Zombies and gore are no strangers to one another, but a video put out by Brilliant Game Studios brings the two together like never before, as 10,000 zombies are thrown into a giant blender in a demo to their upcoming game The Black Masses.
The description to the video is as follows:
“Tech demonstration of our new dismemberment and procedural wounding system. Limbs can be cut off on a massive scale. Wound from getting hit appear as deep gouges which warp their mesh.”
The video begins with a basic combat demonstration. The player slashes at a zombie, cutting off its arms and head in quick succession, causing wounds to appear on its torso. The action then moves to a large square with a rotating blade in the middle. From here, hundreds of zombies fall to their deaths from a platform above. The bloodbath lasts for approximately two minutes. Then the zombies start petering out in their crawl toward the blade, bodies piling up all the while.
The Black Masses is an open world RPG with a medieval fantasy setting. The game world spans about 16 square kilometers. (For comparison, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes up about 37.6 sq km.) This video is a demonstration of the power of its Unity engine, which can render 10,000 character models while reportedly maintaining good performance. Brilliant Game Studios' previous release, Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator, also used this engine. The Black Masses appears to show more of that grand-scale carnage with a darker, gorier twist.
The medieval focus is a welcome change from other popular zombie media. For example, work that CBR has reported on extensively like the contemporary The Walking Dead or the historically questionable Nazi zombie narrative.
Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator received a “Mixed” reception on Steam after 3,615 reviews. Many complaints concern the technical demands and the relatively limited customization. Since The Black Masses is its successor, and, as an RPG, rather than a simulator, it may circumvent these criticisms. Its Facebook page boasts of “potentially infinite leveling”, 4-player co-op, parkour gameplay, “intelligent zombie hordes” and visual storytelling.
The Black Masses has no release date as yet. This video, which could give Peter Jackson a run for his money, gives potential players a satisfying taste of what is to come.