CES 07: Hellgate: London Updated Impressions

Flagship's Bill Roper shows off the fast-paced action role-playing game at CES on the same day that the company announces a launch window.

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LAS VEGAS--After years of development, Flagship Studios' debut game will finally launch this year, according to CEO Bill Roper. That game is Hellgate: London, and if you needed another reason to be interested in this game beyond its beautiful graphics and fast-paced gameplay, Flagship was founded by key veterans of Blizzard's Diablo teams. Roper was at the annual Consumer Electronics Show to show off Hellgate: London at Microsoft's vast booth.

Hellgate: London will let you battle an army of demonic monsters in the gutted ruins of London. Set sometime in the future, you'll be able to play as a templer, which is basically a high-tech knight; a cabalist; a spellcaster; or a gun-wielding hunter. Roper explained that the cool thing about Hellgate: London is that you can play it as a single-player game, but there will also be an option to turn it into a subscription-based multiplayer game if you want to play with others and enjoy lots of new content.

Roper walked us through character creation. You can create a male or female character with an extensive amount of customization options, ranging from body features to build and height. Then he showed off the opening levels, including a beginning quest to recover a prosthetic leg for a poor little boy. The only problem is that the leg is the possession of a giant demon. You'll have to venture to the surface and battle hordes of demons to recover it, and that gave Roper a chance to show off the randomly generated levels, so each game of Hellgate: London won't play the same way twice.

The big news is that Flagship officially announced Monday morning that Hellgate: London will ship this summer. Roper told us that the company plans to launch a closed "friends and family" beta test by month's end, with plans to expand that to a broader audience afterward. Asked if he felt good that Hellgate's release is on the horizon, he explained that Flagship won't have much time to rest because the company plans to create a steady stream of new content for subscribers in the form of monthly and quarterly updates to the game.

Discussion

104 comments
Tomsie85
Tomsie85

I'm sorry, but I'm just not willing to pay to play. It's a worrying trend how more and more games are leaning toward the subscription based cashcow. If you people are stupid enough to pay then fine, but we'll end up with a Sky style format to play games, where you have to pay extra to do anything. A lot of companies have seen the money WoW makes and jumped on the band wagon, it's as simple as that. All you people going on about it being mainly for the sake of quality are naive, and rather gullible fools. I was looking forward to another Diablo style game to play with friends, looks as if im going to have to wait longer.

Cajunplayboy
Cajunplayboy

i get so damn sick and tired of people literally crying and whining about paying for a subscription service or P2P if you will. People will freely spend up to $10 at any run of the mill fast food establishment when they could have stayed home cooked their dinner and had a better meal over all. Yet ask them to pay $10-$15 for a month of entertainment and it some how is "unbelievable". I know money is tight and unlike a lot of you on this site... I know how hard a dollar is to come by, but lets not be hypocrites about where we spend those dollars. I myself go to the movies on a pretty regular basis and I dunno about the other theaters around the country but the theater's i go to charge me $7.50 a ticket and more often than not i'm buying 2 of them. So there ya go folks right there... $15 worth of my money for a possible 2 hours of entertainment and by a possible 2 hours of entertainment I mean that the movie could be complete crap after all is said and done with. Getting to the point of my rant here is... If you find a game that you enjoy playing and the company keeps adding quality content and maintenance to your game than support that company b/c those $10-$15 a month you're spending is truly a hell of a value when you compare it to the amount of money we throw at various products that some times have no lasting value at all.

-Dragon_Hunter-
-Dragon_Hunter-

To those who are complaining about the monthly fee, this is how it is, basically. They've said that they're going to keep cranking out content for subscribers, and do you know what that means? They have less personel to work on other projects, but they still have to pay their monthly wages. This means the game has to keep drawing in money in some way. This can be accomplished in different ways, but the monthly fee is no doubt the most smooth option. The other option is to take the "Guild Wars approach", putting out alot of small expansions. And really, a gaming company is like any other business out there. They produce a product and sells it for profit. If there's no profit, then there's not going to be more products of that type. By subscribing your basically buying an extra service that's not a part of the original product you purchased, and it's not directly forced on you at gunpoint, so don't whine about it.

Timmy101
Timmy101

Some people seem to be implying that overly-expensive monthly fees somehow give software pirates the right to set up illegal servers with hacked copies. Sorry, no. If someone's selling a sweater for an absurd price, do I have the right to steal it? No! I have the right to buy it elsewhere for a reasonable price. Affordable online games are not a human right.

