After my preview of some of the games coming out on the PC this October several people pointed me in the direction of The Ball. I had heard of the name and after paying a visit to the official website I knew where I had heard of the game before, from the Make Something Unreal competition.
The Ball claimed second place overall in the last Make Something Unreal competition and was Best Singleplayer Mod in ModDBs 2008 Mod of the Year competition. This is evidently a game coming with some history from its mod days and it looks like the retail release of the game may just match the quality of the mod when it is released later this month.
The game, based on the Unreal 3 engine, sees the player, an archaeologist, venture into a cavern on the slopes of a dormant Mexican volcano. It is in the cavern that you find the mysterious Ball, the tool with which you will solve the numerous puzzles in the game and use to crush your enemies which promises to result in a ‘fountain of blood and gibs every time.’ Just watch the trailer below to get an idea of what you can do to the zombie hordes you will come across in the game.
There promises to be six to eight hours of gameplay in the core singleplayer mode with more action in the Survival mode. Unfortunately there won’t be any multiplayer, unfortunate as I am sure that you could have great fun playing some really original game modes utilising the Ball. For an indie release coming from a core development team of just three people, we can’t ask for everthing though, and the game does look promising. Just take a look at the potentially spoilerific first five minutes of the game:
It pays to be aware though that there will be a fair amount of puzzle solving involved in The Ball, in the FAQ for the game the developers say you can expect 15% of the game to consist of exploration, 60% puzzles, and 25% combat. This could be one of the indie games of the year that might just slip under the radar of many gamers this month considering the other big name games readying for release. I sincerely hope it doesn’t as it sounds, and looks, extremely promising.