Saturday, January 29, 2011

In-Game Grotesques

The word 'grotesque' is popular in video games, especially in relation to the weird creatures that players are often called upon to battle. I recently discovered that Hellgate: London (2007) has some creatures called Grotesques, and figured it was worth posting here. Of course, the more I look, the more games I find with their own grotesques, so I might do a few of these 'in-game grotesque' posts.

Hellgate: London is a post-apocalyptic RPG involving a bunch of contemporary Knights Templar trying to win back London after the earth is overwhelmed by evil monsters. The knights wear glowing Tron inspired armour, and the game occurs in 2038, so there are clearly some past/future border crossings occurring here. Not that there is anything wrong with that.


You can play as other characters, but the knights look the best . Likewise, there are a whole bunch of different creatures to battle, but the Grotesques are in a class of their own. The Hellgate Wiki provides this visceral description:

"Stitched together from numerous corpses and chunks of flesh, the Grotesque is an aptly named abomination. The stench of rotting meat is always a sure sign that one of these lumbering, disease-ridden automatons is in the area. The decaying bodies are filled with maggots that have been altered by the demonic energies used to create this monstrosity."

Brilliant. In gameplay terms:

"Different Grotesque creations present different challenges but after slaying any of them, they remain dangerous. Invariably their melded corpses explode and undead forms then rise from the remains, freed from their united servitude. "

Here are a few screenshots of different Grotesques in action:

I'm always impressed by good screenshots. They are difficult to take when you're in the middle of playing. The official art images give you a clearer look at the design and appearance of Grotesques (click to enlarge):

I am definitely seeing "numerous corpses and chunks of flesh."

There is also a Fetid Hulk which is worth looking at. The intro video for the game is below. A bit melodramatic, but worth checking out for the shiny Tron outfits. And the monsters.

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