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City of the Dead confirmed

At E3, and Sex Machine's in it.

The Kuju-developed and George A. Romero-penned horror game project that publisher Hip Games announced recently is going to be called City of the Dead, the publisher indicated this week.

It'll be out on PS2, Xbox and PC in spring 2006, and will be making its first appearance at E3 next week.

We were a bit confused when the game was announced unnamed and in development at Kuju earlier this year, as last August American McGee of all people (he of Alice and Oz fame) had claimed that he was doing it with Romero's blessing and Curse: The Eye of Isis developer Asylum Entertainment pushing the buttons. Apparently not though, and now the game's on its way elsewhere.

In keeping with the themes of Romero's splendid Trilogy of the Dead (Night, Dawn, Day), City of the Dead is all about old-school slow-moving zombies causing hassle for those who haven't died and reanimated.

The set-up sees four survivors landing on a remote island in a chopper, only for the chopper to go bye-bye, and for the group to discover a top secret military outpost overrun by zombies. Who must be neutralised using big sodding guns.

There'll be split-screen co-op missions, a party mode and four-player online features to complement the single-player adventure - as well as computer-controlled companions who can be unlocked and controlled later on.

One of those will be William "Red" McLean, who Hip Games yesterday revealed will be voiced by Tom Savini, who played Sex Machine in the film From Dusk Till Dawn and also appeared in Romero's Dawn of the Dead.

As well as voicing the role, Savini will share his likeness with the character who is, rather disappointingly, a "battle-worn" ex-cop "who is a survivor to the core".

"I feel like an assassin. I load up my car with my essentials and go off to strange places and kill people, and things... in movies," Savini commented.

"It makes sense for me now to do it in a new strange place... a video game. My first video game and a whole new arena to fulfil my reputation, my legend, as the king of splatter in the bloodiest gore fest in gaming... 'City of the Dead'," he, or at least somebody connected with the game, added.

If we get time, we'll pop by and have a look at City of the Dead next week.