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.

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.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

28 comments
travisturk2
travisturk2

this looks great regardless of not being a disc game.

kahnseal
kahnseal

hmmmmmmmmm digital only. hmmmmmmmmmm ps4 and xbox one. hmmmmmmmmm I thought ps4 was not doing the whole digital thing like Microsoft. DRM much? lol

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

Is the gameplay more like diablo/torchlight or more like first person kings field/skyrim? Notice the kings field credit, now that is an old one.

Hurvl
Hurvl

If this game turns out as good as it could be I'll (Hell)raid my wallet.

PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

I'll buy this in 2016 instead of 2015 cuz that way I'll have an idea if they won't go back on their word by releasing this game as a physical retail copy. I don't want this retail-sized game to be digital download only.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Intriguing, but I'd rather buy this in a traditional box/case, not digitally.

mattcake
mattcake

Translation: Our small dev team won't have to optimise so much / work so hard if we release on next gen consoles.

Fine_TableLamp
Fine_TableLamp

You had me at co-op, that is if they mean split screen co-op?

H0M3RC1D4L
H0M3RC1D4L

While this looks really interesting, how is it NOT feasible on the PS3 or Xbox360?  I can't imagine Arena mode being the sole reason for abandoning the previous gen systems based on what I've seen in the video.

wookiegr
wookiegr

Focused on next gen hardware and a PC release too, sounds like a winner to me.

playstationzone
playstationzone

can this game be better than 2d dead island game because that new game was joke and i might check is out but is this another zombie game.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

Damn, this game was supposed to be out in 2013 :P

Hope it turns out alright. I love me some good hacking and slashing

freedom01
freedom01 moderator

"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."


thats good to know I wonder what the price would be though,

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

Everything I've seen about Hellraid so far has given me a Hexen vibe, which is why I am interested in it.  Hexen was one of my favourite action games from the 1990s.  It's slightly disappointing to see Hellraid delayed until next year, but I guess it makes sense now to focus on the latest consoles and offer an improved experience.

pohman
pohman

Best melee combat according to me Dark Souls,Devil May Cry 4,God Of War 3,Witcher 2 and Batman Arkham City


Truth_Hurts_U
Truth_Hurts_U

Well, as long as it isn't as buggy as Dead Island 1 and 2... I'll be happy. Then again... It's Techland.

travisturk2
travisturk2

@jenovaschilld I have seen some gameplay on it and it looks very much like an elder scrolls title but much more fluid and free. combat should be really great and they will have three game modes.

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

@jenovaschilld  It's very much like Dead Island with a dark-fantasy setting. ;)


Imo Dark Island in co-op was a blast. I think I will probably chip into the Early Access version of Hellraid to play it together with a buddy of mine.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@mattcake For me as a PC gamer, I couldn't care less. Oh, they went from PC to PC, well that's still PC.

bldgirsh
bldgirsh

Guys, I believe he's trying to communicate with us.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@pohman I'll add Dark Messiah of Might and Magic to that list. Even with your additions, I feel that there aren't enough great melee combat games around, so I really want this one to be good.

Barighm
Barighm

@Gallowhand Although there ARE zombies in it and the first videos I saw were based on the Dead Island engine.

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

@Barighm - Yes, there are zombies in it, like a lot of fantasy games, but they do not appear to be the focus, or sole enemies.  If they were, I would consider it a 'zombie game'. :)

I wouldn't have a problem with the Dead Island engine, if they continue to use it, because it did the job, and co-op worked well enough.