With the world-building and narrative of Behemoth, we sought to blend together several genres. We wanted the framework of an epic adventure, where you pit yourself against gigantic monsters as you strive against a looming danger that threatens to consume you. But we also wanted to maintain the gritty survivalism that is present in our Walking Dead titles – the environment is brutal and unforgiving, and there is no one to rely on but yourself. Mixed in with these elements, we added a dash of folk horror, with themes of sacrifice and cruelty within the natural world, secrets of the past, and glimpses of darker realities. In Behemoth, the dread of the unknown is always with you.
The tone of the story is bleak. From the outset, the player is thrust into a world where all hope is lost. The player will face nigh-invulnerable monstrosities and will need to rely on their own cleverness to defeat them. As the story progresses, the glimpse of hope obtained will always be tempered by the serious challenges ahead. The player will need to dig deep into the world’s mysteries to acquire an understanding of the true stakes.
“We really wanted to capture a world that was both brutal but beautiful. The people here are all outcasts, sent to this distant corner of the world to live out their final days among the Behemoths, and we wanted the danger and monolithic scale of these creatures to be reflected in the landscapes. Great, sheer cliffs descend into the foggy unknown. A massive glacier looming over a ruined coast. Caves that descend through darkness into massive underground lakes. And threaded into all of it is the ancient remnants of a collapsed civilization, and the secrets its ruins may still hold. Ultimately, everything is reclaimed by nature. And that’s how it feels to wander the Forsaken Lands, that your fate could be the same.”– Dylan Scher, Principal Concept Artist
A focus on VR-first
We didn’t just want to expand upon the deeply tactile combat mechanics we developed in The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners franchise, we wanted to continue to innovate, to discover ways to take familiar mechanics and make them fresh. With VR, the challenges are vast compared to flat screen games when it comes to melee combat. The total input space granted by the hardware and unpredictable motion of a player’s attacks can make enemy AI a complex problem.
“In Saints and Sinners melee combat was only really for the walkers. In Behemoth you will fight human enemies that are smart and have thoughts and feelings. Combat is all physics based, and we require real weapon collision for things like block and parry. This applies to enemies also, so the AI will actually predict the incoming angle of your attack and position their sword properly to block it. They do make mistakes though, and if they fail and your sword connects with their body, it will do damage.” – Todd Adamson, Creative Director
Another place where we took inspiration from traditional games is the Grappling Hook. We really felt there was an opportunity to rebuild the feature for VR from the ground up and give players something surprising and extremely fun.
“Typically in games, grappling hooks are a “zoom to location” mechanic. Ours is different in that it simply allows you to create a physically simulated rope at will. You can then use the rope to do different things – climb to a location, yank an object down from a ledge, grapple an enemy, etc..” – Todd Adamson, Creative Director
Boss battles that are truly epic
The boss battles against the behemoths have to be experienced. Facing monolithic enemies is another place where we felt we could take the familiar concept of the boss battle, and surprise the player, showing them the difference between playing a game and stepping into one. In headset, the beasts are terrifying, towering and the challenge they present is significant. Tracking one down will push players to their limits. Complex traversal puzzles, harsh landscapes littered with desperate savages and the horrific remnants of an ancient disease will all stand in your way as you track down the Behemoths
“Everyone is struggling to survive in land that doesn’t want them. The opening moments of this game have you attacked, left for dead, and robbed for your meager supplies. There is a clear message here of—if you want to survive, you better be prepared to fight for it. And that’s just the human enemies. When you stare down your first Behemoth, you better be prepared for how huge these things really are, and what it takes to slay one.” – Dylan Scher, Principal Concept Artist
The world of Behemoth will not only test your combat and survival skills, but the strength of your will. The true depths of its horrors will take dedication to unearth and by then, it may be too late.
By PlayStation Official blog (blog.playstation.com)