Neolucifer999
Neolucifer999

"Have any of you people saying that you were looking forward to this game, but won't get it anymore b/c of this ever played Diablo II MP? The Diablo games were truly AWSOME games but they were absolutely RUINED by cheaters and hackers that just couldn't play fair. Having a monthly (or whatever) subscription will ensure that we don't have to deal with that." How odd !! Gw have no subscriptions systems whatsoever and yet i dont see cheaters or bots... That excuse was true a long time ago ... but now nothing but greed can justify monthly subscriptions for an instanced game .

riseofnations36
riseofnations36

AWESOME !! I'm sooo gonna be a templar. And the best part is !! THERES A SINGLE PLAYER MODE !!!

Hikiera
Hikiera

This game is gonna rock! :D I don't know if I will go for the subscription fee though. I wonder if I will be able to set up a LAN with it?

raymondac
raymondac

I don't mind paying a monthly fee but considering most of the game is instanced, I think it should be no more than $10 a month.

Half-Vampire
Half-Vampire

omg.. ughh... no matter..i will buy this game and just play the singleplayer ones.. and as opapotamus said.. paying extra to play a game that u already purchased sux...

opapotamus
opapotamus

Of course I will buy this game, of course I will pay the monthly fee to play it online, but one there is a fact that you cannot argue: paying extra to be able to play a game you have already purchased sucks. End of story.

Fable_Lord
Fable_Lord

looks impressive but not my type of gaming

Lord_Foortwenti
Lord_Foortwenti

I'm sorry but all you people whining about P2P are, well, you're just being silly. You just aren't thinking about this. "I paid $xx.xx already, so I'm not gonna pay more for a subscription.....whine, whine, blah, blah" Have any of you people saying that you were looking forward to this game, but won't get it anymore b/c of this ever played Diablo II MP? The Diablo games were truly AWSOME games but they were absolutely RUINED by cheaters and hackers that just couldn't play fair. Having a monthly (or whatever) subscription will ensure that we don't have to deal with that. I for one will GLADLY pay a sub so I don't have to deal with cheaters and hackers in my MP games. Diablo II was great, but it would have been even better if we didn't have to deal with a bunch of cheating fools. I am truly looking forward to this game EVEN MORE now b/c I am relieved I won't have to deal w/ all that crap.

The_AI
The_AI

Is a cabalist a spellcaster? I was confused. Also, I'm not sure if I like the subscriptions basing. I know, they need it to fund their servers, but why not make it like Diablo II or Guild Wars? But Hellgate looks awesome and something I might actually be willing to pay $10-15 a month for, so I'm still putting it on my wishlist.

HarlequinMK19
HarlequinMK19

Seriously, the amount of whining in this thread confounds me. Pay 2 Play is becoming the norm these days, so I'm seriously wondering why such a big deal is being made about Hellgate *possibly* being Pay 2 Play. And also, to cointerm, I'm still waiting to see a *real* MMO. The vast majority of MMO's constitute of you, the player, paying to partake in raids in instanced dungeons. Jeeze, that sounds a lot like WoW, now doesn't it? So I see no difference in paying to play WoW, than paying to play Hellgate. Oh boy, WoW has raids and PvP, so what? I'm sorry, but the entire state of MMO's at the moment, is in my opinion, completely lacking, so once again, I'll gladly pay to play a high-quality game, even if it is essentially random instances...at least it will be a well-done set of random instances.

RanXer0x
RanXer0x

I would pay to have their children, so I guess you could say that I would pay 15 measly dollars to play online per month. Come on, skip a few lunches people (but, that might actually be the greater argument of the decade; I feel a new blog coming on..).

rah_mhambrey
rah_mhambrey

but the response this rumour bout subscription based play has got is mind boggling

rah_mhambrey
rah_mhambrey

if thrs one thing thats going to halt the success of this game its all the misconception that ppl hav......... its gonna be like oblivion pay for the xtra content.....playing online will be free.......they r gonna release this content in the form of small expansions.....and am sure lotsa ppl wont hav a prob wid that.......most prob no subscribtions

RHLouden
RHLouden

ok this looks cool and all, but when does Hellgate: Anchorage come out?

SinfulSpikey
SinfulSpikey

I. Can. Not. Freakin'. Wait. HOLYCOCKS***BATMAN, GIMMIEGIMMIE.

firebreathing
firebreathing

so basically we are being charged for US paying THEM to buy the game then WE pay them AGAIN AFTER we bought the game for game updates........I bet a lot of people will download a pirated version because of this..............this is where greed leads you kids :D

cointerm
cointerm

No, thank you. I'm not against monthly-fees, but that money could go towards a real MMO (Conan, Warhammer, Vanguard), not some instanced-based multiplayer game. If I want instances, I have Guild Wars.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

im set to play the game. 8800 dx10 FTW

LoserMike
LoserMike

Finally Diablo 3... i mean Hellgate will be released.

SemperMalum2
SemperMalum2

... Please tell me that you get a cube, and instead of giving the boy his leg back, you can transmute it into a level full of cows which is a great place, online, to both powerlevel and find rares/unique items that are otherwise only found on bosses? =X

70x7
70x7

Basically they're greedy, awesome.

