TopWare’s hidden treasures at E3

Tucked away in a conference room at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, TopWare Interactive was showing off a couple of promising games by invitation only.  Though TopWare may face some name recognition issues here in the United States, after seeing them in action, both titles look to be must plays.  Raven’s Cry a mature third person action adventure which follows a pirate’s dark tale of vengeance and promises to reaffirm the gritty reality of the pirate life and a gorgeous modern vampire tale called, Sacrilegium.

Playing Raven’s Cry is likely to erase the memories of pirate rides at Disneyland and its movie tie-in as well as the familiar Peter Pan story.  It’s a blood-soaked tale in which Christopher Raven, an infamous pirate hunter sets to the task of avenging the deaths of his family.  A cutscene in the playthrough shows Raven’s mother receiving pirate mercy through a quick death instead of suffering the customary brutality of the spoils of war.  This is the level of maturity players should expect when the game is released in the fourth quarter of this year.

Raven’s Cry will take players from Jamaica’s pirate-infested Port Royal to a lost Aztec City deep in the ancient heart of the Central American jungle and other 17th Century sites.  The third person adventure boast a rich combat system where the environment can even be utilized.  Game environments are filled with objects to be used for cover or distractions and some items can be set afire or trigger responses from wildlife.  In this world, even dialogue can be deadly.  In the playthrough, a rough interrogation ended in death for your informer lest in his anger at being rough up, he set a trap later, for you.

Sacrilegium is the latest project designed and developed by the Polish game development studio, probably best known here for Two Worlds, Reality Pump.  In the game, the heroine, Alex must face off against the Moroi-modern vampires that make the stereotypes look like fairy tales.  Speaking of looks, not enough can be said how gorgeous Sacrilegium looks.  If the Underworld movies were a lush graphic novel, it still wouldn’t look quite as good as what they’ve put together with the revolutionary Grace 2 Engine.

Taking advantage of the game engine, enemies in Sacrilegium will have unique animations matching the dark environments.  The cinematic fights are realistically motion captured and acted out on stage by professional martial arts experts.  Alex will also wield multiple ranged weapons: from handguns to crossbows.  The gameplay is expected to be widely varied and will even feature motorcycle sequences that will send her enemies in all directions. To polish off the already gorgeous art, eye-tracking: 3D-ET is being implemented, providing a more real and captivating experience and the game will support stereoscopic 3D.

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