Hellgate: London unlocked for E3

Flagship's first game will combine FPS and RPG elements in a demon-ridden world; Namco to publish.

The crew at Flagship studios has gone to hell and back...and straight back to hell again. The San Francisco-based developer was formed by industry heavyweights David Brevik (chief visionary officer), Max Schaefer (COO), Eric Schaefer (CCO), Bill Roper (CEO), and Tyler Thompson (director of technology), all former members of Blizzard North.

At Blizzard, the team was instrumental in the development of the netherworldly dungeon crawler Diablo, one of the most praised and successful PC games of all time. It seems as though the team can't get enough of the hoary underground, because it's returning to the demon-filled depths, guns ablazin', with its recently announced PC game, Hellgate: London. The game will be published by Namco Hometek, except in Asia, where it will be published by Korea-based Hanbitsoft.

Hellgate: London is a hybrid first-person shooter/role-playing game set in the near future. According to Flagship, the future doesn't look too bright. It seems that only 25 years from now, mankind has retreated underground after a demon invasion scorched the earth's surface, rendering it uninhabitable.

A holy sect, known as the Templar, foresaw the attack and is preparing to strike back. Using ancient relics and future technology, the secret society is able to make special weapons and armor with which to battle hell's minions.

Gamers will create a hero who will rain heck on enemies in war-torn London. The player's character will be able to increase his powers through the game's role-playing elements, which include leveling up skills and gaining new spells. Taking a page from Diablo, the game will also feature randomly generated levels, quests, and items.

"With our first game, we intend to create something unique in the world of RPGs," said Bill Roper, CEO and cofounder of Flagship Studios. "By focusing our expertise and creative energy onto this one title, we are crafting a compelling world that combines massive amounts of randomization and customization to offer infinite replayability."

GameSpot will have more on Hellgate: London as information is released.

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