We always get games that include burly male heroes or scantily clad female heroines, but what about classic characters of folklore? For example, how come we don't have more games about witches? A central theme of dark magic and evil for almost as long as anyone can remember, these ladies of the night have a longer and more storied history than vampires and werewolves put together. Hence, witches should make for an absolutely fantastic foundation for a video game, if only because of the concept behind the controversial females. Enter Revistonic's Witches, which began its life in the middle of last year as Project Witches and recently resurfaced with a shorter name and more details. The project still doesn't have a publisher, but once they land one, the game should be released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Let's take a look at how this potentially promising title is shaping up...leather, magic, feminine curves and all.
Perhaps surprisingly, we'll be riling against a supreme evil called "The Beast," which is hell-bent on enslaving everyone he sees, wreaking havoc, and in general, pissing everybody off no end. We say "surprisingly" because it was our belief that witches were supposed to be evil, but evidently, we're dealing with white witches in this game...either that, or the witches will battle Beast in order to gain their own power. Anyway, our main character is Gwen, and according to what the developer told IGN, she's "a sultry warrior that still resists his (The Beast's) dark will and leads the rebellion against his satanic power." In fact, it seems a lot of these women could be characterized as "sultry," which makes perfect sense; the classic hot chick costume of choice at Halloween parties is always the witch, right? But don't think you're going to spending all your time ogling babes in Witches because a fairly in-depth battle system awaits us. The developer says we'll get "a spectacular system of tactical combat that incorporates sequences of caution and stealth," so if you're looking for a slightly darker version of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, you're going to be sorely disappointed. We may have a healthy sampling of hotties, but they're gonna be kicking some serious ass (we hope).
Beyond combat, one intriguing aspect we've heard about is the fact that Gwen will act as savior for her comrades. Well, that may be a bit of stretch, because even though you can free enslaved witches who will help you throughout the game, if they let you down, you can...uh...sacrifice them. That's right, Revistonic says that "your decisions will shape your destiny," so if you decide to eliminate the weakest link, feel free. Perhaps even better - and pay close attention, gore-fiends - you are going to be able to use things besides your arms, feet and magic as weapons. Evidently, this can include any number of things, including amputated limbs ripped from your foes, which gives literal meaning to the saying, "I want to rip your arm off and beat you over the head with it!" On the other hand, if you'd rather stick to the classic haven of the witch, you can always use plenty of magic. It will be called the stealth occultism arts, which just sounds cool. We're not sure how we'll gain these abilities, but we're hoping they play a major role in the overall gameplay.
Based on this information, we're wondering if we should expect something along the lines of Devil May Cry or Soul Reaver, or perhaps an interesting blend of the two. We'll be able to pull off some pretty hot combos, apparently, and we'll be fighting multiple smaller enemies along with single giant foes (bosses of some kind, we assume). Those occultism arts sound as if they have serious potential, and we'll put words to an idea all you teen boys are envisioning right now- just how "sultry" are these witches going to get? Remember the BloodRayne games? They weren't super amazing, but they were fairly entertaining, and much of the early media for Witches reminds us of that flame-haired, curvaceous vampire. She could suck on the necks of others with this sexy little moan, and while we know witches don't drink blood, other kinky rumors exist surrounding those clans... Okay, getting our minds out of the gutter for a second, let's just return to the crux of this title, which is the gameplay...gameplay with lovely ladies in tight leather, that is! All right, we'll stop now.
We'd also like to gather more information regarding two other features: the "totally interactive environment" the developers are boasting about, and this ability we'll have to "move the lights in real time." Now, IGN doesn't know what that means and neither do we, but whatever it is, we're hoping for an original and innovative gameplay mechanic that separates Witches from the pack. Remember, it's easy to lose track of "just another action game," so we're looking for a few key aspects that can't be found anywhere else; aspects that will pique a gamer's interest. The last bit of info we have is that there are two modes in the game (Requiem and Arena), and the adventure is actually build around cooperative play. Hearing this, we immediately think of something like Army of Two, although we're certainly hoping Witches is plenty of fun with only one player. We've got ladies with plenty of capability and skill, which means there's plenty of opportunity to generate a very appealing basis for an action title.
As soon as Revistonic nails down a publisher, then we can probably start thinking about a release date. Until then, we'll stay on the lookout for more information regarding Witches. "Moving the lights in real time" sounds almost cryptic...
3/8/2008 Ben Dutka