Check out the first trailer for this 15+ hour survival-horror experience set in New Orleans.
Today Skybound Interactive released the first official cinematic trailer for The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, a survival-horror RPG VR game set within the Walking Dead universe. Taking place on the flooded streets of post-apocalypse New Orleans, players will have the ability to fight, craft, and navigate a large open environment with over 15 hours of content to explore.
“It’s been three years since the outbreak,” states an official release. “The once-great city of New Orleans is now flooded and surrounded by a herd of walkers, making escape near-impossible. The city is divided into districts accessible only by skiff and controlled by a community known as ‘The Tower.’”
“With dwindling supplies, the Tower’s grip on the city is threatened when a brutal group called the Reclaimed rises against them. Anyone not in a faction must fend for themselves…few survive. Rumors suggest that a Cold Warera bunker exists, loaded with years’ worth of food, medical supplies, and weapons. A race to find this hidden ‘Reserve’ begins, and with it, a bloody battle for power.”
Players can battle against hordes of undead “walkers” using an assortment of melees weapons, including knives and axes, as well as shotguns, crossbows, and a variety of other craftable zombie-killing utensils. Most interesting, however, is the game’s physics-based combat system. In reality, people can’t simply slice through entire human bodies with little-to-know resistance as they can in many VR experiences. In Saints & Sinners, the same rules apply.
Let’s say you stab a walker in the head with a knife with every ounce of strength you have in your body. That knife is now lodged inside your unfortunate undead victim. In order to remove it, you’ll have to hold the body down with your other arm while you yank out your weapon with the other. This forces the player to approach their battles with a little more strategy, as weapons can suddenly be made inaccessible with the right swing or stab. In terms of difficulty, the game will include a standard mode as well as a perma-death option, which will force the player to restart their campaign from the ground up upon death.
Along with a refreshingly-realistic combat system, Saints & Sinners also takes a page out of Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead episodic series with a choose your own adventure-style dialogue mechanic that allows players to make decisions that will ultimately affect their relationships with non-playable characters as well as the overall experience. Play as a heroic knight with a soft spot for helping the weak; join a warring faction and start a beef with another gang; or play them against one another and watch their empires crumble like a total sociopath. You can even convince others to take a bullet for you because you’re just that great! Just remember that everything you do will have a consequence.
“We experimented with different takes on the art style, and [since] there are a lot of zombie games out there [The Walking Dead Telltale series, Days Gone, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, to name a few], we wanted to make sure we had an interesting style that, when we looked at a screenshot, we could say, ‘this is our game,’” said art director Jake Geiger in reference to Saints & Sinners, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“We start out with a blue sky approach to a mission or a level that we’re putting together, so we’ll have all the writers in a room and we’ll brainstorm ideas. From there it goes over to design; they’ll make paper maps and come up with rough geometry for the game. Once we’ve reached that stage and they’ve found what makes that stage fun, art will do a pass and work closely with design to reshape it architecturally and make it feel like it was a real building. Then it’s about making it pretty.”
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners launches on January 23rd, 2020. No word yet on confirmed platforms, but demos of the title were conducted using Oculus Rift headsets. Based on the visual quality and the large amount of content, it’s more than likely the title will be available exclusively on PC VR headsets.
Feature Image Credit: Skydance Interactive