Hellgate opened fully

More info on Flagship's Lewisham-based RPG.

Following the revelation in the US print press last month that Flagship Studios was working on Hellgate: London, publisher Namco has revealed a few more details about the forthcoming RPG.

The game is set in the year 2030, in a London that has been devastated by invading demons and scorching hellfire, and will probably never get the Olympics now.

Humans have been forced to head underground in order to survive, using the city's network of tube tunnels to travel around the metropolis and stay safe from the minions of darkness - making trying to get on the Northern Line during rush hour even more of a nightmare.

They have become divided into factions such as the Templar, an archaic and secret society that saw all this coming years ago. That'll teach people to call them nutters. They combine futuristic technology with olden days artifacts to forge powerful weapons and armour, and you get to "be" one of them.

The game takes place from a first-person perspective and sees you building up a character in the traditional RPG fashion, completing quests, battling enemies, casting spells and learning skills.

It's also said to offer plenty of scope for customisation and lots of replay value, thanks to randomly generated levels, items and events - in fact, it's a different experience every time you play, apparently. There's a co-op multiplayer mode for 16-32 players, with a competitive mode still to be confirmed.

"With our first game, we intend to create something unique in the world of RPGs," says Flagship CEO and co-founder Bill Roper.

"By focusing our expertise and creative energy onto this one title, we are crafting a compelling world that combines massive amounts of randomisation and customisation to offer infinite replayability."

Flagship was set up in 2003 by former Blizzard North employees, many of whom were responsible for the Diablo franchise. Namco has signed an agreement to publish all of the studio's output as part of its move into PC gaming.

Expect more on Hellgate: London when it goes on show at E3 in May. In the meantime, you'll find some screenshots here.

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