A heavy metal robot, eccentric big-game hunter and a steel-clawed ninja will all be battling their way onto computer screens early next year, thanks to the efforts of a Cambridge technology firm.
Block N Load is the latest offering from Jagex, the video game studio behind hugely-successful fantasy game RuneScape, which has over 200 million registered accounts.
From their headquarters at the Cambridge Science Park, a team of 10 developers has been working for 18 months on their latest project, a cartoon battle game, where the two teams spend as much time destroying their environment as each other.
Vice president David Solari has led the project. He said: “It’s a game where anything can happen and you’re only limited by your imagination in what you can do.
“It’s five v five, competitive and objective based, where you have got to build and destroy the battlefield to destroy the enemy’s base.”
The game will be available through the online Steam store, where thousands of games can be downloaded to computers anywhere in the world.
The playable characters, include long-range sniper Nigel Purdey-Longshot and fighting robot Cogwheel, and dig tunnels and place traps throughout the interactive landscape, in a bid to scupper the opposition.
It has been trialled at a number of focus groups, with initial reaction proving positive.
Mr Solari said: “We took it to an event recently where a very broad range of people enjoyed it; kids of age eight onwards were playing, and some queued up ten times to play it.
“Everyone here is 25-plus, and they’re absolutely crazy for it.”
The firm has been based in Cambridge for 14 years, and currently employs around 450 people, with the city’s strong tech sector providing a major benefit.
“Cambridge is good for us, there is a lot going on, with good rail and flight connections, and it’s a young, vibrant city, and that’s what we want to connect with”, he said.
“We have used a bunch of students to help us capture game footage, and the focus group people we got are generally local.
“Having the university here is helpful from a graduate point of view, and it has this great international reputation. You talk to Americans or Germans about Cambridge everyone has heard of it.”
Following a ‘beta’ test launch on Thursday the game is set for full release early next year, with additional downloadable content set to be created regularly.