Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, known for his work as an art director at Eidos Montreal Deus Ex: Human Revolution (opens in new tab) and Deus Ex: Humanity Divided (opens in new tab)is spearheading a new game called Hell Is Us at Rogue Factor, developers of Mordheim: City of the Damned and Necromunda: Underhive Wars.
Hell Is Us is Rogue Factor’s “most ambitious project to date”, and unlike its previous releases, it’s not a licensed Warhammer game: it’s a “semi-open world” third-person action adventure that takes place in a country ravaged by civil war and the sudden appearance of supernatural creatures triggered by an event known as the Calamity. Simply put, things are not looking good, and it’s up to you to figure out what to do about it.
Figuring this out is indeed a central aspect of the experience: there’s no map, compass, or quest markers to guide you on your path. “Our goal with Hell is Us is to bring back true adventure and exploration,” said Jacques-Belletête. “There is no need for a detailed quest log or precise waypoint on the map: we want players to feel the thrill of the adventure, guided by their feelings and instincts.”
It sounds a bit like Elden Ring in that respect, and the teaser certainly looks grim, but it’s also obviously more modern: there’s an APC parked in the background, and the player character appears to be carrying a gun. At the same time, the player is also wielding a sword that wouldn’t look out of place in Final Fantasy. The big knife seems a little incongruous here, but the Steam (opens in new tab) The listing suggests that melee combat will be the primary way of doing things.
“Swords, spears and axes: a wide variety of weapons specially forged to fight these supernatural creatures is available,” he says. “You will need to learn to fight these monsters and use your drone wisely to stay alive.”
There’s also an intriguing quote from Jacques-Belletête: “The central theme of Hell is Us is that human violence is a perpetual cycle fueled by human emotions and passions.”
Explore the dark side of human nature as you face a mysterious calamity in #HELLisUS, an action-adventure game developed by @TheRogueFactor. Coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC in 2023. Learn more: https://t .co/qsUDdd6VK6 pic.twitter.com/3Ys3uSTnOWApril 12, 2022
This is a little too cerebral for me, but I loved Jacques-Belletête’s work on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and I’m looking forward to seeing where he goes with this new project. Hell Is Us is due out sometime in 2023, and you can find out more at hell-is-us. with (opens in new tab).