Watch Quantic Dream’s Full PS4 Tech Demo: The Dark Sorcerer

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 12, 2013 in Videogames |

The Dark Sorcerer

One of the most impressive tech demos of the week was Quantic Dream’s The Dark Sorcerer on PS4. It’s not supposed to be a game, but it could be expanded sometime in the future. In the demo, the titular dark sorcerer tries to summon a demon using dark magic while his goblin helper looks on. Soon it is revealed that the scene is being directed (with partial green screen in the background) and the characters are acting, though the goblin is really a goblin. Only a few stunning minutes were shown at Sony’s E3 press conference, but now the entire 12-minute demo is available to watch, and it’s pretty stunning.

As the scene continues, the old man, who has never acted in a game before (however that works, considering he’s not wearing a mo-cap suit and the goblin is real) gets more and more frustrated with the special effects (which seem to be real) and other obstacles until finally quitting, leaving the rest of the cast and crew to figure out a way to finish the scene without him.

To be honest, having only played Heavy Rain, I’m not the biggest fan of Quantic Dream. I found the game to be lacking much actual gameplay, with an often nonsensical script, characters stuck in the uncanny valley, and poor voice acting with poorly hidden accents. David Cage seems to just want to make a game with “emotions” without considering where those emotions come from; he clearly aspires to be a film director for games, but if Heavy Rain was a film, it would be endlessly mocked by critics.

However, David Cage and his studio are clearly trying to expand what games can do, and even though they may fail, their heart is in the right place. Experiments like Heavy Rain are at least forging new directions and bringing new ideas into the gaming landscape, and I can’t deny that I overall enjoyed the game — many moments had me tense and completely involved — despite its many, many problems.

So if Quantic Dream can get good actors like they have in The Dark Sorcerer (which they have for Beyond: Two Souls, snagging Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe) and use this demo’s amazing facial capture technology, I’ll feel much more confident in whatever they plan for PS4. Now all they need is a more coherent script and more refined gameplay, and they could have a real classic on their hands.


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