameplay experience, but many current games really seem to underutilize the hardware."

It is exactly this engine that enables some impressive multi-tier views of the expansive world. "The setting requires a great impression of distance. The entire country is set at such high altitude that looking up at over 26,000 feet high mountains and also looking down again is a vital part of the experience. You start from a typical Himalayan valley and continuously get higher and higher," he explained.

So does Seifert have ay final words for fans who might be intrigued by the concept powering Cursed Mountain? Absolutely. "We think Cursed Mountain features a very original and also current topic that's been unused in video games so far. We are really picky with staying true to the real thing. Based on that, we've worked hard to bring you a game that's easy to pick up for the majority of Wii players but that will lead you into what's called 'hardcore gaming.' I think we've come a long way already and hope that casual and hard core players will really enjoy the final results," he said.

According to Seifert, Deep Silver is about 25 people strong, but because the game is being developed across multiple companies -- Sproing Interactive, Rabcat, Perspective Studios and more -- the team working on Cursed Mountain is actually comprised of more than 140 people. The title is scheduled for release next year.

Deep Silver has not yet released any gameplay screenshots or movies of Cursed Mountain in action.


Doesn't sound bad to me.

Guess I'm gonna keep my eye on this one. The Conduit, Creatures,Madworld and Fatal frame 4 and this...seems I might finally be gettingsome good third party games on my Wii afterall
<message edited by Demonoroth on Jul 31, 2008 14:01>

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