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Sony "Pause" September 07
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 10:56am 28/09/07 | Comments
Sony's September Pause event housed a special guest from Heavenly Sword developer, Ninja Theory

Heavenly Sword
Every two months SCE Australia throws a local bash for the Aussie games industry, and usually with a few surprises in store. Last night we were privileged enough to have Nina Kristenson, co-founder and CDN of Ninja Theory, the team behind Heavenyly Sword (apparently CDN stands for Chief Development Ninja). Typically of a Pause event, the room was decked out in an Eastern theme to celebrate the launch of the game, and according to Sony Aus boss, Michael Ephraim, Heavenly Sword has already sold in excess of 3200 units in just four days, which isn't too shabby.

Ephraim's address was only short though, mentioning that most of Sony's year-end plans were well and truly locked in, though he did say we could look forward to a few surprise announcements in the coming weeks - just what these are is anyone's guess.

Once Ephraim finished up and ran, we were treated to a discussion about the development process of Heavenly Sword from Nina Kristensen (as one journo mentioned, "it's like I'm watching a DVD Special Feature, only she's here and not on my TV"). The Ninja Theory CDN , showed off a few different videos - trailers of the final game (two of which can be grabbed here and here), as well as some cool behind-the-scenes stuff with Andy Serkis and an early (and I mean really early) concept video for what would eventually become Heavenyly Sword.

The Serkis stuff was great to watch, and it was revealed his involvement with the project actually came about because a relation (in some form) to a member of Ninja Theory was actually a mortgage officer, and it just so happens Serkis was applying for a mortgage (I would have thought he'd be pretty loaded after LOTR though), eventually he was shown what they were working on and joined the team. According to Kristensen, shooting all the motion-capture for the project out at WETA studios went for a short six weeks, and most of the team were putting in more than 10 hours a day, six days a week for that period, which is a pretty full-on schedule.

Heavenly Sword
The Early concept trailer we saw (which we unfortunately don't have to show you), was essentially a CG rip of scenes from the likes of Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but it got me wondering why no one has actually made a game based on honkie kung-fu flicks. Heavenly Sword is pretty close, but you could do so much more with the source material, hopefully with the success of Stranglehold though, we might see some companies looking to tap into this area.

At any rate, while informative and entertaining, the rest of the Pause event just had titles we'd already seen (Ratchet and Clank Future, Drake's Fortune and Heavenly Sword), and I'll be giving you some hands-on previews early next week for both Ratchet and Clank and Drake's Fortune, while our review of Heavenly Sword (the first AusGamers PS3 review, no less) will be up on Monday. Hopefully the undisclosed announcements Ephraim was talking about will hit sooner rather than later, so stay tuned.