The game is scheduled for release in early 2024
By Toussaint Egan on March 31, 2023 12:38 pm
Rarely has there been a better time to be a survival horror fan than now. From recent releases like Motive Studio’s Dead Space remake and Capcom’s own remake of Resident Evil 4, to highly anticipated games like Amnesia: The Bunker and Alan Wake 2, there’s for gamers who prefer to eat their normal action diet, a true embarrassment of riches to choose from – severe thrills with an accompanying side of chills.
On Friday, Bristol, UK-based developer Headware Games (aka Nathan Hamley) released a five-minute gameplay trailer for its upcoming survival horror title Hollowbody, and from the looks of it it’s certainly shaping up to be a game to watch worth looking forward to. Described as a “tech noir homage to classic survival horror,” Hollowbody puts players in the role of Mica, an unlicensed shipper (i.e., courier) working for a black market consortium operating in a dystopian near-future Bristol is resident.
The trailer begins with a scene where Mica has crash-landed in a long-abandoned neighborhood on the outskirts of the city’s habitable zone, à la Blade Runner 2049. With limited resources, no way to contact her employers, and no other options, Mica must brave the desolate ruins of this quarantine zone to either repair her vehicle or find another way to safety.
Image: Headware Games
Solving environmental puzzles and rummaging through the rubble of abandoned homes will be the least of your problems, however. As we see in the trailer, Mica is not alone, and to survive she must wade through an onslaught of shuffling post-human nightmares, presumably driven insane by invasive black market technology.
Gameplay clearly seems indebted to predecessors like 2001’s Silent Hill 2 and 1999’s Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, with fixed camera angles and short loading screen cutscenes interspersed with resource looting and scripted events. There are also some cool, modern visual quirks, like fading wall animations and on-screen item descriptions rendered as diegetic augmented reality displays. It’s a contemporary homage to the Silent Hill series, similar in style to last year’s Signalis, albeit with an obviously greater emphasis on scripted scares and combat.
The game’s inspirations away from Silent Hill are also interesting. It relates to current issues such as class conflicts and wealth inequality in developed countries. “There are many narrative reasons why I wanted to make this game in the near future,” Hamley told NME last year. “But to capture the horror elements, I wanted to be able to base them on something familiar. So I modeled the environments after various buildings and locations in my hometown of Bristol. Call it a metaphor for post-Brexit Britain if you like. It wouldn’t be far.”
Hollowbody is slated for release on Windows PCs in early 2024.