Even with the amount of videogame content being shown at Comic-Con, the spotlight has once again turned to the creators behind other mediums such as film, music, and still images. Amongst those to be name dropped as inspiration during today's Namco Bandai Splatterhouse session were the likes of Christopher Walken, H.P Lovecraft, Simon Bisley, and Vincent Price.
Franchise fans will be happy to know that nearly two decades after Splatterhouse 3 launched on the Sega Genesis, a new game in the series will soon be making an appearance on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 systems. No firm date has been given yet, but at this stage the team is aiming for a Q3 2009 release window in North America.
So what can we expect from a reboot of the popular beat-'em-up series? The good news is that while the series is taking some bold new steps, including ditching 2D to join the third dimension, the development team is committed to retaining the feel and grittiness that made the series so popular. Much more of a reboot than a sequel, Splatterhouse is aiming to retain much of the charm of the original art style while still bringing it kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
Both some old, familiar faces and some new friends will be making an appearance here, and in an interesting announcement, the new game will finally show Rick's face for the first time without the mask. Likewise Jennifer and Dr. West have also been given more active roles in the game's storyline and will give players a more complete insight into their motivations and predicaments. Are Dr. West's motivations any better or worse than Rick's? We'll soon find out. The team at BottleRocket are also taking the chance to turn the much-loved mask into an active character, and we've been promised some conflict as it and Rick don't always see eye-to-eye… so to speak.
US heavy metal band Mastodon has also been brought in to provide audio work for Splatterhouse, and while at this stage it appears they won't be recording any new content for the game (instead licensing out their music) it's sure to fit the visceral nature of the combat. The new Splatterhouse will also give players a chance to explore beyond the walls of the mansion. While they were hesitant to go into specific details, they did briefly discuss the existence of an abandoned sideshow carnival zone complete with zombie clowns. Awesome! Classic weapons like the meat cleaver, chainsaw, and shotgun will all be available as you stomp around, while the panel teased the possibility of adding some new methods of torture and contextual environmental kills.
During the panel they also showed the first gameplay video which demonstrated Rick taking on waves of corrupted enemies, tearing heads off beasts (and using them as weapons), and showcasing a few of the game's boss enemy types. Among them were giant mechanical creatures blowing fire, a huge dude with an even bigger glowing hammer, and a giant caterpillar-looking grub which shot boomerang looking scales out of its body.
Check out the brand new Splatterhouse microsite here