What is it with me? Seems the less I know about a game, the more I want to play it-- I hear the words "survival horror" and I'm on it like a doublehead on a dead body-- even when all signs warn me to keep my hopes down. Last month, the game's development was suddenly up in the air-- it's always a bad sign when you hear something vaporous like that. Now, however, house-of-origin Nibris (yeah, you're not supposed to have heard of it) has strewn a few more breadcrumbs of info for all of us hard-scratched cynics too scared to get excited about this game.
Here's the part you may have heard, as reported in GameInformer early this year: Lead character Maria Lengyel will have to protect her son Alexander after a train derailment that leaves him blinded and behaving strangely. Apparently, Slavic legend comes to bear on the story, set in pre-WWI Eastern Europe. Gameplay-- only a feeble fifteen hours-- relies extensively on using the environment, rather than the standard weapons arsenal. Best (worst?) of all for completionist psychos (cough, cough)-- there are ten different endings.
Now here are the new bits-- as for sound, we've got a lot of voice acting and an orchestral soundtrack, and the monsters will apparently vary depending on how you play-- some of them will even be benign. What you're looking at right now is concept art, not game screens-- but the fog effects will supposedly amp up the in-game to come pretty close. Game time's been kicked up to 20 hours. Still pretty light, but with so many endings and gameplay influenced by choices, perhaps that's best.
Okay. Sounds okay. Sounds good, right? Erm. The release date is still supposed to be sometime later this year, and yet there are still no screens released. Nibris provides links to video on its sketchy website-- which lead to 404 screens. And probably the least assuring fact of all is the utter train wreck of a press release (if you can call it that) for Sadness features this excerpt:
"This gothic horror (atmosphere) is not the game of the action. If you're counting on shooting, litres of blood and piles of dead bodies then unfortunately you won't find this here. We are preparing for a mood which will not leave you till the very end of the game. An irregular scenario decides on such issues as schizophrenia or narcolepsy."
Okay, I know, Nibris is based in Krakow, Poland-- but thus far, this game, slated for the relatively virginal Wii this year sounds just a bit too ambitious for a tiny, dark-horse development house whose literature is illegible.
Actually, I dearly hope they can pull it off. It'd be something completely different; it'd be neato to see a tiny Polish house bust open the game market with something fresh and fab. And hey, at least the music on the site sounds kinda cool. I'm just saying all of this so that, should this game fail to launch (as many fellow cynics expect), I can be all like, "yeah, I wasn't expecting it. What? Oh, I just got something in my eye, that's all. I don't do SADNESS, ha ha ha."