Arkane tempts fate with another vampire game, but this time it’s an adaptation of Marvel’s Blade

After stumbling badly with the co-op shooter Redfall, Arkane Studios is trying its luck with yet another vampire game. This one looks to be quite a bit different, though: It’s a new take on Marvel’s Blade, which was revealed tonight in a surprise announcement at The Game Awards.

Marvel’s Blade will be set in a quarantined section of Paris in the middle of a “supernatural emergency,” where vampires have emerged to terrorize the citizens, forcing them to stay indoors from dusk until dawn. Of course, as the Daywalker, Blade doesn’t have to worry about that sort of timekeeping—he can clean house whenever he wants.

“As a kid of mixed origins, I felt a special connection to Blade – a hero with a dual heritage himself,” Arkane Lyon game director Dinga Bakaba said. “The opportunity to put our spin on this character is a dream of mine and a challenge that our team embraces with a passion. We couldn’t be happier to put players in Blade’s boots, as he becomes the champion of my hometown of Paris, one stake at a time.”

Arkane’s had a remarkable run over the past 20 years, beginning with the brilliant Arx Fatalis in 2002 and carrying through Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, the Dishonored series, Prey, and Deathloop. Redfall was its first real stumble, and it was a big one: Critical and player reviews were widely negative, and the game tanked almost immediately on release. Xbox boss Phil Spencer actually apologized for the state of Redfall at release and committed to sticking with it, and believe it or not the player numbers have actually been creeping up on Steam, although the totals remain tiny.

Much like a co-op shooter, a licensed Marvel game really doesn’t strike me as an obvious fit for Arkane. I really expected to see a return to one of its earlier games—Dishonored or Prey being the obvious choices—as a bounceback from Redfall’s failure. But Arkane Lyon co-creative director Sebastien Mitton said otherwise: “This project is the perfect opportunity to push Arkane’s art style into an even more modern and bold territory. The essence of our work lives at the junction of impactful ideas and innovative know-how.”

I hope so. It’ll be a while yet before we find out, though: Arkane has “just begun development on the game,” and at this point there’s no sign of gameplay or a release target.

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