Haunting Ground is the new name for Capcom's Demento, the survival horror game the company announced just before the Tokyo Game Show. Along with the name change we've got our paws on a bunch of new screens, artwork and some tasty gameplay details.
Floating towards an early 2005 release exclusively on PS2, Haunting Ground is the story of one girl and her dog. She's called Fiona, and in a twist of fate that will bring on a sense of déjà vu for those of us who like to partake in the sauce, she wakes up in the basement of a dark, dingy castle. There's not even a taxi rank nearby. Typical.
Fiona's got to find her way out of the terrifying depths of the castle but, apparently, the more Fiona explores the castle the more she learns about her past... and future.
Scary biscuits. It doesn't help that the castle is stocked to the gills with horrifying beasts, creepy-crawlies and a big mentalist called Debilitas who looks an awful lot like Sloth from the Goonies. This is a good thing.
As Fiona becomes more scared the control pad will rumble in time with her thumping heart and she'll become harder to control as she stumbles around. The colour from the screen will drain away leaving you with a harsh monochrome environment, but if you run away and hide things will return to normal.
Capcom also used this kind of system in its Clock Tower series and it was a bit ropey, so we'll keep an eye on that.
At least Fiona will have a pal to help her out. She discovers Hewie, an Alsatian whom she rescues from a trap. At first he'll be a right disobedient little mongrel, but as he grows to trust Fiona she'll be able to order him to fetch objects, attack enemies and stand on his back legs and dance like Michael Jackson. Actually, maybe not the last bit.
Looks like a lot of Haunting Ground's puzzles will rely on developing a close relationship between Fiona and Hewie.
To up the scare factor Capcom has signed Japanese film director and actor Naoto Takenaka to direct the cutscenes. He's responsible for Rendan, Quiet Days of Firemen and The Nowhere Man, all of which seem to be comedies and dramas rather than horror movies.
We've got lots of screens and artwork for Haunting Ground, and if you head here we'll hook you up with a spooky trailer movie too. More news on this one soon.