David Goldfarb, you might remember, actually wrote something here on Eurogamer once, about the big, wide-eyed “what if” questions that drive the creativity of developers. Metal: Hellsinger, the FPS veteran’s newly announced effort, is definitely a “what if” game. What if, it asks, you crossed the chaotic, arena shooting action of modern Doom with the rhythm and sound of Guitar Hero? The result is… strange. Metal: Hellsinger is an extremely unusual, rub your tummy and pat your head genre mix, but for better or worse it’s totally unlike anything else I’ve played.
It also comes in the wake of Darkborn, Goldfarb’s studio The Outsiders’ first game (you might remember it as Project Wight) that was suddenly cancelled earlier this year. “It was rough, for a little while there,” he told me, when I asked about the decision. “We didn’t know how things were going to work out, or if they would work out at all, honestly. We’re lucky that things worked out the way they did and we found a great partner with Funcom.” It’s an unusual partnership – Funcom’s best known for publishing MMOs like Age of Conan and Anarchy Online, as opposed to the more traditional multiplayer shooters or single-player games Goldfarb’s worked on before – and how Hellsinger’s going to be monetised, in terms of whether it’ll be free-to-play like Funcom’s other games or not, wasn’t up for discussion at the time of our chat.
Without digging too far into it though, the reality is that it’s probably a marriage of convenience for now. “I’m gonna use a weight lifting metaphor,” Goldfarb said. “A lot of the lifting that we did, which was really hard in the beginning, I think we got used to it. We got strong enough to be able to just force up a fairly heavy thing and make it work. We got into shape, is the short version of it. And that helped us get to the next thing because we had learned all the things we could do wrong.”