August 31, 2021 — What is the best part of a new video game reveal or new content? Well, that all depends on how good the accompanying trailer is. Typically cinematic and offering very little gameplay footage, these trailers are intended to fuel the hype train. Some gamers may say they are misleading, but historically, trailers get the job done. Especially when they look as cool as the following three that launched this month.
As part of a new monthly series, we will be exploring a trio of visually stunning trailers that immerse us in the concept of a game with intense cinematics, powerful voice-overs, and epic music,
Giants Uprising — Windows
In games like Shadow of the Colossus, we played as the annoying little human imposing on the harmless giants. What if the tables were turned, and we controlled the colossi of ancient lore — as they stomped across civilizations, wiping out the plague known as mankind?
That is the basic concept behind Giants Uprising, an upcoming fantasy adventure from Polish developer VARSAV Game Studios. Does that name sound a little familiar? It is probably because it’s the same team behind the somewhat forgettable but mildly enjoyable Bee Simulator. VARSAV is tackling an entirely different title with Giants Uprising, finally fulfilling gamers’ dreams of entering a mythological universe not as the common person, but as a massive, lumbering beast with brute strength not seen since The Lord of the Rings.
As one of the few remaining giants, players will devastate the medieval land, killing swarms of humans while fending off other antagonistic giants using makeshift weapons like a boomerang windmill rotor, axes, rocks, logs, and the giant’s brute strength. The two protagonist giants, Rogbar and Kielbasa, are on a quest for revenge and to free their brethren, so expect quite a bit of brutal human-slaying and demolished villages.
Giants Uprising is certainly a different spin on the typical art style crafted by VARSAV, which has churned out titles like The Path of Calydra, Everdream Valley, Metamorphosis, and Tattoo Punk. They are not AAA games, but they are visually striking and, in contrast to Giants Uprising’s subdued color palette, quite vibrant.
Giants Uprising is currently in early access on Steam and has a rather fun demo that’s worth testing the waters with. The finished product is expected to release soon — on November 2, 2021.
Blood of Heroes — PlayStation, Xbox, Windows
For a brief moment, the open beta trailer for Blood of Heroes gives off a bit of a “mobile game” vibe. At least, when you know developer Vizor Games, known best for mobile adventures like Zombie Castaways and Atlantis Odyssey, is behind the game. However, the promise behind the well-executed trailer barely scratches the surface of what Blood of Heroes actually is.
Comparisons are being drawn to For Honor but Blood of Heroes is a free-to-play PVP multiplayer where players choose between one of six legendary warriors. Like any arena game, the playable Heroes all come with unique traits and skills, which must be mastered to dominate the battlefield.
Like VARSAV, Vizor is stepping out of its comfort zone of cutesy mobile titles to cover the arena with blood. Each arena is pulled from Nordic legend and serves as the perfect spot for warriors to gather and prove their might. Players can cut down their opposition in three familiar game modes — the one-on-one Duel, three-on-three Brawl, and the five-on-five Domination.
Blood of Heroes began a beta on August 26, 2021, and while there have been some complaints about core mechanics like blocking and dodging, the art style has received a bit of praise. The blend of fantasy and history creates a dynamic aesthetic that shows a lot of promise for the finished product.
Vizor Games is releasing Blood of Heroes on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X when it launches. Currently, there is no set release date.
Black Myth: WuKong — PlayStation, Xbox, Windows
Chinese development team Game Science is another company that seems to be coming into its own and trying its hand at a visually beautiful, action-packed adventure that vastly contrasts its previous releases. Based on Journey to the West, a Chinese novel published during the Ming dynasty (1700s), WuKong follows Sun WuKong, the Monkey King, on a perilous quest full of fascinating and quite imposing villains.
The hack ‘n slash style gameplay does not align with any of Game Science’s previous launches, like Art of War: Red Tide and 100 Heroes. It showcases the evolution of the developer, which once focused primarily on repetitious mechanics and a more juvenile art style. If there is one thing WuKong is not, it is juvenile. As one of the first gameplay ready games that uses the in-development Unreal Engine 5, Black Myth is also a glimpse into the future that reveals just how good new, next-generation games will look and feel and both consoles and Windows.
Black Myth: WuKong has been lurking in the background a bit, but the most recent gameplay trailer really attempts to immerse players into the fantastical adventure. It is very clear that WuKong is steeped in Chinese mythology, an element it shares with its source material. But there are still so many unknowns that can only improve the exciting gameplay we’ve already seen.
To see such a classical work of literature receive the video game treatment is a good sign for the iconic legends of yesteryear. Some may cringe at the idea of video games retelling traditional and timeless tales, but by looking at WuKong, it may not be a bad thing at all.
Black Myth: WuKong does not currently have a release date, but Game Science confirmed it would release sometime in 2023.