THQ has announced that it has signed up Tomonobu Itagaki's new outfit Valhalla Studios to partner on a brand new action game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Devil's Third is described as a "fast paced action game set in the near future in the wake of a global catastrophe", but other details are thin on the ground.
Fortunately, we were able to speak to Itagaki himself on the phone, along with THQ's executive vice president of core games, Danny Bilson, to talk about the announcement and discuss a few details of the project.
Before we spoke we were also treated to the game's first trailer, showcasing some of the combat concepts Valhalla has been working on that so impressed THQ. "It took me and my team about 10 minutes to make the decision to go forward," Bilson told us afterward. Check out the trailer below.
Itagaki was keen to stress that Devil's Third is neither a Ninja Gaiden or a Devil May Cry style game, despite superficial overlaps. "Gamers who pay close attention to the trailer will notice there's a substantial difference there," he explained.
"So if you think of it as a shooting game that includes a level of melee combat and fighting that has never been done in a shooting game before, that's a good way to think of it."
Watch the video then read on for our exclusive chat with Danny Bilson and Tomonobu Itagaki.
Eurogamer: Can you give me a little overview of how you got to this point?
Danny Bilson: We met the Valhalla team maybe 6-8 months ago, and they had an unbelievable prototype built in multiplayer that was something we'd never seen before. Ever. We really liked the team, believe in the team, loved their previous work and it took me and my team about 10 minutes to make the decision to go forward.
We met and I felt a strong connection with these people and their art, and about 10 minutes later we said, 'Let's go.' We made a deal, we visited them in Tokyo, we worked on a bunch of fiction together - it's mostly their fiction, we just responded to it. This is a game that is absolutely the work of Itagaki-san and his team. It has very little influence from us. We're very excited about it.
Eurogamer: Is the arrangement part of your THQ Partners programme?
Danny Bilson: That's incorrect. Itagaki-san is working directly with myself - I'm the executive vice president of core games - and our creative teams here. This is one of our internal core products with an external studio, so it's nothing to do with the THQ Partners relationship, which is much more engaged and involved across all aspects of [THQ] production.
Eurogamer: Could I ask Mr Itagaki - how would you describe Devil's Third to somebody who has heard very little about it?
Tomonobu Itagaki: [Laughs] We wanted to make a game that would appeal to a lot of people, that a lot of people could play and enjoy, and to do that we think we really need to come up with some new innovations to make that type of game - and that's what we're working on.
I think when people see the video we've prepared to introduce the game, they'll get a pretty good idea of a lot of elements of the game, and it will pique your imagination about what it all might be about.
Eurogamer: THQ was nice enough to show me the trailer earlier, so I've got a little bit of a sense of it. Could you tell me about the story and where the game is set?
Danny Bilson: I think we'd prefer to hold off on the story. I will give you one clue - the Kessler Syndrome. Just that. That's the only thing we can talk about now that may have something to do with the story. But the story is rooted in some reality and some fantasy and some futurism. There's a lot of truth behind the story.