Digital Extremes has this week announced Pariah, described as a story-driven, single-player, run-and-gun FPS with survival elements and "in-depth combat". The game is due to be published by Groove Games in the USA and Hip Interactive Europe in PAL territories on PC and Xbox, and should make its full debut at this year's E3 in May.
In an effort to gather some pre-show publicity however, the developer and publisher have released four rather beautiful screenshots of the Xbox version of the game, which appeared on the game's official website last night but since seem to have disappeared. Oh we're just teasing - you know we nabbed them just in time. The game's official website will apparently launch in more detail on May 1st.
As you can see, the game is gloriously detailed if nothing else, with some beautiful lighting effects and long autumn shadows, plus the usual array of futuristic, faintly Brute Force-ish environments populated by scary looking alien things that seem to require shooting. Not to mention some very nicely bump-mapped weaponry and the clear presence of both vehicles and teammates. The secret behind the technology is of course no secret at all - it's no surprise to hear that Epic Games' long time collaborators are working with a highly modified version of the Unreal Championship engine, which integrates many aspects found in the Unreal Tournament 2004, as well as Havok physics, bump mapping, fast decals and other buzzword stuff geared towards painting a dazzling picture.
What's more, according to DE founder James Schmalz, Pariah, what we're seeing in these first screenshots is just the tip of the iceberg. Schmalz says the game is "very far along", and has been in development for the past two years at Digital Extremes' Toronto studio, which, as some of you may know, was originally called Brainbox Games. Apparently however the Pariah team at DE Toronto is unrelated to another internal team there that also goes by the name of Brainbox Games. Don't ask us...
Asked why DE chose to join up with Groove Games rather than a more established publisher, Schmalz basically said it was down to the small Canadian firm's desire to make the best game possible, rather than make the best profit possible within the correct quarter of the year to appease shareholders. It's an attitude that the privately owned Groove Games CEO Jon Walsh is clearly very proud of: "We want to get back to the model where the publisher and developer work seamlessly together," he told the US press. "Ultimately, and most importantly, the primary objective is to create the best game possible. It's simple really; everybody wins, especially the gamers." Jon, drop us a line and we'll buy you a drink in LA. The rest of you: keep an eye on this one; it could be good.