Sega, PlatinumGames sign four-game deal

Former Capcom/Clover team announces Bayonetta, Infinite Line, and Madworld on a variety of platforms.

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Now defunct Osaka-based Clover Studio was responsible for a range of successful titles over the years, including the PlayStation 2's Okami (which recently resurfaced on the Nintendo Wii), Viewtiful Joe, and God Hand.

Clover Studio boasted some of Capcom's best talent, including Atsushi Inaba (producer of Viewtiful Joe), Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil creator), and Hideki Kamiya (director of Devil May Cry and Okami). After the publisher closed the studio in 2006, several key members left to start their own studio, Seeds, which has since merged with a company known as ODD to become PlatinumGames.

Viewtiful Joe producer Atsushi Inaba.

At an event in London on Monday, Sega and PlatinumGames announced they had inked a deal for four new-IP games, which will be the studio's first. While brief details were given for three of the games, the fourth--directed by Shinji Mikami--remains under wraps for now.

Hideki Kamiya will direct Bayonetta, an action adventure game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that looks similar to Devil May Cry. The game follows the eponymous protagonist, a witch reborn in a modern-day setting, waging war against angels. Details were scant, but the core experience focuses unique "witch-like abilities" and her array of guns--which apparently protrude from both her hands and her feet.

Infinite Line, a sci-fi role-playing game, will be coming to Nintendo DS, and is being co-developed with Japan-based Nude Maker. It will be directed by Hifumi Kouno, who is president of Nude Maker and also helmed the Capcom mech sim Steel Battalion.

The game, inspired by the Arthur C. Clarke novel Childhood's End, sees players embark upon a journey to become captain of a spaceship. With over 200 ship designs and a wide variety of ship parts to choose from, players will need to apply some thought, both when building their vehicle and when choosing the appropriate crew to man it.

The final game announced at the event was Madworld, an ultraviolent action game coming to the Wii and directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. The game has a stylised black-and-white palette, with bright red blood providing the only splash of colour onscreen. Madworld bears a striking resemblance to the Frank Miller comic series Sin City and the recent Gears of War 2 announcement trailer. Coincidentally, "Mad World" is also the title of a song that featured in an Xbox 360 Gears of War television advertisment.

The developers said they aren't setting out to make a depraved or perversely violent game with Madworld, but rather a game focused on "fun," comical violence.

PlatinumGames said they felt the Wii was missing "such a game [as] Madworld," with many games on the platform being too similar to one another. A brief gameplay segment was shown at the announcement press conference in which the game's lead character, Jack, used a chainsaw--controlled with a flick of the Wii Remote--to slice up foes, and was able to perform finishing moves such as impaling them on a nearby spiked wall.

The game also features Bloodbath Challenge minigames. One demonstrated was called Man Darts, where the object was to splatter enemies onto a giant oversized dartboard by swinging a baseball bat at the correct time.

Bayonetta, Infinite Line, Madworld, and the fourth, untitled game are currently in development and have not yet been dated. GameSpot will reveal more details as they emerge.

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