Gurnadar
Gurnadar

The leg with dacard kain who identify un identified items

the_bi99man
the_bi99man

HAHAHAHAHA. "Recover a prosthetic leg for a poor little boy"!!!!! OMG. I'm going to go play Diablo in anticipation.

DrogosIronfistcg
DrogosIronfistcg

I can't wait for this one. The original Diablo design team + Demons...its going to be a must play.

HarlequinMK19
HarlequinMK19

If Hellgate is even half as good as it looks, I will gladly pay a subscription fee. A number of pay-2-play MMO's on the market right now are hardly worth the subscription fee as you feel like you're playing a beta-test. I've been through quite a few and there's a reason I don't currently don't play *any* of them. However, if Hellgate is a genuinely complete, high-quality product that will offer additional content updates along the way, well, Flagship can count me in as a paying subscriber.

Knighty
Knighty

So basically single-player and multi-player are free, and then extra content you pay for, Oblivion style? Sounds great to me! :) And seriously, to all complaining about paying, just be quiet.

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

recover a fake leg for a little boy, well, it's good to see the old diablo crew has grown past the old ideas they have had, but, seriously it sounds like a good idea, i wonder how much the subscription fee will be for mmo type play...

iMuffins
iMuffins

Good single player? Great. Free and subscription based online play? Sure. Only subscription based online play? No thanks.

SolInvictus-HGG
SolInvictus-HGG

Max Schaefer of Flagship Studios has gotten in touch with us at HellgateGuru.com to clear things up about the game. Single player and multiplayer will be free. No question about it. They are planning for an MMO portion of the game that they have yet to decide upon the payment scheme. It may very well be similar to the Guild Wars method of releasing expansion packs every few months. See http://www.hellgateguru.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2887 for details.

-HCMF-
-HCMF-

looks and sounds good... except for the cash whoring, that sounds bad.

blackhammer77
blackhammer77

This game is going to be a blast, except for the online subscription - at least it isn't completely online.

shaane
shaane

it ll be awesome

malashev11
malashev11

"Ivan Yeah, we haven't made a final decision. Seriously, the directors debate about this quite a bit. Basically, we want to do ongoing content. We don't want it to be like Diablo where we had a patch and an expansion and that's that. We really want to do ongoing content. So the directors have to just figure out how the hell we're going to pay for that. Could be anything. Really." for those who were to lazy to go to the link and read it yourself... if you want more content you NEED to pay for it, game companies do... why should they do it out of their own pocket? if you don't want to pay for content then don't, with this game you get a choice, just enjoy your old content and then spend another 50$ on a new game. also for the ones that say that monthly subscription is out of their price range... honestly if you can't afford 20$ a month you might wanna consider changing you where you work or stop playing games and get a few hours of overtime, cause i am a collage student and i pays for school out of my own pocket and i can still afford monthly fees and gladly pay them instead of buying new games every time i get bored of the old ones. FYI "Disagreeing with a monthly fee isnt "whining". thats true, but "Monthly fee = no thx! ONLY RICH PEOPLE CAN AFFORD THIS GAME!" is.

Acervartan
Acervartan

Disagreeing with a monthly fee isnt "whining". Since when it is accepted that to get updates and new content you have to pay a monthly fee? Since when does playing MP cost money? How practical is it if every game wants a monthly fee from players, dont you tihnk that will reduce the amount of games people buy? Monthly fees are fine for games with static online worlds that require huge dedicated servers and allow 1000s of players to interact but dont have a place in a game that just lets you link up and play a MP with a few friends. Imagine if CS, Fear, etc all charged montly fees...this is a mistake on flagships part and will increase piracy since there will be no incentive to buy the game for its MP options for people no willing to shell out for a monthly fee.

Zero_Fate_
Zero_Fate_

"Then he showed off the opening levels, including a beginning quest to recover a prosthetic leg for a poor little boy." Again? This quest was also in Diablo 2. I don't want rehashed quests. ___________________________________________________________ What are you talking about? There was the wirt's leg but it had nothing to do with a quest only cow portal.

SirSmokeal0t
SirSmokeal0t

The reason montly fees fail is because there are great other games out there with MP options, providing you lots of entertainment and demanding nothing in return (except for the retail price). Monthly fees FTL.

Maarz
Maarz

cjcr_alexandru, if you're not being sarcastic than you are too stupid to own a computer... its a tribute quest, a joke. Arf, arf the subscription, but I'm gonna see how the game plays before I start whining about it. And they haven't even really gone to the much detail about it, wait until you know what your complaining about before you start having a cry.

XiRho67
XiRho67

I'll pay a subscription fee if it's under $10 bucks a month.. else screw that noise

PandaOps
PandaOps

I forsee a lot of private servers or hacked versions in the future...