Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, known for his work as art director on Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is directing a new game called Hell Is Us at Rogue Factor, the developer 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” of action- third-person adventure set in a land devastated by civil war and the sudden appearance of supernatural creatures triggered by an event known as Calamity. Simply put, things aren’t right, and it’s up to you to figure out what to do about it.
Understanding it is actually a core part of the experience: there’s no map, compass, or quest markers to guide you on your way. “Our goal with Hell is Us is to bring back real adventure and exploration,” said Jacques-Belletête. “There is no need for a detailed quest log or a precise waypoint on the map: we want players to experience the thrill of adventure, guided by their feelings and instincts.”
It looks a bit like Elden Ring in that regard, and the teaser certainly looks dark, but it’s also obviously more modern: there’s an APC sitting parked in the background, and the player character appears to be packing a weapon. fist. At the same time, the player also wields a sword which wouldn’t look out of place in Final Fantasy. The big shiv seems a bit incongruous here, but the Steam listing suggests melee combat will be the primary way to get things done.
“Swords, Spears and Axes: A wide range of weapons forged specifically to combat these supernatural creatures are available,” it says. “You will have to learn how 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
It’s a little too cerebral for me, but I loved Jacques-Belletête’s work on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and I can’t wait to see where he goes with this new project. Hell Is Us is slated for release in 2023, and you can find out more at hell-is-us.com.