The Conduit developers are working on a Left 4 Dead and horror film-inspired online cooperative first person shooter.
Earlier this week, High Voltage Software unveiled a brutal fighting game called Gladiator A.D. Last night, they revealed their other major Wii project, The Grinder.
The Grinder is a cooperative first person shooter where a team of four people fight hordes of enemies, similar to the popular game Left 4 Dead. Instead of solely zombies, The Grinder will feature several different types of monsters, most notably, vampires, werewolves, undead, and slashers. Because the origin of these creatures is unknown, players will be tasked with determining what caused this major outbreak of monsters.
Like Left 4 Dead, there are four different characters with diverse backgrounds. Doc is an underground doctor that is interested in how the monsters function. Hector is a greedy and arrogant bounty hunter. AJ is an urban explorer looking for revenge after surviving a slasher attack. The final character, Miko, is a Japanese assassin. After encountering and killing a werewolf, she seeks more thrill and danger; something her assassin job was no longer providing.
The Grinder is intended to be a very violent game featuring a variety of weapons. More traditional guns will be present, such as the .45, an SMG, the AK-47, as well as the pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun. Other more non-traditional weapons will be present, but those have yet to be revealed.
Movies such as From Dusk Till Dawn and John Carpenter's Vampires inspired High Voltage's weapon choices. Dead Alive and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 apparently also had an impact on the title. According to High Voltage, the blood and gore level sits somewhere between the two.
Industrial bands such as Skinny Puppy and Coil have helped inspire some of the ambient music for the game. According to High Voltage, the music helps create a tense and ominous mood. Upon arrival of a wave of enemies, more frenzied high-paced music will be featured.
As mentioned earlier, the game's centerpiece is its online cooperative mode, which will be shown at E3. High Voltage intends on including Wii Speak functionality, leaderboards, and their own version of an achievement system. For those without online access, the game will feature local split-screen co-op. The game can also be played through by a single player. The rest of your team will be controlled by AI, with the ability for human players to enter or leave the game at any time.
The game will feature multiple branching paths in each of the stages, giving the game a unique feel with each different path taken. Like in Left 4 Dead, the game will also have a scaling AI system that adjusts according to player performance. The game can control which enemies will spawn, the number of each enemy type, and each location they will spawn from.
Like The Conduit, The Grinder will also feature fully customizable controls. High Voltage also intends to gauge players' typical set up in order to provide the best possible standard control scheme.
In the testing phases of the game, High Voltage boasted that they were able to instance 65 highly detailed enemies on the screen without adverse effects on the framerate. This is accomplished through use of the Quantum3 Engine and another new technology. the Imposter and Instancing system.
According to HVS, with the Imposter and Instancing system, "[they] are able to take a single enemy and replicate him over and over again." Furthermore, "[they] can also scale, color, and otherwise modify each instance … allow[ing] [them] to get an unprecedented number of unique enemies on screen at once at a fraction of the cost to do it otherwise."
The Grinder is currently slated for a holiday 2010 release, but still has no publisher.