Dead Island studio moves its co-op slasher Hellraid to Xbox One/PS4/PC

Techland's first-person co-op slasher shifted to next-generation consoles and PC; now expected to launch in 2015.

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Dead Island developer Techland announced today that its first-person co-op slasher Hellraid has shifted to a release for next-generation consoles and PC. The game was previously expected to launch in 2014 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, but it will now be available in 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Hellraid is described as a "AAA-quality" game, but it will not be released on discs. Instead, you'll find it available through digital means exclusively, and it won't be sold at the full $60 when it is finally released next year. Final pricing decisions for Hellraid are still up in the air.

Speaking with GameSpot, Techland producer Marcin Kruczkiewicz said the studio considered supporting both generations of consoles, but he said doing so would stretch the team too thin. He pointed out that Hellraid is currently being made by a team of only around 20 people.

"We decided to move on to new consoles because of the possibilities that they provide. In general, this is the overall quality of graphics, which is significant boost for our game," Kruczkiewicz said. "Moreover, while developing the game...when we run our builds on the previous generation of consoles, it just looks far worse than we would like. So the new generation of consoles, the power is a bit bigger than the average PC. So it doesn't limit us at all."

"There are games that provide bigger worlds. There are games that provide better story-telling. There are games which provide more enemies and characters. But I'm pretty sure that the combat [in Hellraid] will be outstanding and better than any other game" -- Kruczkiewicz

Kruczkiewicz went on to say that you can expect high-resolution textures, better special effects, and more sophisticated rendering thanks to the power of the Xbox One and PS4. "Everything is possible," he said. Asked if the game would run in 1080p on Xbox One and PS4, Kruczkiewicz said, "It's too early to say." He did point out, however, that the Techland technology team is doing its best to "meet the highest expectations."

Hellraid may not be the biggest, more feature-packed game you play in 2015, but its focus on combat and immersion is unparalled in gaming today, Kruczkiewicz says.

"There are games that provide bigger worlds. There are games that provide better storytelling. There are games which provide more enemies and characters. But I'm pretty sure that the combat [in Hellraid] will be outstanding and better than any other game," he said.

Another reason why a shift for Hellraid from Xbox 360/PS3 to Xbox One/PS4 was in order was because Techland needed more advanced systems to power the game's newly confirmed Arena Mode. "Arena is requiring us to put a lot of AI in a small space," Kruczkiewicz said. The issue of performance for this mode is thus "significant," he added.

Hellraid includes three main game modes (Story, Mission, and Arena), all of which are playable either solo or with 1-3 others. You'll also find character customization options (but no microtransactions, Kruczkiewicz says), as well as a class-free skill tree system, and enemy characters described as "adaptive" and intelligent.

Though the official Hellraid release is not expected until 2015, PC players will get a crack at it this fall when the game is available on Steam Early Access. It represents the first Early Access game Techland has ever been involved with and Kruczkiewicz is excited about the opportunity.

"The ability to receive feedback before the final product goes onto market is a very tempting idea. It might be dangerous in some cases, like when the product is total crap or when we are not honest and we are not transparent enough that the people will kill us. But we are trying hard to reach [player] expectations."

For more on Hellraid, be sure to read GameSpot's previous coverage.

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