A former AQ Interactive/Cavia employee has revealed to gaming website Siliconera that Square Enix Japan and the Nier developer Cavia were working on a game once Nier finished. The game went by the codename Catacombs and is a FP team shooter RPG. The game takes place at New York’s Museum of Natural History, during an exhibit displaying artifacts from a culture and religion that predates recorded civilization. As the camera pans around the crowd, players get glimpses of four people that the game will focus on as main characters. As they each set their gaze on a mysterious object in the center of the room, the objects blinds everyone with a flash of light. Monsters start to rain from the ceiling slaughtering everyone in sight, as the four heroes are consumed by a purple haze as the floor crumbles at their feet. As they come to, they find out that there are some of the only survivors. They are promptly attacked again, but are saved as two security guards come to their rescue. The guards however are quickly killed as the four make it to the safety of an elevator. As they breathe a sigh of relief, the elevator cable breaks, sending them down deeper under the museum.
Players will be able to play as one of the follow four characters:
- Matt is a tech executive in his early 40s. He went to the museum with his son, but is more interested in flirting with tourists. Matt likes to think he’s the leader of the group, but he’s actually more like comic relief.
- Carlos came to the museum on a date with who he says is the hottest girl in Brooklyn. He works in a bodega, but originally came to New York from Florida to fulfill his dream of becoming an actor. As part of the group he makes sarcastic quips, but always puts his teammates first.
- Gina is a college student who went to the museum on a school trip. She’s confident and is actually the group’s leader. Although, Matt and Gina tend to argue about who is in charge. Gina is also the most in tune with the mysterious world and provides insight for the group.
- Nguyen is the youngest survivor being a high school student in his late teens. Nguyen’s family immigrated from Vietnam and he is trying to balance his identity between his family’s origin and his hip hop loving friends. Nguyen went to the museum with his brother and extended family who want to show him artifacts from his roots.
As mentioned before, Catacombs is a FP team shooter RPG. Think of it as a combination of L4D and Borderlands with magic and demonic creatures. Each player will have a standard pistol with unlimited rounds but will quickly need to find stronger magic infused firearms. From the screenshot give and a description of a few of the guns that will be in the game, it seems that Cavia wants to make it unique from the rest of the shooters out there. Such as the shotgun that looks like a demonic mantis, a machine gun shaped like a skeleton and a dragon-magnum. All the weapons can be leveled up and once they are their attacks become stronger as the weapon changes form.
The magic system is handled in the form of rings that enemies drop that players can pick up and use. Just like the firearms, magic can be upgraded to more powerful version, but have a limited use to them. So once the ring runs out, no more magic and the player has to find another ring.
Catacombs’ map system will be more similar to dungeon crawlers than regular shooters in the sense that each map will randomly generate as players try to make their way back to the surface.
Square Enix was set to reveal and show off the game at E3 2011, but for some reason they haven’t decided if they were going to complete the game. Inc my personal opinion, I think the game looks interesting. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it has a L4D mixed with Borderlands with magic and demons, which sounds pretty cool to me. Hopefully Square Enix decides to resume development on the game and makes an appearance at E3 this year or at least at TGS 2012.