Practical Singing Outline: Spiritual Warfare

Halloween is the perfect time to launch most survival horror games. Newly-created Canadian studio Brass Token is launching its supernatural survival horror game The Chant during Halloween week, November 3. Ahead of this launch, they invited PlayStation LifeStyle to their corner of Vancouver, Canada to take a look around their studio and spend some time playing their first game. Read all about our stay on a mysterious island below in our preview of The Chant.

Disjointed start-up atmosphere

Nestled in a bustling industrial area of ​​Vancouver, Canada, scrappy startup Brass Token describes its team as “a lean studio with a powerful vision to be a leading developer of story-based action games for PC and console. “. With a total staff of 19 permanent employees, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more tight-knit group of people aiming so high when it comes to a debut title.

Indeed, we had a brief tour of the studio, and there wasn’t much to see – the company has taken a hybrid approach to working with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as such , only a few developers were in the office, with their computers placed along the back wall windows, and a room with a doorway featured a whiteboard and early concept art for The Chant.

Behind another door, Brass Token has chosen the more traditional and cost-effective development path of building its own motion capture and recording booth within its studio. The room had large pieces of sound padding adorning the walls and a few stations where players could isolate themselves while testing out the game. It was at one of these stations that I was able to get my first sample of The Song.

Fight, flee, go mad? !

The demo started me in Chapter 3 of the story, and as such, we weren’t shown the full story premise setup. In The Chant, you play as Jess Briars, a woman with an established career in biomedicine. She had some sort of traumatic event that alienated her from her best friend, Kim, who has now invited her to come to Glory Island for a spiritual retreat.

At this point in the story, the main ritual is complete and it has opened everyone’s “third eye” to the horrors known as The Gloom, a psychedelic dimension that feeds on negative energy. Another member of the retreat, Sonny, was badly affected by the ritual and fled the area and ran to the local mines.

Since the demo took place after what would normally have been The Chant’s tutorial, I was thrust into the spirit warfare without much preparation. It was an odd choice, but perhaps the story is so tightly woven that it will make more sense once the full game is released. Most of the enemies appear to be some sort of sentient plant life, though there are also giant poisonous toads to contend with towards the end of the demo. Also, although Jess is seemingly an average woman, she has a few tools at her disposal. She can use sage sticks and craft other weapons to attack her enemies in a variety of ways, though some cannot be defeated and are best avoided.

As The Chant is at least partly a psychological thriller, one enemy in particular seemed to manifest some of Jess’ fears – he was all flies, which she hates, and shouted out insecurities she seemed to hold, unsettling so his mind. opposed to his body. This enemy moved towards Jess and could be temporarily stunned with a smudge stick, but ultimately had to be fled, at least for now. Surprisingly, this enemy could even open doors, eventually only being parried once a certain marker was reached.

Balance in all things

Jess has three health bars, each tied to her current overall wellbeing. Mind, body, and spirit each get their own status level, and while healing can be performed on each using a crystal by pressing the d-pad, holding down a button can also swap power. spiritual health versus spirit. If the spirit drops to zero, then Jess will suffer a panic attack, which will affect her performance in battle. If Body ever reaches zero, then she is dead and the game must be reloaded from a checkpoint. We didn’t see what would happen if Spirit hit zero, but that has its own consequences too.

On the surface, the enigmatic leader of Prismic Science Tyler Anton invites people to his island in order to become the best, most awakened version of themselves. He speaks in a smooth, thoughtful manner, with an obvious influence from real-life cult leader Charles Manson. There are many vague messages of expanding your consciousness, peering into the unknown, and becoming a changed person. But there’s something curious about The Chant that may signal the truth behind Tyler: the number six can be seen throughout the game.

There are six main characters, six different crystals to use, six locations to explore, six things to craft in a radial menu, and six story chapters. Even Jess’s three health bars can be healed, but she can only hold two healing items per bar – three bars times two items gives us six again. There’s probably more in The Chant that relates to this spiritually cursed number, but if so, it’ll be revealed when the game releases.

From a technical standpoint, Brass Token is aiming incredibly high for a small studio. Unreal Engine 4 is used for The Chant, and they only target current-gen consoles, in addition to PC. We played on the only PS5 unit available for testing, with a QA tester alongside us taking notes from our session that they might be able to use as feedback to iron out a few remaining issues before launch.

There seemed to be a heavy focus on high production values, as evidenced by the character modeling. A lot of work seems to have gone into skin textures, for example. I noticed that a character’s physical stress was heightened by the fact that he was drenched in sweat, the beads of which were collecting convincingly in various places on his face. Main character Jess got dirty as our demo progressed, which her skin showed acutely with various patches of dirt and other stuff stuck to the various crevices that lined her face. With a tightly controlled environment like an island and mines, perhaps such a high production value can be carried throughout the adventure.

show promise

As mentioned, Brass Token has their own bespoke motion capture room, and while we didn’t see anyone dressing up to be recorded while we were in their studio, we did take a look at the rigs. main camera forms, the company seemed quite proud of – bicycle or skateboard helmets equipped with a metal housing, with a place for mounting a smartphone with which facial data can be recorded, as well as large amounts of tape.

There is an infectious sense of a DIY attitude within the walls of Brass Token, and everyone seemed genuinely interested in helping to make the best product possible. CEO Mike Skupa, formerly of United Front Games and Rockstar Games, seems to have assembled an accomplished group of people all working eagerly towards a collective goal.

Le Chant relies heavily on its success. As Brass Token’s debut title, some would say it has to succeed to help the studio establish itself. Released just after Halloween, this story-driven survival horror game seems to tick all the boxes to make it a fun and scary game that you can play or watch others play in a session or two over the weekend. Turn off the lights and turn up the volume to give yourself some supernatural scares when The Chant launches November 3, 2022 for PS5, Xbox Series, and PC platforms.

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